Alright, I’m going to say something we all intuitively know. Something we have just started to accept as an absolute reality. Maybe even something that feels uncontrollable. Here it is – this generation is the most digitally connected but emotionally detached generation in history. We hear this often as accusatory or flippant toward the problems with “young people today.” But I really want it to sink in and for our hearts to feel it. Digitally connected – emotionally detached.
As it sinks in, we have to ask a question – is that okay with us? Not so much the digitally connected part, but the fact that they are becoming more and more emotionally detached. And if it’s not okay with us, what do we do about it? Do we just have to wait and see how this generation turns out? Will suicidal ideation and depression become more and more normative? Will violence continue to rise as the value for human life declines? Will communities and churches crumble as demand for authentic relationship becomes less evident? I ask again, are we okay with this? Do we just wait and see?
At YFC, we have decided we are not going to sit on the sidelines as this happens. We are a movement of people who love Jesus and who know “wait and see” is not the only option. Love is an option. And love works. Jesus commanded us to love the Lord our God and to love our neighbor as ourself. Young people need love. What would it look like if we, the Church, owned the mission to surround each young person in our communities? What if this sparked a movement soaked in consistent, multifaceted love? Love from adults, love from peers, love from churches and communities. Love that is pursuing – not reactive. Love that goes where they are. Love that goes after the marginalized and furthest removed. Love that introduces young people to Jesus. Does that have the potential to change the course? We think it does.
Maybe in the past, you have thought about YFC as a collection of professional youth workers – Campus Life, City Life, or JJM directors. Maybe you thought THEY were YFC. As I get closer to this mission, I’m recognizing this isn’t quite true. You are YFC. I am YFC. We, together, are a movement of the body of Christ focused on surrounding this next generation with love and presenting an alternative of hope.