One and a half billion young people are increasingly alienated from the Gospel. Can the churches reach them?

The gap dividing youth from their predecessors is now wider than ever before. Different, dominant, and sometimes depraved, today’s youth reject the life of their progenitors for an intimate and materialistic society of their own. More often than not, that society is found in the vast metropolises of the world—Tokyo, Singapore, Kinshasa, Buenos Aires—where the rules are relative.

Many young people feel that the doctrinal beliefs and cultural patterns of the churches have little to commend them. If the Church is spiritually alert and evangelistically zealous, it tends to appear irrelevant to the materialistic world of youth. If it is in spiritual decline, without a message and syncretistic in outlook, then youth see no reason to unite with it.

Can the Church relate to this vast generation? Many argue correctly that it can. But it must adhere to certain principles if it is to narrow the gap between itself and the “Now Generation.”

Recovering the Basics

1. It is the sovereign spirit of God who convicts and brings new birth.

Too often we are guilty of feeling that just one more literature organization or one more youth committee or one more radio station will make the difference between evangelism and non-evangelism. A little more publicity, a few more newspaper write-ups, a dozen more spot announcements over the air and we can turn the trick. Given enough money and enough promotion, the project must succeed. We need to be reminded that we can do nothing apart from Christ.

Several years ago in Saigon a teen-age soldier who had lost a leg in action was handed a tract as he lay in the hospital. The contact was brief, but God spoke ...

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