- How many adults who are not family or family friends call you by your first name?
- Will anyone notice if you stop attending your church?
- Do you have a relationship with an adult from the church?
Are you curious about what some of the youth involved in Generation Spark are thinking? I was lucky enough to sit down with a few of them and now I am able to share their stories!
One of the students I met with is a young woman that is in the midst of her sophomore year in high school. Her Generation Spark story began when her mother brought home the news that their family’s church would be involved in our program. This student has previously stopped attending their church because of her “busy schedule”, as she first explained to me. She later shared with me that she feels like the church is doing a lot wrong when it comes to the youth.
She explained her negative experience with her church’s Sunday School program and how she is seeing it affect her little brothers in a negative way as well. Her point of view is that there is a lot that is not working within her church and she doesn’t want to devote her time to a program that isn’t working for her.
“There are so many things that are not working in our church. I really hope that having Generation Spark will help change those things too.”
However, after she heard about GS she became increasingly interested in what our program has to offer her. She asked questions and spoke with eagerness and excitement about the possibilities this would bring the youth in her church. She told me that she hopes to be involved in her church’s second session of GS and hope’s that it will bring change to the aspects of the church that aren’t working.
Her story is a testament to why we do what we do. Generation Spark is a church ministry that will hopefully bring a revival to the whole church with the youth leading the way.
What is the average length of time you remember a sermon? How often do you feel affirmed by your congregation in your individual efforts to make a positive change in the world? What is the average monthly church attendance rate of parishioners at your congregation? How would members under age 25 rate the relevance of the sermon to their life?
Before joining Generation Spark, I had never heard these questions discussed. It feels out of place to discuss these goals at church. After all, does falling short of the goals mean God’s work isn’t being done? The stakes are so high!
Shifting the mindset toward becoming more goal-oriented adds an element of pressure. However, it’s time. As a youth, I see that many of my peers have become disillusioned with the church. This has lead to their complete dissociation with organized religion or, at best, compartmentalized church attendance on Sundays.
We, the youth, are getting tired of programs coming from good intentions. We’ve attended many youth groups, Bible studies and other activities centered around young adults. Somehow, they are missing the mark. The youth exodus from the church is proof that something isn’t quite working.
As a member of the Evaluation Team for Generation Spark, I am excited to discover the tangible results of the program. After months of developing assessments by working with experts at the Frost Research Center and gathering feedback from youth, the team is seeing the fruits of labor in our initial results. It’s time for the truth. Church youth deserve results.