Facing The Challenge
[ Extracted and edited from D2Y2 Magazine, April – July 2007, Volume 1 Issue 2 ]
There was a time when l thought and taught that relevance was the key to win the youth back in droves. We had effectively used modern day music and media to pack out church sanctuaries, school halls, hotel ballrooms and amphitheatres.
l remember how altar calls were filled, and thousands were touched and transformed, in our first five years of full-time youth ministry. At the same time, churches both big and small were awaken to the cause of reaching the youth, and by applying relevance, they experienced wonderful results.
But after some time, things began to change. As I see it, young people became picky and youth ministry became more challenged (it should be the other way round). They perceived that we were willing to “compromise” in the name of relevance, for the sake of “winning” them over, and became not only spoilt for choice, but spoilt – period.
Young people, as does Christianity, thrive on challenge, never on comfort.
ln “compromise”, I mean to elevate relevance above radicalness and in radicalness, I mean that which is brought about purely by faith, not just facts and figures. We need to challenge our youth again in the area of faith.
The danger we seem to be facing in Malaysia today is that the majority of our youth ministries are going by the way of comfort and convenience, instead of challenge and conviction. It seems that in order to have a successful youth ministry today, we need a very big budget.
We have made youth ministry expensive and elusive to those who are financially challenged, which is the case with the majority of churches in this nation. lf this trend is allowed to continue and spread, what we will inherit is not a spirit of transformation but conformity.
Stop babysitting your youth and allow for real faith to grow and glow.
Young people, as does Christianity, thrive on challenge, never on comfort. If the emerging Church of Malaysia is ever going to stand a chance to pack any transformational power and purpose, we must begin today to turn the tide of popular opinion. We must encourage our youth in their own journey of faith and to trust in God that will push and position them back at the cutting edge where the Church rightly belongs!
Stop babysitting your youth and allow for real faith to grow and glow. Allow them to go for missions, give of their tithes and offerings, and to take up whatever challenges they are facing today by placing their complete trust in God.
Encourage them to experience the faithfulness of God for themselves in transforming their testings into testimonies and build their own story of faith. In that way, you prepare them to be agents of transformation for tomorrow.
D2Y2, which stands for Don’t Despise Your Youth, was an official Asian Youth Ambassador (AYA) magazine birthed out in the late 90s. The printed materials communicated dynamic and effective encouragement to and from the Church, with special emphasis on the knowledge and experiences of our Christian youths, which we believe the content is still relevant and applicable in this current generation.