Another Great Awakening in the Teen Decade

Over the last year, one of the things I have been calling youth leaders to is what has begun as "The Teen Decade". It is the one time in a century that we have the teen years for 7 years (2013-2019).

This is a great time to emphasize an awakening in the teenagers of our country. America has seen probably three spiritual shifts in her history. And we are poised for another spiritual renewal soon. To usher this shift into modern America, we asking for 'A Thousand Personal Revivals' that will spark the next Great Awakening. The American youth culture is in desperate need for a spiritual renewal. And out of great need can come greater works. This should be one of the most exciting times for the youth leaders of our country. At a time when the hearts of young people are failing, it is a great time for spiritual youth leadership. But...

Those things are important to a holistic youth ministry. I know that teens want to party. So do I. But, programming and events are not the central catalyst for an awakening of national proportion. That takes something different. Because...

Remember, what you get them with, you have to keep them with. The latest program and event can become stale after time. And expensive. Roller coasters do attract teens. But, students become familiar with these. Besides, it is very expensive to build a new roller coaster every year to attract teens. Just ask Disney or Great America, or Cedar Point.

It has become clear in scripture and history that desperation is a pre-cursor for a move of God.

We live in a completely un-recognizable America in comparison to 50 years ago. Not because of the industrial revolution or the information age, or the social media wave. But, because of the failure of government, society, and even the church. This organizational and religious decline must be stopped. Just a few years ago, one of the unique traits of our country's DNA was attacked. President Obama stated in 2010, "America is no longer a Christian nation..." I get the context from this quote. That we are now Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, and pagan (or unbelieving). But, just because our nation has become diverse culturally, doesn't mean that we must become divisible scripturally. And because of this vacuum, this teenage generation has a chance to bring in the next Great Awakening.

The effects of the First through the Third Great Awakenings no doubt shaped our nation in the 17th, 18th, and 20th centuries. But, it is time for another spiritual movement in America. If we continue at the pace we are entrenched at this time, we will look more similar to Europe and its religious climate; full of Church buildings but almost devoid of true believers. How do we return? I believe it begins with the youth leaders of our nation restoring spiritual disciplines and discipleship. PRAYER, FASTING, WORSHIP, GIVING, JUSTICE, SPIRITUAL FORMATION IN THE WORD are all vital needs for this American teen world.

Let me challenge you as a youth leader in America to begin asking the Holy Spirit to guide you through each of these. And ultimately into revival. We will unpack each of these in the weeks to come.

Welcome to 7 years of The Teen Decade!