Pastor's Corner

30 Oct
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Mid-Week Challenge

Over the past fifty years we have become more aware of the importance of mentoring the next generation.  We have seen the steady rise in mentor programs, youth based development programs and attention on age graded research.  In times past the focus was on the younger generation seeking the wisdom of the older.  In recent days we have seen a movement by the present generation to reach back to future leaders and bring them forward.  The effects of these efforts can be seen in a new study from research company Barna and Christian charity World Vision that found young churchgoers are less likely to endure poor mental health.  As other reports show a steady decline in church attendance in the US, Barna’s study sought out young people worldwide.  Titled “The Connected Generation,” the study polled some 15,369 people aged 18- to 35-year-olds across 25 countries, examining their mental health and determining how it relates to their churchgoing habits.  What the study found is what we have known to be true for some time, those who attend a weekly worship service report better mental health and happiness with life. 

Christianity teaches hope through a relationship with Jesus.  Hope in the present life and assurance in the one to come.  The Barna study discovered that just over half of practicing Christians (51%), said they were “optimistic about the future,” compared to just 34% of those with no faith. People with no faith were also more likely to experience regular feelings of loneliness and depression than people of faith. When it came to having a sense of motivation, Christians again responded very differently. 29% of non-believers said they felt “able to accomplish goals,” but it jumped up to 43% amongst Christians. 

The study shows just how important it is for Church leaders to make Sunday School and small group activities for young people a priority.  Young people are very interested in church and the Bible.  It is up to us to make sure they have the tools they need to help in their faith journey.  Their access to information far exceeds any previous generation but the desire is the same.  If you are a church leader, think back to a time when you were a young person in search of truth and understanding.  Was there someone the Lord placed in your life to help?  What are you doing today to make sure the same can be done for someone in your scope of influence?  If you are a young adult, who are you looking to and where do you go in search of answers?  Make sure you surround yourself with people who have your best interest in mind and who will lead you in a right relationship with the Lord.  We have always known of the positive results from active church involvement, now we have research to back this up.     

You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. Matthew 7:16-17

Serving the Savior

 Bro. Jonathan

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