This is part 3 in a series of posts inspired by the book Souls in Transition.
Young people are sharing their faith less, but why? My gut is they do it less because they believe (& have been told) a myth.
Keith Davy reports on an interesting survey called “How teenagers faith practices are changing” (link to a great summary on the survey – a quick, must-read for college ministers):
Here’s my 2 cents on what causes students (and all of us) to share the gospel less:
- Lack of understanding of the gospel. If we really understand it, we can’t help but share it.
- They’re gun shy. We’ve all heard the doom and gloom of “post-Christian” America and are scared to approach people who surely must hate Christians.
It’s something that I’ve noticed in students in the last few years – an almost embarrassment to tell others that they are Christians. The book unChristian really hits the nail on the head as far as students’ reluctance to share their faith:
But here’s the interesting thing, and back to the whole “myth” thing.
Souls in Transition says something REALLY interesting: that it’s a myth that young people are hostile or averse toward talking about religion (christian teens’ fears are unfounded). In their research the authors find non-Christian students “generally seem happy to talk about religion if it happens to come up.” (page 144)
So, to me, the 2 questions we need to address are:
- How do we help students more fully experience/understand the gospel (besides the obvious answer of having them listen to TIm Keller sermons 24/7)?
- How do we help them “get in the game” and simply talk about their faith as a way of life?
photo courtesy of Tiago Ribeiro via Flickr