Not long ago, I was on a Zoom call with Edgar (not his real name), a Young adult I’ve had interactions with for the last couple of years.
Edgar was frustrated as things weren’t going the way he had planned. Already in his late 20’s, Edgar was still trying to figure out what his ultimate career would be. One option he was contemplating was grad school, the idea being that it would potentially set him up for a specific job/career he was interested in. But he wasn’t sure he wanted to spend more money on education given how much he had spent on his undergraduate degree and how little he had to show for it.
Edgar was disillusioned. He told me that he felt like he had been sold a bill of goods. Education was supposed to be the avenue to success and happiness and yet, with mounting school loans and no solid, long-term career prospects, Edgar realized that his degree was not the golden ticket he had been promised.
Edgar is not alone. Today’s Young Adults are disillusioned about a lot of things. They are disillusioned about the economy and the “American Dream”. Especially here in California, many of the Young Adults we encounter have no expectation of ever being able to own a home.
They’re disillusioned with the world. They see inequity and injustice and they struggle to make sense of it all.
And many Young Adults are disillusioned with the Church, failing to see its relevance to modern culture.
Our culture is drifting further from its historic Christian roots and each new generation is experiencing less and less influence from traditional Christian teachings and morals.
Young Adults today have grown up in a post-Christian culture, meaning they know very little about who Jesus is or what Christianity is about. Spiritually, they are a blank slate.
About 1/3 of Young adults identify as atheist, agnostic or none. They’re not necessarily hostile to Christianity or religion, but they simply have no religious beliefs – it’s simply not important to them.
About 2/3 of Young adults identify as Christian but only 4% have a Christian ethic. Simply put, they consider themselves Christians but their lives don’t necessarily follow traditional Christian moral values.
This is not surprising since only about 6 out of every 10 Young adults believe the Bible is true.
Our culture has been heavily impacted and influenced by postmodernism, which is a philosophy that emphasizes a person’s personal experience as the supreme factor in determining truth. The end result is people who may identify with the Christian faith in a general sense but when it comes to moral values, their own experiences and preferences take priority over any biblical standards, which may be regarded as archaic and outdated.
How do we minister to people who are disillusioned and feeling hopeless when faced with the realities of life?
One of our strategies and priorities is to help Young Adults see that God is ultimately our only source of hope and His Word provides guidelines for successfully navigating life.
One of the ways we’re accomplishing this is by providing premarital mentoring to young Adult couples who are preparing for marriage.
With so much brokenness in families and marriage today, we’ve found Young Adults are eager to hear how biblical principles can help them change the trajectory of their relationships and family history by providing guidance and direction for fulfilling and life-long marriages.
Another avenue for helping Young Adults see the value of God’s Word in their daily lives is by helping them adopt biblical principles for stewardship and money management. Unfortunately, our consumer and debt-oriented culture doesn’t teach Young adults how to handle money responsibly and many Young adults cite finances as a major source of stress and anxiety in their lives.
Young adults are looking for alternative solutions to experience financial security and experience prosperity. Many are surprised yet excited to learn that the Bible provides incredibly sound advice and wisdom on how to handle money and honor God through our finances and by applying biblical principles to our financial situations, we can experience financial peace.
Ministering to a generation that has become further removed from any biblical foundation is certainly challenging. But the Lord continues to move, directing us to Young Adults who are eager to know God and follow Him.
Thank you for your partnership that allows us to help Young adults begin to experience real spiritual life as they learn to apply God’s word to their lives.