As I speak with college students and Christians in America today, I notice an undeniable new vibe among Christians. Social justice is cool, mission projects are not just for the radical and rare, and incarnation is a concept that people have actually heard of, while some have even applied it to their lives. While there’s always the danger of riding the latest trend just to “do what everyone else is doing” or to “look like I’m holy too,” I consider it a beautiful movement God is shaping. More and more people have a greater awareness of the needs around the world, and more people seem ready to devote their lives to doing something about those needs.
I tried to check if others had noticed this trend while I was at the Urbana missions conference in December, and gathered the following evidence of hope regarding today’s generation of young people.
I asked, “What unique gifts do you see in young Christians today?”
I feel people are more interested in simplicity, not just flashing lights. They’re saying “let’s cut through the fluff and get down to business.” It’s an extremely positive thing. People are more aware of the actual needs in the world, both spiritual needs and physical. (Josh Liverman, Frontiers)
A woman stopped in and heard about our passion to reach places where there are no churches or missionaries. She started jumping up and down and weeping. She said, “That’s all I think about!” Urbana is exciting, because we get to have those moments meeting like-minded people. It’s confirmation that our work and ministry isn’t something we’re doing, it’s something God is doing. (Thomas Davis, Frontiers)
I see so much hope for our country and world. (Chris Shay, Salvation Army)
There’s more risk-taking. The days of having to follow a predetermined plan for your life—college, job, and fulfilling parents’ expectations—are gone. Now more people are totally open to just following God. (Chris Holck, English Language Institute of China)
So many people are willing to ask not just “What do I want, and how can Jesus fit into that,” but, “What does Jesus have for my life, and how can I fit into that.” (Derek Engdahl, Servant Partners)
What are your thoughts on today’s generation of young Christians?