I feel that the first and probably most crucial factor when thinking about the youth of today is that they’re excellent at determining when someone is being fake. I’ve found that in the brief time that I’ve been blessed to have been a youth leader, they don’t respond to a leader who has it all together, and in fact, appreciate it more when I make mistakes and admit that just because I’m a leader, that doesn’t exclude me from dealing with fear, regret and anxiety like a lot of them will at that age. I think that today’s youth is seeking something more than just the next big event, they want something genuine and real instead of a flash programme to attend. There is so much choice in this world, and just as much danger behind a lot of those choices, people will try and take advantage of you at every turn, so finding someone/something who is authentic, genuine and trustworthy is rare and once found is hard to let go of.
Being a youth leader has also reminded me of how simple faith can really be. I feel that as we get older as Christians and life becomes far more complicated, we tend to let that dictate how complex we make faith. If our problems are big, then our approach to faith needs to be more intense- we need to be reading ten different devotionals and attending a connect group every day of the week. Don’t get me wrong, those are wonderful things but they’re there to supplement our faith, not be the lifeblood of it. So, when I’m privileged enough to hear the youth pray for each other, there is a simplicity and purity to the words they use. Better yet when a thirteen year old prayed over me for my anxiety and pride I had to take a minute after to just sit and take in the fact that someone so young in their faith had more conviction in the space of one prayer that God’s spirit would strengthen me than I’ve ever had at times.
The youth of today want something real, and have such a unique ability and chance to live their faith in a really simplified manner that I think should challenge all “older Christians.” Christ paid the price for us, he finished it, no matter how complex life gets faith can remain simple, for there is nothing we can do to add or change what has already been done for us upon the cross.