Stephen Prothero writes an intriguing column that is printed in today’s USA Today “On Religion” page. His topic is “millennials” and how they are “simplyk resisting the tried-and-true brands of American religion…”
But the focal point for those of us who work with today’s youth (and those who care about them!) comes when he writes, “When I asked my 16-year-old daughter about all this, she told me that her friends don’t want to be ‘branded.’ Nobody her age wants to be seen as forcing religious or political views on friends, and declaring yourself a ‘Christian,’ ‘atheist,’ ‘Democrat,’ or ‘Republican’ seems, well, pushy.”
Simply because we old(er) folks don’t think it is “pushy” does not change the reality from most students’ views. Certainly no true apprentice of the Lord Jesus desires to “force” the faith on anyone, or to even come across as “pushy.”
It is pretty easy to thunder to students “you need to capture your school/neighborhood for Christ.” In my mind and from my experience the toughest place to live for Christ in this country is school (by the way, whether that school is “public” or “Christian”…in many cases the latter is tougher). We who care about students need to encourage and equip, but we also need to know that the school of today isn’t like it was when “we were kids,” because the school of today isn’t like it was a couple years ago.