The Next Generation: Drifters?
“One generation shall commend Your works to another and shall declare Your mighty acts.” Psalm 145:4
“I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective and powerful because of your accurate knowledge of every good thing which is ours in Christ.” Philemon 6
I am so excited about the 2017-2018 Great Commission Women’s National Project theme this year, “more”, and was encouraged speaking with ladies at General Council as they began to understand the substance of this theme from Isaiah 61:1 – “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.”
I have to admit that my mind tends to focus on adult women and not necessarily on teenage girls, perhaps because my children are adults now. Unintentionally I have overlooked these teen gems, our young Great Commission Women, thus not sharing enough with them that “there is more in Christ.”
The National Project theme primarily touches the lives of young and teenage girls overseas, those at risk, pregnant, caught in human trafficking, prisoners. As we support them financially and with prayer, let us not forget those young women within our immediate reach, those sitting in our own church pews – or wherever our lives may cross. Is my busyness or feeling of inadequacy something that allows these girls to fall between the cracks and become part of heart-rending statistics?
Did you know, per the Sticky Faith research, that 40-50% of students from good youth groups and families will drift away from God and the church after high school? Some researchers state that as many as 80% will walk away from God by the age of 29. Unfortunately, I am personally touched by this sad realization in my own family.
Our local church has decided to put action behind these staggering statistics and recently started the “Pray for Me Campaign” by Tony Souder. In order to walk alongside and pray for a teenager or a family with teens, an adult chooses a provided picture, on the back of which is information on the person(s). I chose the first teenage girl (age 15) my eyes landed upon and picked up not only her picture but also the serious responsibility that comes with it.
In the Pray for Me Campaign Prayer Guide, a 17-year old wrote about adults: “When I reflect on what their prayers meant to me in those early days, I was shocked that I was on the radar of any of these people. After all, I was really a stranger to them. Their willingness to pray for me, and their expressions of care and concern, transformed the trajectory of my life. The ‘goodness’ that I had walked into was the Body of Christ, filled with people who knew God and wanted me to know Him.”
My heart’s desire is to walk alongside a teenage girl so that the “sharing of my faith may become effective and powerful.” I will be praying that she will see there is more in Christ, and that her life’s trajectory will be transformed for the glory of God.
When it comes to a possible teenage drifter, what is your heart’s desire?