Tuesday 09th February, 2016 
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18-30 the waiting generation

keynote 2016

Colin Dye

When you have grown up in a world that has assumed Christianity belongs to a bygone age, it is interesting to notice what happens when a born-again, non-judgmental and non-religious Christian shows up. Those in the 18 to 30 age range sit up and take notice.

This generation fascinates me. Both those who believe in Christ and those who are yet to believe have much in common. They are the generation of "been there, seen that". The internet has given them access to everything under the sun and very little shocks them. They have information but are looking for values to make sense of what they see.

They are also looking for relationship, reality and experience of true community. Speaking recently to a group of young Christian students and professionals, I asked them, what kind of church they were looking to be part of. It seems that young adults are looking for a church that is loving and supportive, especially when it comes to understanding their needs. We are living in an age where authority, especially church authority is being challenged. People are willing to adopt biblical values even on such topics as gay marriage, transgender and abortion. But they want to understand why. It is not enough to assume biblical authority in these matters, but we must demonstrate why the Bible should be followed. This means we must not ignore the hard questions.

Speaking to a group of people who have no interest in Christianity I discovered the reason for not believing in Christ has a lot to do with people's experience or assumptions about church. Their impression is that church is where you shut up and listen to stuff that is irrelevant to your daily life. Church is where you are told what to do and what to believe - and in a pretty boring way, as well. This is for me "a waiting generation". They are not against Christianity, just ignorant of it. They would respond if given a chance to see genuine followers of Christ in action. We must not give the impression that we know it all or have it all figured out. But when we tell it like it is and let people in on struggles and questions they are easily drawn into the discussion.