"Youth Abandoning Christianity at Record Rate!"
That glaring assertion came from a recent podcast. It may sound like an exaggeration, but you can find gobs of research with similar conclusions.
And of course, you likely already know this assertion to be true or you may have experienced it in your personal circles, which might be why you’re reading this newsletter.
The thing is, it doesn’t have to be this way.
In 2016 many athletes and coaches in the area made a decision to follow Christ through FCA. Huddles have been meeting during school hours and the student attendance has grown to the point that huddles have outgrown their original rooms and are now meeting in their school cafeterias.
So how do we keep these new, young believers from abandoning their faith down the road? To borrow one of the most ancient and familiar sports moves, we pass the baton!
Researchers and observers have noted that the most common reason teens step away from their faith is lack of a positive, spiritual mentor. No one is in place to pass the baton to them. We desperately need to build up our youth as leaders, intentionally pouring into them, and challenging them to prepare for the world.
I am struck by the actions of the apostles and the reaction of their persecutors in Acts 4, just weeks after Jesus had passed the baton to them.
“When they saw the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus,” Acts 4:13
My vision for 2017 is to build on what God is doing: to connect spiritually hungry teens with mature, adult Christians in their schools, to develop character coaches on teams who will invest in the lives of youth, to pour into and encourage the coaches who are on the front lines with young athletes.
I close with a brief testimony of God’s work that we are seeking to build upon. After I posted the story about the football team in Nelson County, several pastors and leaders in the community faithfully stepped up to pour into the boys and coaches at the school! We are now starting an FCA leadership board in Nelson that will serve and impact the community through FCA! More are now ready to receive the baton!
Posted on Tue, March 21, 2017
by Kate McCollum