World Challenge has started a new branch of ministry to reach out to the younger generation and offer answers to their questions about God, the Bible and much more.
In 1966, Anthony Wallace—a distinguished social anthropologist—stated, “Belief in supernatural powers is doomed to die out, all over the world, as a result of the increasing adequacy and diffusion of scientific knowledge.”
He was certainly not alone in this prediction; many prominent sociologists at the time predicted that religion was on the way out, and just as many university professors today would probably like to perpetuate this illusion.
However, current studies are finding that religious belief is on the rise worldwide, and Christianity continues to be the world’s largest religious group.
New believers are mostly springing up in Asia, the Middle East and Africa, though. In recent years, Europe and North America have seen a steady decline of people who would declare themselves Christians.
Now more than ever it’s vital that we have a reason for the hope we have in Christ.
True and Reasonable
Modern culture’s demands for epistemological authority has hit the middle and high school demographic particularly hard.
What’s more, teens and young adults often feel like their church offers no answers.
“Research has shown that a majority of today’s youth do not feel comfortable asking questions in church,” pointed out Troy Van Go, World Challenge’s director of Faith Advancement. “Additionally, many youth leaders and parents aren’t trained in answering or deciphering today’s issues and questions.”
“The end result is that most youth are getting answers to life’s biggest questions from sources outside their faith community. Ultimately, many struggle in their faith or leave the church.”
The World Challenge team believes that everyone, no matter their age, should have a ready defense for their beliefs.
Nicky Gumbel wrote about this in his devotionals for Acts 26, “Paul argued that there is a rational basis for faith. There are good reasons to believe that Jesus Christ rose from the dead. Our faith is ‘true and reasonable.’ We should not be afraid to present logical and reasonable arguments. We need intelligent presentations of the gospel….
“When we are trying to persuade people, as Paul was, to follow Jesus, it is important to explain that the message about Jesus is ‘true and reasonable’”
Powered by the Holy Spirit
With this mind, World Challenge has called together a new group called Faith Answers to help address the present need of the younger generation.
As the manager of Faith Answers, Evan Wilkerson is mentoring youth leaders and presenting lessons on apologetics to church youth groups which opens up opportunities for them to dive into the questions and problems troubling them.
“Our goal is to provide discussions where youth can ask questions, find answers, and create relationships that will strengthen their faith,” Troy explained. “Faith Answers provides a Spirit-filled, apologetic defense of the Christian faith, that offers clear answers for today’s questions with the intent of introducing people to the person of Jesus Christ and the transformative work of the Spirit in their lives.”
Most importantly, Troy and Evan believe that all apologetics must be paired with the Holy Spirit’s presence in order for us to see any real impact on the next generation. They stress that knowledge is only useful if it spurs people into a passionate pursuit of God.
The Spirit is who will take biblical knowledge and then empower true transformation.