The prospects of Christianity among young people today are not as dire as many assume. Many ministries focusing on young people are seeing more young people coming to Christ than at any time. As I detail in my latest book, The Myth of the Dying Church, Young Life in their work with high school students has seen a 69% increase in kids attending their weekly Bible studies in the United States over the last few years and a stunning 620% increase internationally. Intervarsity, working on college campuses, has seen a 14% growth in their campus chapters over the last five years and more campus faculty involvement than ever before. The best news is they are seeing more young adults making decisions for Christ than at any time since their founding in 1941, an increase of 130% since 2007. The Holy Spirit, of course, is continuing to work powerfully among young people today. He cannot and will not do otherwise.
But it has always been true that each generation of the church must faithfully teach the truth of Christianity to the next generation; doing our best, in cooperation with the Holy Spirit, to make sure the baton of faith is successfully passed. One of the best ministries doing this vital work is a long-time friend of Focus on the Family. That is Summit Ministries, nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, just outside of Colorado Springs. For decades they have hosted hundreds of young people every summer with classes taking place two weeks at a time on their campus. Their students hear from world-class teachers on the essential aspects of Christian worldview.
As the COVID pandemic presents challenges to ministries in how they accomplish their work, it also provides great opportunities. Jeff Myers, President of Summit Ministries, told Focus on the Family, “I’ve worked with kids long enough to know that they’re dying a little bit spiritually and emotionally with every day of quarantine.”
He warns that “For young adults, COVID-19 isn’t just a health and economic crisis. It is quickly becoming a crisis of belief.” Myers sees the coming months as a defining moment and opportunity that cannot be lost. “If we can come alongside teens right now, we have a chance to set them on a different course.”
Summit is adjusting agilely in an invocative and exciting way, through their new virtual academy. Summit Virtual will expand their reach, allowing students from around the globe to learn in-depth Christian worldview without the hassle and expense of travel and housing. Summit explains that “Far more than just video-conferenced lectures, the program will leverage technology in key ways, and will deepen the experience of students beyond what has been traditionally possible.”
One of the unique strengths of Summit is the opportunity students have to interact personally with some of the leading thinkers in Christianity today, as well as benefit from small group experiences with fellow students. This will continue through Summit Virtual in the most seamless way possible, given the technologies they will be employing this summer. There will be three virtual sessions, May 25-29, June 8-12, June 22-26 and July 6-10.
This explanation by Jeff Myers gives you the information you need to participate.
Photo from Summit Ministries