WILLS POINT, TX — One of America’s largest Christian organizations is on a quest to help re-energize the faith of those ages 18-30, a group vanishing from the church.
Nearly two-thirds of 18-29 year olds who grew up in the U.S. going to church have dropped out, according to research. The number of young church dropouts rose to a staggering 64% in 2019.
A 5-year-long study by faith-based research group Barna found almost a third of the young adults described church as “boring,” one-quarter of them said faith is “not relevant,” and 1 in 5 who attended church as a teenager said God “seems missing” from their experience.
Now Gospel for Asia (GFA World), a key player in global evangelical ministry, aims to ignite a new spiritual zeal among Gen Z (late teens and early 20s) and also Millennials, those age 26 and up.
The Texas-based organization is holding its first-ever Set Apart (www.gfa.org/setapart/) retreat June 20-26, with the goal of helping hundreds of young adults discover a deeper calling and trade their smartphones for a time of “listening to God’s voice.” Watch the Set Apart promo video here:https://youtu.be/JPaQSuxNZ7k
“We’ve become addicted to our phones, getting a buzz out of seeing our posts on Facebook and hearing the ‘ding’ when someone responds,” said Bishop Daniel Punnose, vice-president of Gospel for Asia (GFA World) and leader of the young adult conference to be held at GFA World’s campus in Wills Point, 50 miles east of Dallas.
Experiencing Radical Faith
“We want to give young people an experience of the Christianity that has not only sustained the church for 2,000 years, but has turned the world upside down,” Punnose said. ‘To live a life that’s counter to our self-centered culture, this generation needs to see a purpose for their lives that is not centered on themselves, but on Christ.”
Francis Chan –bestselling author of “Crazy Love” – will be one of the speakers at the event, along with George Verwer, founder of Operation Mobilization, and K.P. Yohannan, founder of Gospel for Asia (GFA World).
“There’s such a busyness and craziness to our minds right now,” Chan said. “People need to understand better than ever before how to just be quiet and rest in the Lord, meditate on his word (and) enjoy his presence.”
DuringSet Apart 2022, young people will learn to listen to God’s voice, meditate on the Bible, and spend time alone in prayer. The experience, Punnose said, promises to bring them closer to God and help them refocus their lives on things that matter. And long beyond the week-long retreat, participants will return home equipped with the tools to stand firm in their faith and live purposely for Christ even in the midst of a world of distraction.
“Most conferences are about going to hear someone talk about God; this retreat is about spending a whole week meeting with God,” Punnose said.
Those 18-30 can go towww.gfa.org/setapart/for more information and to sign up.
About GFA World
Gospel for Asia (GFA World)is a leading faith-based global mission agency, helping national workers bring vital assistance and spiritual hope to millions across the world, especially in Asia and Africa, and sharing the love of God. In a typical year, this includes thousands of community development projects that benefit downtrodden families and their children, free medical camps conducted in more than 1,200 villages and remote communities, over 4,800 clean water wells drilled, over 12,000 water filters installed, income-generating Christmas gifts for more than 260,000 needy families, and teaching to provide hope and encouragement in 110 languages in 14 nations through radio ministry. GFA World has launched programs in Africa, starting with compassion projects in Rwanda. For all the latest news, visit the Press Room at https://gfanews.org/news.