I’ve recently been able to share at a few churches a growing concern over our youngest generation of children. Are our children just a generation away from Christian extinction?
Barna research indicates nearly half of all Americans who accept Jesus Christ as their savior do so before reaching the age of 13 (43%), and that two out of three born again Christians (64%) made that commitment to Christ before their 18th birthday.
That is great news but let’s take that a step further.
Barna’s research also shows that 84% of those children that accept Jesus as their savior turn away from their faith before they graduate high school. Some reports are saying as high as 94%. To me this is alarming. We are not passing on a robust Christian faith and an accompanying commitment to the church.
If we love as Jesus loved and show children Christ by investing in their lives, the likelihood of “Christian extinction” diminishes. We may never see the influence we have on these kids while we’re here on earth, but you can never tell what seeds God has used you to plant in the lives of children.
Are we handing down our faith like Moses handed it down to Joshua or are we a Joshua that dropped the ball and “After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel.” Are we leaving the spiritual development of our kids to chance or are we being strategic and intentional?
We are the Joshua Generation! Who are we handing down our faith to and who are we mentoring? It’s time we take a closer look at what we might have to do differently to reach this generation for Christ. What might we have to change and how might we have to approach our young people so that they don’t grow up “neither knowing the Lord or what he had done for Israel”?
If you would like for me to speak to your congregation and encourage them in the task God has set before them, feel free to contact me. I would love to come share what God has laid on my heart for this generation of children.