"For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel." 1 Corinthians 4:15 ESV
What do young adults value most about church? Contemporary music? A live band? These may be a reason for some, but most young adults attend church for an entirely different reason.
According to a 2019 Barna study, 63% of young adults go to church to grow their faith. Worship is included on the list, but it's sixth in line, behind things like "to learn about God" and "wisdom for how to live faithfully."
So if young adult believers are this hungry for a deeper relationship with God, why are we responding by giving them guitars and smoke machines? Or to connect it with one of Jesus' teachings, why are we giving them serpents when they ask for fish (Luke 11:11-13)?
Here we are with a generation who is asking us to give them the unfiltered Word of God and disciple them just like Jesus did with the 12, and we're giving them "hip" music.
What should we do then? Is all hope lost? To quote one of my favorite phrases from the Apostle Paul, "By no means!" The Word of God tells us, "And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6 ESV)."
God began a good work in us when He called us into His family—to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:20). With that command in mind, ask yourself, "Who am I discipling?" If your answer is "no one," I challenge you to put aside your pride, put aside your schedule, put aside your fear of rejection and teach someone about Jesus. Better yet, make a disciple.
To get started, here are some suggestions on how you can disciple a young adult:
Pray - Start at the foundation and pray for the person. Be specific. Be intentional. Be consistent.
Listen - Have ears to hear and a heart to listen. Remember you once were in their shoes.
Converse - Value their perspective and welcome their voice. We're all the body of Christ, and God knows no age.
Model - Show them what it means to take up your cross and live sacrificially for Jesus.
Teach - Always, always stick to the Word of God. Speak it, read it, dissect it. It's the bread on which we live.
As long as God keeps us here, we're all called to preach the Gospel and make disciples. Where will you start? Whose life will you forever change with the Gospel?
English Standard Version Bible. (2001). Crossway Bibles.