WILLS POINT, TX – K.P. Yohannan, founder and director of GFA World (Gospel for Asia), has been the model for numerous charities like Gospel for Asia Canada, and Metropolitan of Believers Eastern Church, to help the poor and deprived worldwide — shares on the “vanishing generation”, and how the church can help young people discover a deeper calling and tune in to God’s voice.
Nearly two-thirds of people ages 18-29 who grew up in the U.S. going to church have dropped out, according to the Barna research group.
One-third described church as “boring,” one-quarter said faith is “not relevant,” and one-in-five who attended church as a teenager said God “seems missing” from their experience.
What went wrong?
I believe we’ve left a whole generation floundering because—despite all our teaching materials, church programs and activity—they’ve never had a genuine encounter with the living Christ. Instead, we’ve been led to believe the smartphone generation needs constant media bombardment.
Our misplaced emphasis on fast-moving media and rock-concert volume has replaced the much-needed timeless discipline of seeking God in quiet meditation and reverent silence. As a consequence, our worship services have focused on performance rather than coming before God.
Look where that’s got us. An entire generation is vanishing from the church, deserting the faith, before our eyes.
Why? They’ve found nothing of substance, nothing real to cling onto. In their own words, God “seems missing.”
Decades ago—long before the iPhone, Twitter and Instagram—the preacher A.W. Tozer wrote: “The ideas of cultivation and exercise, so dear to the saints of old, have now no place in our (church life). A generation of Christians reared among push-buttons … is impatient of slower and less direct methods of reaching their goals. We have been trying to apply machine-age methods to our relations with God. We … have our short devotions and rush away.”
Tozer was spot on then, and his words still ring true today.
Our “push-buttons” and obsession with busy-ness and “doing” are pushing us further away from the presence of God. We have every resource at our fingertips yet God is as distant as the stars.
We’ve created a Christ of our own convenience. We deal with Him on a horizontal level, not a vertical level where we are looking up to Him. St. Augustine put it this way: “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”
Jesus told the Pharisees: “The Scriptures are all talking about me, but you don’t want to come to me.”
The hope for this generation in the midst of our crazy world will be found in the quiet place, where God reveals Himself one-on-one. Only in this sacred quietness will this generation enjoy God’s all-enveloping presence, find rest in Christ and discover the life-purpose they long for.
The church can reclaim this “vanishing generation.”
This is why GFA World is inviting young people ages 18-30 to its first-ever Set Apart (www.gfa.org/setapart/) retreat June 20-26, helping them discover a deeper calling as they learn to tune into God’s voice instead of their smartphones.
Francis Chan, author of Crazy Love, George Verwer, founder of Operation Mobilization, and I will invite them to cultivate timeless practices of the faith that connect us to God—times of solitude and reflection, meditating on the Bible and prayer.
My heart longs to see this generation experience the firebrand Christianity that has not only sustained the church for 2,000 years but has turned the world upside-down.
They need a genuine, earth-shaking, one-on-one meeting with the living Christ, the only one who is able to free them from the self-centered, push-button culture and give real meaning to life.
With the quiet discipline of a heart set apart unto God, their lives can be set aflame by the Holy Spirit and made ready to change the world.
K.P. Yohannan, founder and director of GFA World (Gospel for Asia) and Metropolitan of Believers Eastern Church (BEC), has written more than 250 books, including Revolution in World Missions, an international bestseller with more than 4 million copies in print. He and his wife, Gisela, have two grown children, Daniel and Sarah, who both serve the Lord with their families.
Gospel for Asia (GFA World) is a leading faith-based global mission agency, helping national workers bring vital assistance and spiritual hope to millions across the world, especially in Asia and Africa, and sharing the love of God. In a typical year, this includes thousands of community development projects that benefit downtrodden families and their children, free medical camps conducted in more than 1,200 villages and remote communities, over 4,800 clean water wells drilled, over 12,000 water filters installed, income-generating Christmas gifts for more than 260,000 needy families, and teaching to provide hope and encouragement in 110 languages in 14 nations through radio ministry. GFA World has launched programs in Africa, starting with compassion projects in Rwanda. For all the latest news, visit the Press Room at https://gfanews.org/news.
Find out more about Gospel for Asia in the video “A Year in Review with K.P. Yohannan.”
Keep encouraged and get your regular dose of challenge through other articles on Patheos by KP Yohannan Metropolitan, or on his blog at kpyohannan.org.
You can learn more about K.P. Yohannan Metropolitan by clicking here.
Learn more about KP Yohannan, Founder of GFA World, and Metropolitan of the Believers Eastern Church: Facebook | Radio | Twitter | Amazon | Sermon Index | Goodreads | OnePlace | About | Integrity | Lawsuit Update | 5 Distinctives | 6 Remarkable Facts | Book | Wikipedia | Francis Chan | Lawsuit Response | International Offices | Missionary and Child Sponsorship | Transforming Communities through God’s Love
Source: Charisma Magazine, How Do We Reclaim This ‘Vanishing Generation’?