When most people hear the label Generation –X they think of a hopeless generation of youth that have given into the pressures of the world. I would like you to think of the X as the Greek symbol for “Chi” which is used as a symbol for Christ. In this decade the youth involved in the Christianity has grown significantly. Youth are responding to the church in ways that the past generation did not. Where mom and dad embraced the tumultuous sixties their children have taken hold of Christianity. The youth organizations that promote the Protestant doctrine have seen the youth membership grow by 50% since 1990. Catholic Churches have witnessed their youth involvement double in the last decade. The youth are coming from all walks of life, backgrounds and income levels. Although the majority seems to be whites, the number of young blacks involved in Christianity has become notable.
An example of this movement is at the First Baptist Fellowship Church in Pine Bluff, where aggressive steps have been taken to introduce the youth to the teachings of Christianity. Youth pastor Chris Meyer says that in the past seven years the inrolment of the youth has grown from around Fifty to over two hundred as of February 1999. Meyer says “ The membership in our youth program began to explode in such a short time that the church didn’t have a place big enough to hold them.” Of the two hundred or so young people (ages 14-24) 25% of them come from Pine Bluff’s low income black population. Most of the black children came to the church by way of the Light House, a old bakery in the middle of the black majority neighborhoods that the Church set up to counsel people in the poor part of town. Meyer says “ kids began to hang around the center and that’s when we began trying to get them involved in the fun activities that the church youth were getting into, they brought their friends and the youth program grew.” Meyer also pointed out that a good number of the youth are involved in the church even though their parents don’t attend church at all.
Why are the youth being drawn in great numbers to the Christian faith? Could it be the sense of belonging that they are after? Has the culture that they have grown up in made it important to belong to a group? What makes the youth of the nineties different from their predecessors? It’s not like all of these kids come from disadvantaged or broken homes. Many of them are well-adjusted middle-class kids that don't need to be attached to something out side of themselves to be validated or excepted. The one thing that they all seem to have in common is that they have been raised in a much more complex social atmosphere than past youngsters. They have spent more time in front of a television than any other generation. They have been labeled a generation without a cause. Their energy has been sapped by endless hours of Nintendo and the constant race to stay on the cutting edge of fashion. They become consumers at...