A favorite pastime of some of folks over 40 is “teen bashing.” Often it is couched in pious terms, such as, “The way these kids act nowadays, what is this world coming to?” I have been there and said that! We make remarks about their dress, music and lingo. Frankly, many of those comments are well placed. Young people pose some tremendous challenges to our value system, preferences and convictions.
Last week, as I sat gazing across a sea of youthful faces at Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center, my heart leaped within me. I said to a pastor friend seated beside me, “There are enough young people in this tabernacle to impact Oklahoma and the world for Christ.”
Indeed, I believe this generation of young people may well be the instruments God uses to accomplish a great spiritual awakening and harvest before His return to this Earth. I am so impressed with the consecration, commitment and spiritual depth among our church youth today. Multitudes of them have publicly declared their pledge to remain sexually pure until marriage. They are hungry to grow in their relationship with Christ. Discipleship is more than a word or program to them-it is a daily practice. Bold in their witness, these young people are willing to confront one another with the claims of Christ. I see more willingness to be radically different for Jesus than in days past. The line of demarcation between the followers of Christ and the world is more defined.
Observation is a great teacher. As worship progressed I scanned the large tabernacle crowd. I saw pockets of youth holding hands and interceding as the invitation began. Down the aisles moved a parade of young people responding to the Gospel. Friends came hand in hand, some staining the aisles with their tears as they found faith, cleansing and renewal. Like Andrew finding Peter and bringing him to Jesus, these youth reached out to one another and changed the face of eternity.
What is this world coming to? What is this generation coming to? I am convinced they are the world changers of today and tomorrow. With the investment of encouragement and proper guidance, this will be one of the most awesome generations in world history for the good of the Gospel and Kingdom. It is time for us old-timers to stop bashing and start leading. This generation of teens is ready to step on the scene and advance the Kingdom. We’d better hurry or they’ll run over us!