Don’t Underestimate Them: The Power of Reaching Youth
September 30th, 2015 began like many other days in my office.
Emails, phone calls, calendar invites, more emails. It was a day that seemed ordinary and insignificant, but was drastically changed as shots rang out in a high school less than a mile from where I now live.
Soon after finding out her son was all right, a mother began asking me the all-too familiar question: “What are we going to do about this?” That question echoes in my mind still to this day…
It is our job as the Church to reach the youth.
That day, God laid on our hearts at Lifelight the Z8 Initiative. It’s an initiative to awaken a world-changing movement to make Jesus known. Those born after 1995 are known as Generation Z, and they mostly make up the middle and high schoolers of our nation.
It’s said the youth of Generation Z have an 8 second attention span. However, at LifeLight, we believe it’s not an 8 second attention span, but rather an 8 second filter; a filter that searches for truth and love.
One thing I have learned from them is when we as evangelists put aside the temptation to entertain and simply become transparent and let the Truth of the Gospel ring out, they will listen. The reality is this - they can tell the difference between entertainment and transparency within 8 seconds. They have all kinds of entertainment at their fingertips, but Truth is worth their time.
If we are to reach this generation, we have to take heed to the words of Paul:
“And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”
- 1 Corinthians 2:1-2 ESV
If you want the next generation to put down their phones and hear what you have to say, simply speak the Gospel and be transparent with what God has done in your life. Anything less or anything more, and we risk faith being invested in the words of man and not the power of God.
Placing Truth in the hands of Generation Z allows them to step up. And when we have reached the youth of our nation, we will see culture change in our time.
President of Lifelight, Josh has a willingness to be open and honest about his own testimony of the redemptive power and love of Jesus Christ, and speaks with refreshing transparency that is especially relevant to youth and young adults. Josh also has a passion to see the nations transformed by the saving knowledge of Christ. He knows that worshipping God is not simply about church, but about going out into the streets and rescuing those that have never heard of Jesus, whether that is in America or in other nations. He and his wife, Rachelle, work together in ministry, and enjoy spending time at their home in Sioux Falls, SD with their three daughters.