WILLS POINT, TX — Young people need to experience God in a way that’s worth “giving their life to” if they’re to stop leaving America’s churches in droves, a group of global mission leaders says.
Nearly two-thirds of 18–29-year-olds in the U.S. who grew up going to church have dropped out, saying they’re bored and God “seems missing,” according to faith-based research group Barna.
Now mission leaders K.P. Yohannan (Metropolitan Yohan), George Verwer and Francis Chan are leading a joint effort at Set Apart 2022 this month to help Millennials and Gen Z – those in the 18-30 age group – discover that “following Jesus is the greatest adventure.”
Giving Their Lives – For What?
“It’s just not enough to entertain them, and say ‘look, I’m living a pretty clean life, we don’t swear and our family’s happy’,” said Chan, author of Crazy Love and a speaker at the weeklong retreat in Wills Point, Texas, June 20-26. “No, they want to see the purpose, like ‘what did you give your life for?’ They really are searching.”
Young people are desperate to see lives that inspire them to do something big, Chan said. “This generation has heard a bunch of messages, but have they seen lives in this country that are actually worth following, where they (say), ‘well, that’s intriguing, that’s not boring, they gave their life to this?'”
God wants people to have a “oneness with Him and with each other, not just attending a service together,” Chan said. “A lot of young people realize ‘we were born during this time for a reason and God has a work for us to do.'”
Focusing On Purpose, ‘Things That Matter’
At Set Apart, young adults will learn to “enjoy God’s presence by engaging in the hours of prayer, time of solitude and silence, and other practical, impactful spiritual habits,” organizers say, with the goal of “helping them focus their lives on things that matter and be equipped to live purposely for Christ.”
“This is absolutely a God-ordained gathering where many young lives will be transformed,” said Yohannan, founder of global mission agency Gospel for Asia (GFA World)that’s hosting the event. “My deepest longing is that they will see Christ and say ‘I want to be like Him, and forsake all for His sake’.”
Verwer, founder of Operation Mobilization (OM), said God wants to help young people “release their potential” at the retreat.
“Many young people have never realized that following Jesus is the greatest adventure,” he said. “People who go to this event are going to come away with a global passion. A revolution of love is going to explode in (their) hearts.”
Anyone 18-30 can go to www.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 that provides 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.