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Reaching Generation Y for Jesus

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At a gas station in Cocoa, Fla., he drove up in a black van covered with brilliant colored artwork advertising the company he worked for. Not only did he make custom-built bikes for customers, but he rode them in competition as well. Last year he came in second, and hoped to be this year’s champion. When asked if he was a believer, he responded that he’d grown up with religion. He’d attended a Christian school and read through the Bible every six months. But now he preferred to follow his own path, because he’d been turned off by organized religion. Instead of being joyously on fire for Jesus, this articulate, talented young man drove away to seek his own glory.

He is a part of Generation Y, defined as those born between the years 1980 and 2000. They are the grandchildren of the baby-boomer generation. They grew up in a time when the Bible was no longer read in non-Christian schools. They were forbidden to pray in school and they were taught evolution instead of creation. That they were descended from monkeys who evolved out of primordial slime, even though Darwin denounced his own Theory of Evolution.

Several studies purport to show results of Generation Y’s upbringing, but the data is conflicting.

In April 2005, The Washington Times noted, “… religious identity plays a significant role in the lives of Generation Y .... More than half said they regularly pray before meals, and a third or more said they talk about religion with friends, attend worship services and read religious materials every week. “ The study looked at 1,385 people aged 18 to 25.

On the other hand, Generation Y has been blamed for a growing trend away from organized religion. In October 2012, Talking Points Memo (TPM) reported, “The Pew poll, conducted between January and July of 2012, found that 32 percent of Americans aged 18-29 aren't religious ....”

Only time will tell which poll is correct, but if the young man above is any indication, then some in Generation Y have turned away from the church because of the dreaded “H” and “R” words – hypocrisy and religion. Because of hypocrisy Christians say they believe in God, but don’t act like they trust Him to change their lives.

Therefore, it is incumbent upon believers to demonstrate to these young souls that Christianity is a relationship with the holy Trinity, not a religion. To teach Generation Y’ers they have a heavenly Father who dealt with their sin nature once and for all through Jesus. Who also loves them and has a glorious plan for their lives. It is time to teach them that this relationship involves being gently molded by God into the image of Lord Jesus in this life, so they can rule and reign with Him for eternity when He returns and creates a new heaven and Earth.

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