1.1 Background of the study
The Bible, our source of authority, has a lot to say about the youth with an ideal lifestyle (youths who know the way) and youth without ideal lifestyles (youths who know not the way or youth that know the way but they rejected it). There are many examples of youths who dare to make a difference in their generations, defying youthful exuberance and its enticement.
Church Growth is a movement within evangelical Christianity which focuses on developing methods to grow churches based on business marketing strategies. It cannot be disputed that youths play a vital role in the life of a Church as they are the leaders of tomorrow and future of the church (Day, D., & Kurtz, C. (2017).
The elderly stands out but youth’s contributions have been shinning and have always been flag bearers of every Church. For any tangible growth to take place in any Christian community, the youth must be significant in that process of growth (Nielson, 2016). This is the more reason why wise nations, countries, groups and organization focus more on the development of youths so that the future of such investments would never be improvised or blind(Nel, M., 2015). It is therefore of vital importance in today’s Church to prepare assiduously youths for the tasks they would naturally face in the coming future. It is only when we have nourished our youths that they in-turn develop the Church. The questions are “what amount of attention do we give the youths and what level of devotion does the youths give to the church.
The youths of today have very high ideals, and to deny this would be grossly unfair. But we must admit that very often these ideals can sour, can be perverted and can be exploited. Often young people ultimately relinquish their ideals if they suspect that the situation is hopeless; if they conclude that nowhere can these ideals be fulfilled. Unfortunately, this is the usual progression of events today. “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12). This is an admonition on the need to live a Holy and blameless life addressed to a young man, Timothy. But, premarital sex, insolent speech, materialism, ruthlessness, theft and violence are some of the common vices generally found among Christian youths today (Folmsbee, C., 2007).
youth life style and the church growth
Disappointments lead to abysmal falls, often to depths lower than those they condemned when their idealism was fresh. Where this does not happen, ideals are exploited by false prophets of good. The sectarians far from the fullness of truth are able to inspire youth to make such amazing sacrifices Yet at the same time, the Orthodox Church, possessing the fullness of Truth, has a real difficulty in keeping her youth(Abednego: 1989). It could be that in ignoring the high ideals and potential moral heroism of our youth we have failed to familiarize them with our examples of such heroism, displayed by our own young, even the very young,who loved Christ and His Church in past ages. The youths are important fabrics in the society. Can there be any society without youth?Obviously no, that is why we must see to it that our youths find their rightful places in the church.The youth ministry seems to be in the midst of a crisis, since it fails young people because of its inability to help them develop into mature Christians (Klinenberg, E. 2013). Not every churches are called to establish the youth ministry but all churches are obliged to impact on youth lifestyles.David and Pat Alexander emphasized that: “Salvation is God’s gift, but it carries with it the obligation to live and behave, from that point on, as God wants. This means deliberately discarding the old (selfish way of life), shedding former habits, and letting the new life change our thinking and remold our pattern of behavior.
According to the Alexander’s view, supra, our salvation carries with it a responsibility for a new lifestyle; we are expected to change our thinking, remould our lifestyle, and to live a life of obedience to the word of God. Our Lord Jesus explained that:
Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who builds his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the wind blew and beat against that house, yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beats against that house and it fell with a great crash (Matthew 7:24 – 27). It is therefore of vital importance in today’s Church to prepare the single’s ministry for the tasks they would naturally face in the coming future. It is only when we have nourished our youths that they in-turn develop the Church (De Vries, M 2004).
Church growth begins with church health and not the other way around. We see in nature that healthy things grow. This is by no means a new concept, but it’s still true. The youth must therefore in the long-run not to dilute the gospel message but discover how to live out the good news and encourage others to do so (Nielson, J. 2016).
The sole aim of the church is not only for the ediﬁcation of believers and its congregants but to take part in what the triune God is doing in the world. The church is in its nature mission, because it is understood to be ‘a community of witness, called into being and equipped by God, and sent into the world to testify to and participate in Christ’s work’ (Niemandt, C. J. P. 2012). The church has a responsibility towards society, and such responsibility should not exclude the single’s ministry, which forms part of the church participating in God’s mission on earth.From this research, we will discover what a healthy church is like and how youth life style can boost church growth. Against this background the researcher intends to research on youth life style and the church growth.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
One key problem is the inability to examine youth life style and church growth.Another problem is how best to measure numerical growth. A variety of indicators for attendance and occasional offices are available, but all are affected to some degree by measurement error and random fluctuations. Such variability poses particular problems with small churches, where the addition or subtraction of just a few people produces large proportional changes in the totals.Today, a great percentage of our Christian youths are living a life of disobedience to the Word of God, they are copying the patterns of this world with dexterity.
Today, the lifestyle of the youth is such that it is very difficult to have a distinction between Christian youths and of those who are not Christians. How can we change the perspective of our youth who are easily lured and enticed by worldly lifestyle? This research is vital because it aims at making an analysis of the Christian youths’ lifestyle, enlightening them and warning the victims of the dangers ahead.
Most organizations especially in church set up always want their youths to live and practice the godly lifestyles (character trait of Jesus), the absence of this brings a very big problem between the youths and the leadership of the church. In some instances, the youths are removed from position of leadership or placed on church discipline. This indicates that Christian organizations are after godly lifestyles that will lead to a very good behavior and achievement of its goals and objective.