The Decline of Gen-X Church Services and an Exhortation to Young Men

Collin Hansen (author of Young, Restless, Reformed: A Journalist's Journey with the New Calvinists) has put together an interesting piece for Leadership Journal detailing the rise and fall of Gen X/20-something ministries in churches. He interviews multiple church leaders who are involved, or who have been involved, with these focus-group type ministries. Justin Buzzard is a blogger and pastor I follow and he had an awesome quote in the article,

"My very strong opinion is that twenty-somethings want and desperately need someone to yell at them from the Bible," Buzzard said. "They need a pastor, an authoritative voice in their life who will stand up and proclaim God's Word, to proclaim the gospel.

"I'm always saying that this is a prime, ripe season in your life to catch a vision for God and get centered on Christ. The choices and decisions you're making during this decade are setting a trajectory for the rest of your life. The older you get, the harder it is to change. A lot of older folks in our church say they wish they could have done their twenties differently."

Buzzard's quote reminds me of a sermon Mark Driscoll gave a couple years ago during which he was exhorted young men to grow up, stop acting like boys, and become strong men of God. That is a theme that has stuck with me. Buzzard is dead on when he says the 20s are a time for 'setting a trajectory' for your life.

The tragedy is that too many young people (particularly men) waste their 20s, ignorant or arrogant to the simple fact that video games, accumulated possessions, bar runs, and sexual relationships do not ultimately produce strong marriages and great dads. Living loose and free, and then expecting peace and contentment later in life, is like eating Twinkies and drinking Coors Light everyday and then expecting to win an Olympic gold medal in the triathlon.