“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)
In our ongoing efforts to provide useable, relevant and biblical materials for those who choose to visit the Jeremiah Institute, we are pleased to announce the addition of our Youth Section to the site. We frequently hear questions raised about what has gone wrong with society today, what are some causes of the problems, and what can be done to correct them? School shootings, drug busts, rapes, robberies, and people being threatened are daily news stories. We have, as a society, been spending time and money treating the symptoms rather than the causes.
The youth of today face problems no other generation has faced. The youth of today are bright, inquisitive, daring, and wanting to be involved. The home and church provide a safe and healthy context for equipping these amazing young people with beliefs, skills, and spiritual attitudes to successfully handle the day-to-day challenges of life. We must do more!
For years I have been involved in working with youth in Future Leaders Camps. I have seen the enthusiasm, commitment and growth in the lives of hundreds of young men. They want to be involved in meaningful activities that contribute to their personal spiritual growth as well as to the mission of the church. This section of the Jeremiah Institute is committed to providing teaching materials that will contribute to the growth of all young people.
These Scriptures provide the biblical foundation for this effort:
Paul wrote to Timothy: “But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned the, and from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:14, 15).
King Solomon wrote: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).
Paul wrote to fathers: “And you fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).
The youth of today are not only leaders today, they will be the frontline leaders tomorrow. It is essential that we help them develop a solid foundation in God’s word as well as in sound biblical leadership principles. Visit this section often as new materials will be frequently added. And please share this site with others. Together we can do more to equip our youth.
The youth in our nation are facing amazing challenges. Christian youth are among those who are facing the greatest challenges in our country. In an article titled, What are the 10 Biggest Challenges Christian Youth Face Today, posted on Search the Scriptures (3-15-12), Drew Kuehl wrote these answers:
Personalizing and living out their faith.
Living in an anti-Christian culture.
Sexual purity in a society where pressure and temptation exists.
Personal identity and self-image issues.
Divorce and family issues.
Busyness (Always involved in something).
Absence of father figure.
Negative media influence.
Lack of discipline.
As you view this list what is your response? How would you compare it to your observations relative to the challenges Christian youth are facing today? If possible take some time and survey youth in your congregation to see what they think. Ask the youth in your home. Knowing the challenges is not enough; it is a starting place. We must prayerfully work on finding practical and biblical solutions. Spend some time asking young people what they think are possible solutions.
Christian youth of today must not only be taught God’s word, they must be mentored in ways to apply the word to their lives. They must be inspired to live more like Christ, remembering Jesus is the model (Luke 2:48-52). Training youth in what it means to be excellent will equip and inspire them to be excellent leaders in the future.
Christian youth must be taught HOW to be DOERS OF THE WORD (James 1:21-26); not just how to come and sit an audit the Bible classes and training sessions. Youth need to be taught how to set and reach meaningful spiritual goals. Ernest Hemingway wrote, The error of youth is to believe that intelligence is a substitute for experience, while the error of age is to believe experience is a substitute for intelligence.
How will you intentionally use this lesson to help Christian youth grow in Christ-likeness and involvement in ministry?
Since Adam and Eve’s two boys, Cain and Abel, had a disagreement and Cain killed his brother, young people have faced many challenges, both in and out of their families. Even in some churches. I personally believe the youth of today face challenges no other generation has faced. What would you list as the top three (3) challenges the youth of today face?:
In my personal observations as a father, grandfather, minister and counselor, I have observed many. However, I have chosen to share some research. Here is the Top 10 Issues Facing our Youth Today, as presented on a site called toptenz:
10. Single parent households: Today 14 million parents care for 28 million children.
9. Drugs and alcohol abuse. 21% of seniors say they get high, 41% say they drink alcohol.
8. Growing up too fast. Doing things and having things used to take years to do and have.
7. Violence in school: bullying, shootings, etc.
6. Materialism. Wants are satisfied now—“Christmas” is every week or month.
5. Obesity and related health issues. 20% of American children are obese. “Fast Food Nation.”
4. Educational disparity. “Social promotion.” Poor quality in teaching, scores lowering, etc.
3. Shift in economic conditions. Parents laid off; hours cut; health care, etc.
2. Poverty. More persons on food stamps, subsidized housing, living at poverty level.
1. Erosion of national pride. Losing identity relative to what citizenship means, Constitution, etc.
How does this list compare to your list? Which do you see as non-issues? Which as major issues? Solomon wrote, “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth…” (Ecclesiastes 12:11). It is obvious that God is interested in our grounding our youth in His will and virtues for their lives.
What three (3) suggestions do you have for providing solutions to some of the above 10 challenges:
In our next lesson we will notice the 10 Biggest Challenges Christian Youth are Facing Today.