*Based on contributions made by Rt. Rev. Owen Nwokolo (Ph.D) at the Lagos main-land Diocesan Synod, Nigeria. It can also help your own Church anywhere in the world.
Young people are the leaders of tomorrow! For us to have a great tomorrow, we must have a great young people today! If we fail to carry the youths along, we will fail to carry the future! If we neglect the young people, we have neglect the future! We must do away with the “Young at heart” mentality and really look at “Young in the real sense”. If we are concerned about growing the church, we must be concerned about giving the young people a place because they are growth of the Church. Old men don’t grow, old fades away! If you want the Church to grow allow them to take over! Old people are just their for guidance and not for absolute ” take over “.
When elderly people begin to propound theories and rules for the youths, it does not work. Old people often see youths as stupid people but it is not so! Young people have ideas that can transform the nations, they have ideas that can transform the church! The old men ought to allow the youths make decisions! There are already many things the youths are passing through, old people shouldn’t add more problem to that!
When we talk about moral decline, we shouldn’t blame the youths for that! We should blame poor parental trainings and guidance of the past! The issue of homosexuality, lack of jobs and all that are what our young people is facing today! They’ve had enough! Old people shouldn’t add more burden to them by propounding regulations that put young people to slavery.
It is one thing to know why our young people are leaving the church, it is another thing to know how to get them back! We must provide for them what they need! Young people wants to shine, else they will feel they are not recognised! We must make them understand that the church needs their contribution! The church needs to subscribe to teachings that will impact the youths. In our Parishes, we need young priests and not sleepy old Pastors.
We need youth friendly programmes in the churches and in the television broadcasts. We need to make our church services improve to the 21st century standard! It should be youth compliance! We need to be in Facebook, Twitter and many other social networks! We need to give our youths so much sense of belonging!
Don’t always tell youths about suffering! We need to tell them about God’s love!
1. Our liturgies should be relevant and youth friendly!
2. Liturgies should be enlarged to include healing, deliverance, marriage and other empowerments!
3. Production of youth friendly materials.
4. Teaching the youths the Church Heritage is expedient.
5. Encourage the use of digital equipments like iPad, Tablets and other devices that makes it even more easier to study Christian materials.
It should be done immediately and continuously.
The youths also have a part to play! They have to really understand that they are not hated! They have to understand that old people see things differently. Patience is the watchword. The youths must learn to stand their ground and insist on the change they want to see. The church today is different from the early church in terms of organisation. Therefore, as the world is developing, the church is also developing… We must understand that the Church played major roles in the development of the world, therefore we shouldn’t be afraid of development.