I was recently reading a book titled You Lost Me, by David Kinnaman, who is the President of the Barna Research Group. David does a masterful job of helping us better understand the younger generations and how we can disciple them for Jesus.
For almost four decades Men’s Ministry Catalyst has utilized various innovative approaches to be culturally strategic in presenting a biblical world view to the lost. Kinnaman states: “We need new architects to design interconnected approaches to faith transference.” In describing why it is difficult for past generations to connect with younger people (Millennials or Mosaics) about their faith, David further states: “The reality is the transference of the faith that we know there is a generational shift from left-brain skills like logic, analysis, and structure to the right-brain aptitudes of creativity, synthesis, and empathy.” Millennials are more right-brain oriented. Simply put, we need to find new ways to connect people to Jesus.
Let me be clear — we don’t need a new theology, but we need to take a new pathway to creating interpersonal relationships with young people that connect them to the love, grace, hope, and peace we have experienced through a personal relationship with Jesus. Jesus Himself used different approaches. The woman at the well, the blind man, the Pharisees and Sadducees, and the unique differences with His twelve disciples all created opportunities for Him to design conversations that drew people to His promises.
For many youths today, the things they once held as sacred and unchanging have gone through major renovations. The uncertainties of the future loom as a dark cloud of hopelessness on the horizon of life. The denigration of a traditional family, the wars in foreign lands, a new political landscape of dissension and constant conflict, and a continued decline of morality has created a social landscape filled with potholes, confusion, and insecurity.
So, what is a person to do? How should we look at the future? Once again, God’s Word provides some answers. We honor and serve a God who is faithful and stays true to His Word. Faithfulness is not something God aspires to; it is an essential part of His character. When God makes a promise, He always keeps it.
In his speech to the Israelites, Moses hammered home this point. The previous generations had refused to believe that God would faithfully keep His promise to give them the land. As punishment, God had sent them to wander in the wilderness until that entire unfaithful generation had died. As the new generation stood ready to enter the Promise Land, Moses told them, “Understand, therefore, that the Lord your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps His covenant for a thousand generations.” Deuteronomy 7:9 NLT
Dear friends, remember we serve a God who is faithful and doesn’t waver in His commitments. He will keep every promise until the end of time. His Word helps us see that we can have hope for future generations. Claim God’s promises for yourself and all those children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren that will follow.
As David said, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His faithful love endures forever” (1 Chronicles 16:34). Read and feel encouraged that the faithful God of yesterday is still on the throne and will be there to support you and future generations.
The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the Lord loved you and kept the oath he swore to your forefathers that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh King of Egypt. Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands. But those who hate him he will repay to their face by destruction; he will not be slow to repay to their face those who hate him.
— Deuteronomy 7:7–10 NIV (emphasis added)
How does the following verse speak to you about a way to connect to the younger generation?: “But remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which He swore to your forefathers, as it is today.” Deuteronomy 8:18 (NIV)
How has social media changed the way we can connect to the younger generations? In what new ways can you personally influence the younger people in your life?
Jim Grassi, D. Min.