Before 1980, to be converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ was, for many, pretty basic. We read the scriptures, attended church, felt a witness, and bore testimony often. Our culture in public school, and entertainment provided us with the tools we needed to understand and strengthen our testimonies.
Since 1980, with the onslaught of personal computers and then the internet, our youth are accustom to grasping gospel principles in a different way than their forefathers. They are more technologically savvy and respond to video screens more than anything else.
Jake Hilton spoke to parents with insightful information to prove that learning differences of those born after 1980 make a big difference in church attendance than those born before 1980. See video:
For those born before 1980, Jake Hilton says that we internalized what we read. We responded to our church leaders who encouraged us to come unto Jesus Christ and either we accepted what was taught or walked away. Once we converted, we stayed. He calls us the “Hebrews”. We are not literally Hebrews, but we are the symbol of what Hebrews represent. Our foundation is from the scriptures and the sacred ideal that there is a one true God who created the earth and that life is cherished. We are devoted to the written word, and revere and respect our elders. This is important to us.
Those born after 1980 think more of the leisure of video games, and do “whatever” they want to do. They are known for taking the easy road and a strong work ethic does not sit well. He calls this group the “Romans”. This is a different culture from the Hebrews. The Romans searched more for pleasure and entertainment than a devoted ideal of God. They have a belief of many gods and the philosophy of men. They are desensitized to violence and live as if everything should be their way. Again, referring to the Romans is not literal.
Granted, this does not apply to everyone born after 1980. It is a generalization, but large quantities of youth are turning their back on God.
“If you look around in your church today, two-thirds of the young people who are sitting among us have already left in their hearts; soon they will be gone for good. This is the alarming conclusion from a study Answers in Genesis commissioned from America’s Research Group, led by respected researcher Britt Beemer. The results may unnerve Christian parents, but these results need to be taken seriously by church leadership” (Already Gone: Why your kid will quit church and what you can do to stop it by Ken Ham, Todd Hillard and Britt Beemer).
No church is immune. This is happening everywhere to every church. The youth of the world are leaving churches in droves. Thousands of teens don’t want God in their life as they rather involve themselves in the world of games, internet websites and cell phones. It’s no wonder many churches feel the need to bring in rock bands on Sunday to keep their children interested.
It doesn’t help that public schools have removed God from every class and replaced Him with humanism. It doesn’t help that curriculum changes don’t require the same kind of study habits of those from the generation before them.
Hebrews talk differently from Romans. They learn differently. So how do we save our youth from walking away from God? As Jake Hilton tells us, we must strengthen our youth’s testimony of God in the same language as the youth. Limiting internet access to senseless videos and replace it by uplifting and inspirational videos will help. There are many Christian messages on Youtube.com and other Christian channels. These videos give parents the open door to discussing and reading scripture together with their children.
Put a time limit on video game playing and replace this with other activities which will help our youth understand and respect the sanctity of life and God.
There is a way to help our own children stay close to God. Taking small baby steps to ensure our youth win the war against the adversary is challenging but with the right tools and persistence, we can eventually turn their hearts to the devotion of God that generations before them already know.
Valerie Steimle has been writing as a family advocate for over 25 years. As a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she promotes Christian living in her writings and is the mother of nine children and grandmother to twelve. Mrs. Steimle authored six books and is a contributing writer to several online websites. To her, time is the most precious commodity we have and knows we should spend it wisely. To read more of Valerie's work, visit her at her website, The Blessings of Family Life.