Our young people are under different and perhaps more intense pressure than what previous generations faced. There is so much information at their fingertips, and the ease with which opinions and myths can overnight become facts in the digital space is frightening…
The pressures our young people face today as they go through high school are literally crazy! On top of doing normal school duties and discovering things like one’s identity and purpose in life, many also deal with things like a mountain of extra-curricular activities, negative peer pressures, a distorted media’s view of body image and sexuality and digital access to a plethora of various worldviews. To make matters worse, they have to do this in a world that is vastly different from that which their predecessors grew up in.
In August, over 60 young people met at the One Community Church in Blackburn for Elevate – Life to the Max, an event initiated by our Women’s Ministries and VicYouth departments. The topic of the day was on doing the high school years in a crazy world.
We were blessed with a great location, great food and inspiring music from Lilydale Youth Worship Band. Our keynote speakers included Shannon Rose – Men’s Ministries Director from the Western Australian Conference, and Erin Raethel – a young nurse from NSW. Shannon blessed everyone with his life story and practical methods for dealing with the pressures of sexuality our society brings. Erin shared wisdom on dating and finding a suitable partner.
For some, this type of discussion is a little confronting but the harsh reality is that the world our young people are growing up in is drenched with challenge. To illustratet research shows that in the United States, by age 18, 75% of those who have never attended church and 53 % of those who do have lost their virginity. Another study showed that “90% of young boys and 60% of young girls have been exposed to pornography before they reach the age of 18”. And this research is just scratching the surface.
If we as a Church, and more importantly families within our Church, do not provide healthy dialogue with our young people on the pressures that surround them, who will?
Keep an eye out in 2018 for Elevate – Life to the Max, we look forward to seeing the young people from your Church there.