Recently I was listening to Ravi Zacharias give a talk to university students. Before he took the stage, he was introduced by one of the organizers, who stated that they had had several elite personalities within the arena of athletics, entertainment and such, come and give talks, but they had never had such a great turnout on a Thursday night.

That day, the topic was the meaning of life.

I find it to be rather encouraging that we have a generation of young people who, in the midst of all the attractions and distractions of this culture, deep down in their hearts are searching for something deeper and of value and ultimately searching for their life’s purpose.

I want to quote an excerpt from “Abandoned Faith,” a book by Alex McFarland and Jason Jimenez which says, “We want to emphasize that this generation has much to offer the church and our society as a whole. However, as we’ve mentioned, many of these values remain unused, misused or underused unless a parent, church leader or other caring individual gets involved personally to connect with this highly connected generation.”

This generation is equipped with a great deal of passion, drive and stamina for social justice and service. If you ask young folk to volunteer for a cause, they will drop everything and provide their services. If you engage them in a movement leaning towards social justice issues, they will wholeheartedly engage with a passion. This is a positive outlook.

Christ also came to resolve or deal with the injustices of those times and He also engaged in services.

The difference is that the heart of Christ was acting in the power of the Holy Spirit for social justice and service and in keeping with the purpose of His life on Earth. Our young generation has the same youthful drive as Christ, but they are doing it without the conviction of the Holy Spirit.

The reality is that this generation is impacting our culture, one way or another—with or without God.

The Church has to wake up and realize that, as a Church, we need to engage them on a personal level to help them find a transformed heart without changing the passions and desire for social justice and service. Only an encounter with Christ can transform our hearts, and it is our job to point them to Him.

To succeed in the business world, one is encouraged to seek a mentor/coach who has experience and understands the field. There is an increasing demand for life coaches and business mentors. If, to succeed in the secular world, such emphasis is placed on mentoring and coaching, generally done one-on-one or in smaller groups, then why are we not mentoring and coaching in the Christian world?

In essence, is this not called discipleship?

That was the example Christ came to set for us and He commanded us to go make disciples. The secular world has picked up the model but we as a Church continue to ignore the importance of discipleship by putting emphasis on building larger crowds, mega churches and church growth in numbers, losing the essence of the heart—a longing for a relationship with God and men.

So how do we capture this generation? I believe it is by engaging with them one-on-one. This begins at home, where, as parents, we need to lead by example without being hypocritical—teaching one thing and doing the opposite.

Next, I want to challenge those of us interacting on a daily basis with young folks—we have a responsibility to lead by example and connect with them on a personal basis. This includes, teachers, coaches, church leaders, youth pastors, etc. This generation is tired of the hypocrisy in the home, in the church and in the political and social arenas, but they are eager to fight for something that has meaning and purpose.

Let us help them discover their true purpose so they can passionately pursue it. The future of the Church is in the hands of this generation today, but they are waiting for us to disciple them without prejudices. God bless.

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Erick Kalenga is pastor of His Village church in Culpeper.

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