On his second missionary journey, the Apostle Paul met a young man in Lystra named Timothy. Lystra’s residents held Timothy, a believer in Christ, in high regard. Paul, also impressed by Timothy, invited him to come along on his missionary travels. As Timothy spent time with Paul and learned from him, he became Paul’s “true child in the faith” (I Timothy 1:2).
The Great Commission commands us to invest our time and energy in teaching and raising up disciples. Christ’s goal? For each of His disciples to “observe all that I commanded you” (Matthew 28:20).
FRIENDS, WE ARE FAILING AT THIS!
Of those raised in Christian homes…
• 67% do not study Scripture on their own1
• 70% doubt the Bible’s veracity1
• 33% believe that there are other ways to heaven1
• 70-75% leave the faith in college2
These statistics are greatly disturbing. We are raising an entire generation of soon-to-be adults who don’t know Bible basics, are incredibly inarticulate about their faith, are ill-equipped to face their atheist college professors2, and ergo won’t teach their faith to their own children or those who cross their paths. They simply do not recognize the importance of having a biblical worldview.
SO, WHAT DO WE DO?
The generation ahead always sets the pace for the generation behind. They are looking to us to see how we live. Are we authentic? Are we genuinely living out our faith? Do we demonstrate with our actions that we truly believe what we say we believe? Fred Rogers, fellow believer and host of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood, said, “Kids can spot a phony a mile away.” How we live today determines who they grow up to be. When they look at us, do they see people they want to imitate?
To “observe” Christ’s commands requires first knowing what they are. But how will the upcoming generation know what Christ’s commands even are if we don’t teach them? “How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:14). In the Great Commission, Christ tells us that it’s each of our responsibility to teach them.
BUT, I’M NOT EQUIPPED!
What if we don’t feel equipped? What if we think we aren’t smart enough to teach someone else about the Bible? Or what if young adults really don’t seem to like us, and we’re not so sure we like them? THERE IS GOOD NEWS! Christ has equipped us – with the Holy Spirit. We have access to God’s power and wisdom 100% of the time. Not only that, but the Holy Spirit has given us individual gifts so we can carry out God’s will, which includes discipleship.
“And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” II Timothy 2:2Click to tweet
Let’s put our faith into action by following Paul’s example of discipleship. Who can you invest in on a regular, long-term basis?
Family Radio Staff
1. Nappa, Mike. “What do Christian Teens Actually Believe about Jesus?” Biola Magazine (Summer 2012). Accessed March 17, 2017. http://magazine.biola.edu/article/12-summer/what-do-christian-teens-actually-believe-about-jes/
2. Turek, Dr. Frank. “Christian Youth in America Are Leaving the Church.” CrossExamined (2014). Accessed March 17, 2017. http://crossexamined.org/youth-exodus-problem/