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Wednesday, June 5, 2019

A Challenging Question

Dave Breese asked a question for the ages: “Are we presenting to our young people, in the name of Jesus Christ, a clear purpose worth living for?” The question implies a need for a clear purpose, and I wholeheartedly agree there is a need.

Young people have unique additional needs beyond the same needs as everyone else. They must learn how to manage their needs and desires. We provide a lot for young people, as they cannot provide for themselves, yet we also require them to learn how to provide for themselves and others, too. How they do that, that is, learning who they are, who they will become, what they will do for a living, and what they will do for eternity is their great challenge to explore. Uncle Dave called this discovering your destiny.

To the extent that we can help them on that journey, let's help meet that need and present a clear purpose for them in Jesus Christ. Next step: How do we present to our young people a clear purpose in Jesus Christ? There are several things to know:

1. Having a purpose in life is already a built-in need. This is not something that needs inventing.

2. People are unique and wired in different ways. How this works will look different for different people.

3. Young people are already looking. Pick a political party, and you can find people looking for a purpose larger than themselves.

4. Not everyone lands on the Word of God for where they seek direction in life. Many are born into entirely different belief systems and worldviews.

5. Eternal purpose starts with Jesus.

6. We can and should still use the Word of God itself to talk about Jesus with people, even if they don't already believe the Bible because “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).

7. The Bible has much to say about every area of life.

8. Young people are ready for the challenge to extend the reach of the Word of God in new areas and intersections they explore and establish new opportunities.

Some of our opportunities with young people allow more overt sharing of Jesus and God's Word than others. Not every opportunity is as ripe as another. The point is to be as intentional as we can about nudging people along the way toward knowing and maturing in Jesus.

The alternative is sobering. As my Uncle Dave also wrote: “Or has the dread ambiguity that has settled upon an unthinking Church made our message so confusing that almost anybody can beguile these young people, looking for a purpose in life, into doing something else?”

There is nothing more eternal or more lasting than building on the foundation of Jesus Christ, and young people are a great destination for that building.

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