October 2016 – In America we have more churches, more Christian movies, and more Christian attractions than any other time in history. And yet, Christianity is on the decline! We are losing the generation born between 1980 and 2000. Largely, they are rejecting even the most fundamental values of a Christian worldview. They need to be engaged with the gospel and with today’s burning issues.
I am speaking about the largest generation of our time – the Millennials.
Last summer, a Pew Foundation survey revealed that a startling 70% of Millennials favor allowing homosexuals to marry. That’s 25 percentage points higher than my generation, the Baby Boomers.
These are our future leaders. And I believe that unless we reach out in a very strategic way, the church in America will continue to decline.
I’m deeply concerned about this generation. These young people have come of age in an American culture in which wrong is promoted as right, and tolerance claims a much higher value than truth. In some important ways, a large part of this generation – even some who identify as Christians – have rejected the notion of absolute truth. As Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:14, they are being “tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.”
My 27-year-old son Wesley came to work for AFA when he finished college about four years ago. His primary role is to reach out to ministry partners like you and let them know what AFA is doing. After a few months at his new job Wesley and I had this conversation:
Wesley: Dad, I need to talk to you.
Me: Yes, what is it?
Wesley: Most of our supporters that I am talking with are 50 or older. They are wonderful people who believe in what AFA stands for, and many of them have been with us for a long time.
Me: You got something against old people?
Wesley: No, no, (laughing). I understand that they are our most faithful supporters. But I think we need to look farther down the road. You are always saying we need more troops in the battle, right?
Me: O.K. I agree. What do you propose?
Wesley: I have an idea …
We continued a long conversation about how he and other Millennials on the AFA staff had already been gathering to pray regularly that God will guide them in reaching their generation with the gospel and in nurturing them in a Christian worldview. Out of those prayerful concerns, AFA has birthed a new division we are calling Engage.
Because we have been entrusted with the truth of God, Christians – more than anyone else – have a responsibility to know what’s happening in our nation and in the world. But sadly, many Christian Millennials do not know, and we want to change that.
We want to engage Millennials with a biblical perspective on the great moral issues of our time – sanctity of life, the definition of marriage, religious freedom, sexual purity, and, yes, politics and public policy.
So here is what our team of young AFA staffers came up with to promote Engage:
▶ An online magazine at engagemagazine.net.
▶ A weekly radio program on the American Family Radio network (185 stations).
▶ An annual print magazine featuring some of the Engage website’s best articles.
▶ Regular social media content that challenges and encourages Millennials toward a biblical worldview.
▶ Engage Worldview Conference in Spring 2017. We want to take this conference on the road across America to reach thousands of young Christian people.
I hope what I’ve just shared with you is an encouragement. While AFA is standing for biblical values every day, part of our efforts are aimed at building up the next generation of Christians and getting them involved.
Wesley was right – we are going to need troops for future battles, and we need to get busy educating and recruiting young Christians to the cause of Christ for the good of our culture.