There’s no future in the middle of the road!

Do you ever feel like the danger and evil in our high pressure, in-your-face world will just run us and our children over? Does our next generation have a chance? What can we do?

The National Study on Youth and Religion (2002 to 2005) may have pinpointed the problem. We parents will have to live out the answer. In her book Almost Christian, Kenda Creasy Dean summarizes the results of the NSYR project.
Some results are encouraging: Teens are much more interested in God and religion than we have assumed. And they are 80% influenced by the faith of their parents. That’s encouraging.

Some results are troubling: The faith that the parents are passing on to their children is not quite Christian. Almost Christian. Middle of the road. Here is the brand of faith in Jesus that the American church is passing on to the next generation:
1.    A god exists who watches over the world.
2.    God wants people to be good, nice, and fair.
3.    The main goal in life is to be happy and feel good about oneself.
4.    God is not involved except when I need him to solve a problem.
5.    Good people go to heaven when they die.

Jesus has a different calling for us.
1.    God is our Father.
2.    If anyone would follow him, he must deny himself and take up his cross.
3.    The main goal in life is to do the will of God, to live for him, to bring him glory.
4.    Jesus is involved in everything, from atoms to galaxies, from babies to nations.
5.    Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life: the only way to the heavenly Father.

How do we move ourselves and our teens from the first set of beliefs to the call of Jesus? From shallow faith to deep commitment. From pastel to passionate. From zombie to zealot. From fear to boldness. How do we get out of the middle-of-the-road mentality?

I am starting on my knees. I am praying that the intense fire of God’s Spirit will rekindle me and my family and my church and our churches until the next generation is ablaze. Until Peter and James and John and Paul would look at our generation and say, “That’s what we lived and died for.” Until the Lord himself would say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

If we as parents are 80% of the influence on our kids, our own faith needs to be rekindled. We have to step up and step forward. We have to look our children and our culture in the eye and demonstrate that our time, our money, and our energy belong to Jesus Christ!

As Isaac Watts penned, “Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.”

Question: In addition to prayer, what actions can we take to get out of the middle of the road and really follow Jesus?