The following article was written by Miss Azari Trevillion, a 14-year-old student from Indianapolis. She was inspired to write on this topic after reading the latest issue of CG Productions magazine, which encourages Christians to use their talents and abilities to build up the church.
It’s been estimated that up to 70% of young adults stop attending church as they grow up. What is causing this change? The foundation for their faith is crumbling. Parents are not forcing their teens to attend church as much as they once did. Going to church has become more of a social issue than an act of obedience to God. Teens are seeing church as a waste of time and not as a place of prayer and forgiveness.
One of the main reasons teens today are not attending church is because of the age difference between them and the rest of the church. The highest population in the church is made up people 30 to 64 years old. Most churches don’t have a teen program or plan events that directly involve teens, so teens are being pulled away from the church and into the streets. The age difference is so high that teens are seeing the church as a place for older people and not for them. Because the church sermon usually doesn’t seem to have anything to do with teens and what they are experiencing in life, they just don’t go. It doesn’t seem to matter.
The second main reason teens are leaving the church is technology. Nowadays, social media overpowers teen lives and going to church is just something you do when you get older. Getting involved with the church can be seen as embarrassing for kids 14-18. Even for the teens that go to church, all they do is sleep and get on their phones. Parents are not reprimanding their teens; instead, they just let them do whatever they want. Most teens say it’s too hard to get up at 7AM on a Sunday since they have had to get up earlier than that throughout the week. Teens just don’t care about church and think it’s just wasting their time to sit and listen to someone speak about the Word of God for two hours.
A few ways for teens could get more involved with the church would be for more parents to be stricter with their kids about getting up and listening during church. Another way is to do more teen-friendly things at the church, like having cookouts for teens only or making one day out of the week for teens to come in to talk about the Bible from their prospective instead of having to just sit and listen. Teens need to be more involved with the church and not so worried about their “social statuses” when going. One teen in the church is one more teen off of the street.
When disaster strikes, Eight Days of Hope is there, through an outreach called Hope Reigns. This ministry provides rapid-response volunteer teams to disaster-stricken areas. Currently, they’re helping flood victims in South Carolina pick up the pieces of their lives.
“Our hope and goal is that people see Jesus Christ in us,” says Steve Tybor, the cofounder of Eight Days of Hope/Hope Reigns.
Eight Days of Hope began their efforts in South Carolina on October 10th and will serve there for several weeks. If you’d like to volunteer, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (256) 503-1024.
One team from Kokomo will be serving from Sunday, October 18th through Monday, October 26th. If you would like more information about that team, email email@example.com or call (765) 438-1228.
For more information about Eight Days of Hope and Hope Reigns, watch this video overview and visit their website.
Detailed Volunteer Information
“I truly believe God is opening doors for us to walk through, but we have to walk through them.”
Hope Reigns will be headquartered and staying at:
Crossroads World Outreach Center
2606 Emanuel Church Rd.
West Columbia, SC 29170
When you arrive at our headquarters, go to our registration area and fill out a Volunteer Release Form. A member of the admin team will show you around the facilities, answer your questions, and if you arrive early enough, send you to a job site.
ALL volunteers must be at least 18 years old, and NO pets are allowed.
ALL volunteers using chainsaws MUST be certified by Hope Reigns (we try to give volunteers an opportunity to be certified at each event).
What to expect:
Our typical serve day begins with lights on at 6 am, breakfast at 6:30 followed by a devotional. After the devotional, we go over any daily announcements/instructions, organize into teams, and depart for the job sites. We arrive on the job sites around 8 am and lunch is served onsite between 11 am and 1 pm. We leave the job site around 4 or 5 pm and have dinner around 6 pm followed by an evening devotional around 7 pm. Following the devotional, there is free time for showers, fellowship, etc. until lights out at 10 pm. (On Sunday’s, we usually worship with the host church and begin our serve day around 1 pm.)
You will be assigned to a crew each morning. Each crew is led by a job leader, who is responsible for overseeing the work and the crew. Job leaders are identifiable by their yellow vests (crew members wear orange vests). Your job leaders were chosen through much prayer so please respect them and the decisions they make.
Free lodging at the church (women and men sleep in separate areas)
Tools and all necessary equipment. But our biggest task will be completing mud outs and if you have a power washer, electric water pump, shop vac, wheel barrow, or brooms, please bring them
Devotions from God’s word and great fellowship!
You will need to bring:
A humble servant’s heart
A sleeping bag, cot, or air mattress and blankets
Towels, soap, and shampoo
Work clothes, boots, and gloves
Bug spray and sun block
If you have any questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (256) 503-1024. To volunteer and help us with our planning, please email your arrival and departure dates. Thank you for your interest in volunteering to serve God’s people and we look forward to serving with you!
Do you ever wonder what people think of you?
Someone overhears a snippet of your conversation and you wonder what kind of person they make you out to be. “What if they think I’m an unwed mother?” “What if they think I’m a spendthrift?”
When we place ourselves at the mercy of public opinion, we lose sight of the fact that God Himself is the ultimate judge.
He knows why we’re doing what we’re doing: why we hold back our words or gush over, why we’re paralyzed by one fear or eagerly expecting the next moment to come. We should care about others, but not to the point that we allow what they think to override what God knows.
When we’re walking with God, it takes the fear out of life. If we allow Him, He can love us out of our irrational fears–every fear that tells us that it’s more important than Him.
Isn’t that good news? Scratch that… isn’t that the best news?
This year at the Creation Evidence Expo, thought-provoking speakers examined the prophecies about Jesus’ second coming and debated the veracity of the “Tree of Life” proposed by Charlie Darwin. For more information, check out the Creation Evidence Expo website at creationevidenceexpo.org!
There are two ways to live your life: God’s way or the world’s way. In the book Pilgrim’s Progress, Christian had to make the important decision of starting his pilgrimage to the Celestial City. Just as he did, we will also have to make the life-changing decision of either living for God or living for the world. Can you live in the world and not be of the world? Let’s search the evidence and see which path you should choose.
The path of living for the world will try to draw people, young and old, to vanity in how they should look: what size they should be or what they should wear. The world tries to make people believe that the world has everything they should desire, so they should live without limits while they are here. Young people are brainwashed from TV, radio, magazines, and books. Young people compare themselves to popular people who are what the world considers “perfect,” and if they compare themselves to them and they are different, they think that something is wrong. All that the people of this world care about is their outward appearance. Living for the world will not get you anywhere in life, but will get you stuck in a constant search for superficial perfection.
Living for the world will not get you anywhere in life, but will get you stuck in a constant search for superficial perfection.
The path of living for God is totally different. God wants His followers to spend their time on earth wisely because we do not know the hour that Jesus will return. In the Bible we learn that God focuses on our heart, so we should not try to draw the wrong kind of attention to ourselves. We should want to be noticed for our works for others and not for ourselves. Here is a list of things we can do to learn what God wants of us:
Reading, memorizing, and meditating on God’s Word
Praying, asking God to guide your path each day
Seeking God’s will daily
Attending church and surrounding ourselves with godly people who will encourage us to walk with God will be beneficial for us when we have to make difficult decisions about our faith.
I believe that we can live in this world and not be of this world. Every day we make decisions that will affect our future. Many things we choose are temporary and will pass away, such as a big house, money, cars, etc. We need to put our faith in Jesus Christ because He is the one and only thing that will last forever.