Thousands of millennials are expected to gather in Minnesota next month to participate in the annual National Day of Prayer. A Christian apologist, however, is concerned by the depth of belief he sees among that age group.
May 4 is the National Day of Prayer. That evening, the largest single event of this annual observance will take place in downtown Minneapolis, in Medtronic Plaza outside US Bank Stadium – the new home for the NFL's Minnesota Vikings.
The event, called UNITE, will be held by the evangelism movement Pulse. Founder Nick Hall has shared the gospel at hundreds of events to millions of students and young adults. He considers prayer as the backbone of every movement of God and expects this will be a perfect opportunity to gather for prayer.
"I think the National Day of Prayer is a unique invitation in that this is literally a government-sanctioned day that is asking people of faith to pray for our nation," he shares with OneNewsNow.
"... Is there any better opportunity to start a prayer group? To gather people to pray? To humble ourselves and come before a holy God and pray that he would heal our land, that he would have mercy on us and that he would draw us back to truth?"
And there's no better time than now to send petitions to Heaven, he adds. "We just really feel there's an urgency to gather people from as many church backgrounds as possible to lift up Jesus and to pray for our leaders and to really pray for revival in our day," says Hall.
Are you serious?
Meanwhile, a Christian apologist and national speaker is concerned by the number of young adults – millennials, in particular – who don't take Christianity seriously.
Dr. Alex McFarland is director for Christian worldview and apologetics at North Greenville University in South Carolina. He and Jason Jimenez have co-authored a new book entitled Abandoned Faith: Why Millennials Are Walking Away and How You Can Lead Them Home. He says there is a rising number of young adults who don't believe in God, estimated to be near 25 percent.
"We've never seen an America where almost one out of four doesn't believe in God," he describes, "and by 2020 the millennials and younger will be the largest demographic group in America – and their unbelief is concerning."
McFarland explains that young people have been presented a form of the gospel by the church and by adults that amounts to "Christianity-lite."
"... They've not seen authenticity in the lives of many adult leaders. They've not seen consistent, lifelong take-up-your-cross, lay-your-life down-for-Jesus [commitment]," he laments. "They have not seen that in the lives of their parents – and consequently they don't really take Christianity that seriously because it wasn't taken seriously by the ones who birthed and raised them."
He pleads for individuals, families, and churches to restructure their priorities. "Right now, let's invest our attention, our bandwidth, our resources on making disciples," he urges.
And for those who doubt the impact that might have, he writes in Abandoned Faith:
"There is nothing more compelling and persuasive than a parent living out his or her faith with great boldness and conviction. However, parents must be willing to step up and step out to assume their spiritual roles in the lives of their millennial children. The family is central to the spiritual formation of any child (regardless of the age); but if parents lack the passion and drive to live it and teach it, then the world will ultimately shape our children."