YOUTH CORNER: Youth Challenges in the Church


Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31 but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40: 30-31)

One of the undeniable realities of life is challenge. Life is full of challenges and with nobody exempted from it. Just as adults have got challenges so do youths and children. In fact, some children begin to have challenges from the moment they are born. This is quite pathetic. 

It is unfortunate today that most of the church activities and programmes are aimed at addressing the needs and the challenges of adults, but when in reality, today’s church mainly comprises of the members born in the 20th century (1901-2000) and members born in the 21st century (2001-2100). This is often one of the reasons for mass exodus of youths in many assemblies today. Many churches communicate, but hardly speak the language the youths understand. They speak, but never addressing the needs and the challenges of the youths. This is terrible, because the devil is always out there to communicate with them in the language they will best understand. 

The challenges of youths in the Church today are numerous, but few of these shall be discussed.

Foremost of the challenges to be discussed, not in any order of severity, is the challenge of self-identity. It is unfortunate that many youths are in a phase of life where there seems to be identity crisis. Many of them have got a challenge knowing who they are and their purpose of existence. This is often one of the reasons many of them go after anything they are offered either by people or the devil. But it is most unfortunate that many churches don’t have a structured system or curriculum to help this young ones discover who they are while in this formative phase of their lives. Helping youths to discover their identity does not happen by default, but rather by intentionality.

Also, many youths in the Church have got the challenge of peer pressure. Many of them want to look the way their friends look, talk the way their friends talk, dress the way their friends dress, and do things the way their friends do. In fact, some are sometime pressured into doing the abominable in order to feel among. To many of them, it is a sign of backwardness when they can’t do what their colleagues do. This often leads to low self-esteem among many youths. This is killing and so terrible. Any Church that will help the youths at this juncture must be intentional about its teachings and the structures built around the youths.

In addition, one of the things paramount in the hearts of youth is their academic success. It is unfortunate that churches focus so much on household wickedness, enemies, battles, strongholds, e.t.c., but pay little or no attention to the academic performance of their youths. In fact, churches sometimes organize 70 days programmes and never for once ask how those youths that attend all the programmes get to cope academically. Some of these youths struggle academically and wish the Church could help do something about, but only for the church to attach their poor performance to battles. There is often a regressed feeling of frustration and inadequacy, yet the Church doesn’t discern this and feels all is well. 

Furthermore, many youths in the Church today have got a lot of challenges with their jobs and careers. The Church seems sometimes only to be concerned with the spirituality of the youths and yet do little or nothing about their jobs and careers. Even where it seems something is done, what priority is given to youth development and empowerment, and what is the percentage of the activities and programmes designed for these developmental strategies in the overall programmes and activities of the Church. It is not surprising today that many youths in the Church are into internet fraud, organ harvesting, betting, money rituals, e.t.c. The economy today is unfriendly and the little amount some of these youths make (for those fortunate to be gainfully employed) is not enough to take care of their basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter, transportation, utilities, health, dependent relatives, e.t.c. This is serious! 

In addition, another challenge youths face in the Church today is the challenge of choice of life marital partner. Many youths at the phase of choice making lose God, some lose purpose, while some lose focus. Some are confused and end up making a wrong choice. It is unfortunate that many ministers contribute to this. Many ministers wrongly match make people, some give a wrong counsel, wrong vision and sometimes wrong direction. It becomes highly devastating when many get to realize they have committed the gravest error of their lives just few weeks, months or years into their marriage. This ends up affecting their overall performance in Church, career and life in its entirely. This is terrible! Many youths live in fear and find it difficult to make marital decisions due to their experiences with their parents and brethren in the Church (even Pastors).

More so, many youths in their reproductive phase of life have got challenges with childbearing. It’s unfortunate that many Churches don’t have structured and periodic counselling sessions for these ones. Many of them often have a feeling of neglect and abandonment by the Church. It because a struggle they go through all alone. The most pathetic part is brethren who should come to these ones aid resort to backbiting and blackmailing. This is often highly disappointing and discouraging. 

Furthermore, you will be surprised at the percentage of youths that will honour altar call for healing from sicknesses and diseases, in fact, terminal diseases in the Church today. The most pathetic side is that many ministers care less about the internal pains many of these youths go through, but only show interest in the service they render. In fact, many misters vent anger at the slightest failure to render a service without ever bothering about the cause of the failure. This is highly disheartening! 

Conclusively, time and space would not permit extensive discussions on the challenges of the youths in the Church. There is none of these challenges that is not solvable with the right steps and approach. The Church will show it is a haven of love, care and affection if begins to sincerely show concern for its youths. Youths are the future of the Church whom the devil wants to show his own love (hatred in disguise) so he can lure them away from the Church and bring them into eternal damnation to which many of them have not built enough spiritual stamina to resist and not many are discerning enough to see through the veil. Notwithstanding, it’s high time the Church rose to begin to major on that which is primary and minor on that which is secondary. 

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