Why? What’s the Cause? Today in America, a staggering 80% of young people walk away from the church during their college years.
Of those who leave, 70% cannot articulate or defend the core beliefs of Christianity. An overwhelming 80% of those that are sent to the mission field return prematurely; the number one cause not being finances or cultural acquisition, but basic character issues. From businesses to politics and from media to education, there is a massive vacuum of young people that are living persuasive lives for Jesus. There is not a lack of desire in this generation, but of direction. Young people aren’t looking for a new definition of Christianity, they’re looking for a new demonstration of lives that look and lead like Jesus. Whether a business or church, educational institution or government, the most significant investment that can be made is into the development of tomorrow’s leaders.
We who train in Christian character and influence must return to the rudiments of Christ’s teaching about what it means to be a part of the Kingdom of God. In Matthew 5 Jesus lays out a precedent of exemplary behavior that stands in stark contrast to the ways of the world. In effect, Jesus gave us a series of upside down paradigms of the Kingdom of Heaven in verses 3-12: “The first will be last…”, “The meek shall inherit the earth…” Then in the next three verses Jesus exhorts them to live that exemplary life of Kingdom paradigms as a testimony to the rest of the world so they may be drawn to God. What Jesus teaches us in Matthew 5 is in fact a transformation – a revolution of the heart – that leads to a changed life. That life then reflects a relationship-covenant in which we continually bring the message and blessings of Christ to the world around us.
“The greatness of a man is determined by the cause he lives for and the price he is willing to pay to achieve it.”
-Charles Blair, Pastor & Church Planter