Presentation on theme: "The Spiritual Lives of American Students Information from the National Study of Youth & Religion as presented in LifeWay’s Transforming Student Ministry:"— Presentation transcript:
The Spiritual Lives of American Students Information from the National Study of Youth & Religion as presented in LifeWay’s Transforming Student Ministry: Research Calling for Change
Teenagers typically rebel against their parents and other adults in their lives and thus reject the faith of those adults. The lives and faith of most teenagers closely reflect the lives, faith, culture, and institutional settings of the adult world they inhabit.
Teenagers raised in Christian homes and the church have a pretty fair understanding of their religious beliefs. The vast majority of teenagers are incredibly inarticulate about faith and practices, and its meaning or place in their lives. They find it almost impossible to put basic beliefs into words.
Church teenagers understand that God is intimately involved in every facet of their daily lives. Teenagers are “functional deists.” They believe God exists, created the world, and set life in motion – but the only time He becomes involved with them in a personal way is to make their lives happier or to solve some problem.
Church teenagers have resisted the influence of those who want them to be politically correct and “tolerant” in all their religious conversations. Teenagers are incredibly well-trained in using “correct” language so they will not offend anyone in public. Away from church they cannot bring themselves to say that Jesus is the only way to God.
Evangelical teenagers have a fairly good understanding of grace or the basics of salvation. There is strong evidence that many evangelical teenagers do not understand grace or the basics of salvation.
Teenagers in the church are no different that teenagers out in the community. Despite its weaknesses and lack of influence, religious practice does indeed make a clear significant difference across all standard measurable outcomes in adolescent’s lives.
A Demographic Snapshot Source: Magazine Publishers of America From 1990 to 2000, the number of teens ages 12-19 rose from 27.5 million to 32 million and are expected to climb to 33.5 million by 2010. Teens are ethnically diverse with 33% belonging to a minority racial or ethnic group Today the Hispanic/Latino Teen market is 4.6 million and will grow to a size 62% larger than today by 2020
A Youth Ministry Snapshot Source: Youth Ministry Leader Count - Annual Church Profile YearFull-timePart-timeBi-vocationalInterimVolunteerNo status given Total 2003 4,8744,1392188313,3013622,561 2004 4,6143,91947512410,6202,95422,706 2005 5,7444,00655913910,87490122,223 2006 5,6354,32759614511,0421,21722,962
A Few Observations There are growing numbers of students in our country There are large numbers of churches who are ministering specifically to students Student baptisms are not keeping pace with the population growth Large numbers of students are “graduating” from church when they graduate from high school (65% of 18-30 year olds stop attending church regularly for at least a year between the ages of 18 and 22)
An Important Question As student ministry continues to mature, are we developing students, or student ministries?
Other Important Questions: What if students were equipped to… Recognize and respond to the lordship of Christ? Practice spiritual disciplines? Develop and demonstrate Christ’s character? Make wise decisions? Develop godly relationships? Make an intentional impact on others?
The solution is not to find a better plan for student ministry, but to find a biblical model for student development.
Is there a biblical model that will: Ensure a balanced approach to student development?Ensure a balanced approach to student development? Operate through the two God-given institutions of the home and the church?Operate through the two God-given institutions of the home and the church? Allow our students to grow as Jesus grew?Allow our students to grow as Jesus grew? Equip students to KNOW Jesus, OWN their faith, and make their faith KNOWN?Equip students to KNOW Jesus, OWN their faith, and make their faith KNOWN?
Are there any clues to how Jesus developed as a teenager? “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and with people.” Luke 2:52
What does this tell us about student development? 1. There is a development process 2. Teen development centers on 3 main areas: Wisdom and stature Favor with God Favor with people
For development to be biblical, it must also be relational He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind…Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37-39
Another Important Question If Know, Own, and Known form the foundation of student development, what scriptural principles further flesh it out?
Does the Sermon on the Mount offer us a clue of what should be taught to students? It was one of the few times that Jesus addressed the masses. It was Jesus’ first recorded sermon in the Scripture. From beginning to end it covers a wide variety of life issues. Could the Sermon on the Mount provide students with a framework for effective Christian living?
Sermon on the Mount Topical Breakdown 1.Character Matt. 5:1-12 (The Beatitudes) 2.Influence Matt. 5:13-20 (Salt and Light) 3.Relationships Matt. 5:21-48 (Heart condition; Love your enemies, etc.) 4.Disciplines Matt. 6:1-24 (Giving, praying, fasting, true treasure) 5.Lordship Matt. 6:25-34 (God’s sovereignty; “Seek first the kingdom of God”) 6.Discernment Matt. 7:1-27 (The Narrow Gate, False Prophets, The Wise Builder)
Building a Biblical Model of Student Development
ETERNAL 1.Students will recognize and respond to the lordship of Christ. (LORDSHIP) Experience personal salvation Cooperate with God’s activity in everyday life Order their lives based on the lordship of Christ 2.Students will practice spiritual disciplines. (DISCIPLINES) Identify and value life habits that help them grow closer to God Develop skills such as prayer, knowing God’s Word, and stewardship Examine motives for pursuing religious activity Desired Outcomes and Indicators of Student Spiritual Development
INTERNAL 3.Students will develop and demonstrate Christ’s character. (CHARACTER) Know the story and mission of Christ’s life Discover and embrace their identity in Christ (physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and intellectual) Demonstrate Christlike character 4.Students will make wise decisions. (DISCERNMENT) Affirm Scripture as the authoritative guide for their life Apply Scriptural principles to daily decisions Assume responsibility for their decisions Practice a life of purity Desired Outcomes and Indicators of Student Spiritual Development
EXTERNAL 5.Students will develop godly relationships. (RELATIONSHIPS) Recognize and submit to proper authorities Encourage and minister to fellow believers of all ages Cultivate relationships with non-Christians Practice Christ’s love and grace in their families 6.Students will make an intentional impact on others. (INFLUENCE) Join God in His mission Regularly participate in mission and ministry actions Tell the story and mission of Christ’s life and their relationship with Him Desired Outcomes and Indicators of Student Spiritual Development
One Last Question How is this strategy for student development carried out in the home and the church?
Building a Model For Student Development Building a Biblical Model For Student Development