This generation of young believers has countless distractions that will rob them of time and keep them from going deeper with God.
What are your greatest fears for young believers in this generation?
Well, you know, in the 1970’s when I became a Christian, there was so little distractions. The Internet didn’t exist and all that social media means. There were three channels on the television. There was no cable. There were no cell phones. Distractions were so few. There weren’t even Christian conferences to go to. Your church would have a fall Bible conference and a spring Bible conference. There would be student conferences, but my point is, there are so many distractions today that will rob us of time; that will keep us busy, busy, busy; that will have us here and there and everywhere, distracted by this and that, and life is so busy that one of my fears for this generation of younger Christians is to not go deep, but to stay shallow with attention. We only have a certain amount of mental energy and time and ability to focus. We have 24 hours in a day. We’ll sleep a third of that normally. And most are working a third, so it leaves 8 hours in a day.
Young Believer: How Do You use Your Time?
For the single Christian, what’s he doing with that time? Is he two hours on the Internet watching sermons? Reads his Bible 30 minutes? And he prays 15? Is he playing video games? So, the distractions of today are thieves to rob us of being still and knowing that He is God, like Jim Elliot did in the 1940’s and 50’s. The main thing in his life was Bible reading, reading great books, prayer life, true fellowship with his church. And so, the men – the Christians that have impacted me the most are those who have excelled in a few things that are important. As the Lord said about Mary to Martha, one thing’s needful and Mary’s chosen that. If young people today would recognize the enemy, the distraction of the media, and they would choose (incomplete thought.) Like, I don’t even have a Facebook page. I knew it would be a distraction to me. And I chose not to do it. It can be used by the Lord, but I’ve seen people be on it for two hours a day reading posts, posting things, and they’re doing it for the gospel’s sake, but they don’t read their Bible and pray two hours a day. So, for that reason, I said I’m not doing that.
How well do we use our time? And what are we using our time for? So, that’s a big fear for me, and along with that, there’s so many voices calling, like new fads in reformed Christianity, new fads in evangelism, new young eloquent preachers that seem so good. And they make you laugh, and they’re so engaging, but their message is off or imbalanced, and young people can be lured away from the best.
Young Believer: Do You See the Importance of Growth in the Local Church?
And I think also, it’s so easy for young people to not see that their main means of growth in being prepared to serve Christ is a biblical church. And if young people can see the church is my place of training; it is my source of real growth; staying under my elders and pastors, fellowshipping with the saints, 50% of our grace to grow, God channels through the church.So I fear a lot of young people don’t see the church as important as they should. And there is an improvement of that going on in our day for the better; a real emphasis for the better. So those would be the things that I think I would say kind of off the top of my head. And probably, young people gravitate to just hang out with young people. And as I’ve said before, they’re kind of pooling their ignorance. They gravitate to those their same age, like-minded. And young people ought to hang out with people that are 10 years, twenty, thirty, forty years older than them. Man, there’s experience and wisdom that young people can gain from those that have gone before them. Pitfalls to avoid, lessons you learn, wisdom. What would you do, you know, if you could go back? So, I think if young people intentionally made older godly Christians their personal mentors, it would be really wise. And that’s not done enough.