As Generation Z marks the first truly “post-Christian” generation, with studies showing young people dropping out of Church in droves, a movement has spread to hundreds of churches to foster intergenerational relationships in hopes of keeping young people in the Church.
With Bible reading, church attendance and religious affiliation steadily declining for decades, the Church continues to experience what can only be described as a crisis.
In an interview with The Christian Post, Souder said that overwhelmingly, young people connected with other adults in Church have a much higher percentage of remaining with the faith — yet such relationships are woefully lacking within the Body of Christ.
“Young people are exiting the Church because it’s easy to leave an institution,” Souder, who has served in youth ministry for nearly three decades, explained. “It’s not easy to leave a family. Young people need to experience that the Body of Christ is a family, not just an institution. Unfortunately, most young people aren’t experiencing that. They don’t get the fullness of what the Body of Christ has to offer them because they don’t know adults are on their team.”
“We’re trying to change that because investing in a young person’s life is a real catalyst for them to stay connected to the Church and flourish in their faith.”
To help foster unity across generational lines, Souder created the Pray for Me Campaign, a Church-wide initiative that equips adult believers to pray for children and students. Since 2014, the ministry has helped over 650 churches across the denominational spectrum globally create over 150,000 intergenerational relationships.
The way the campaign works is simple: a local Church holds a launch event where a student asks three adult believers from different generations to be his or her “prayer champions” for the school year.
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(c) The Christian Post, used with permission.