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Are We Listening to our Youth?

Many times, as a family minister or when I get together with other family ministers, the same question continually comes up in our conversations. Many times I have often sat and thought to myself, “What do young people want today from religion?” Usually, people are quick to say, “All they want is to be entertained.” But the more I talk with young people today about the church and about their relationship with God. I am finding out that this concept of young people is no more than a misconception. About a year ago, I began to do some research on this very topic of what the young people want today in religion. The outcome of my research was really worth the time and effort to answer this question for myself and hopefully for others as well. I want to take time to share with you all what I found in this research.
The first thing that young people want today is the right doctrine. I found this very interesting. In the surveys that were given back to me on this topic, almost every young person said they wanted the truth, the right doctrine. I am reminded of what Paul said in II Timothy 4:2, “Preach the truth…..” Also in I Peter 4:11, Peter said, “Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God;” This is exactly what young people are wanting. They are wanting to have discussions that build their faith. They want to be taught the truth and nothing else.
The second thing that young people want today is the opportunity to serve. I think this is an attitude that we all need to take on— the heart for service. I love what Paul proclaimed in Philippians 2:7, that Jesus “emptied himself, taking the form of a servant…” That is exactly what our young people want today—to be able to serve in any way that they can.
The third thing that I found in my research of what young people want, is to worship the correct way. I found it interesting that a lot of people say, “Well, all the younger generation wants is to be entertained in worship.” After, taking surveys of young people and looking at good quality research on this subject I found that really they want the opposite of entertainment in worship. They want to worship God the way He wants to be worshiped. I am reminded of what Jesus said in John 4:24, “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
I believe that all our young people want today is to worship God, to serve him and to hear the truth proclaimed. I think the example the young people are setting for us is one that we all must hold on to in our relationship with God. May we all be people that want to worship God in truth, take every opportunity we have to serve and to always want to hear the truth.

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