DALLAS We asked three editors to walk the streets of three
cities and, at random, to interview young people. The reporters
Kirk Noonan, Scott Harrup and John W. Kennedy were instructed
to survey young people about their priorities, fears, beliefs and
lifestyles. This special edition of the Pentecostal Evangel chronicles
their encounters with youth in Portland, Ore.; Harrison, Ark.; and
Undoubtedly youll be troubled by what you read. Granted, interviewing
dozens of young people doesnt yield a scientific study. But
Im convinced the attitudes and values held by these youth are
shared by millions of teen-agers in the United States. Like their
parents, many have embraced materialism, promiscuity, alcohol and
Some have adopted a brand of religion that says, "All that matters
is having fun today. What happens tomorrow will take care of itself."
They arent enticed by promises of eternal life or streets of
gold. They want to know what living for Jesus will do for them today.
Many church youth groups, meanwhile, are experiencing a revival atmosphere,
and a growing number of students are taking a stand for Christ on
their campuses. But we must not be lulled into believing the young
people in our congregations are safe immune to temptation and
peer pressure. Each day they are forced to make a decision to follow
their friends or follow Jesus Christ.
Today is National Youth Day for the Assemblies of God. Let me encourage
you to request a list of young people who attend your church and place
it in your Bible. Pray for the teen-agers by name that God
will protect them and use them to reach this wayward generation.
The sad truth is that a young man or woman in your church today may
ultimately succumb to temptation and peer pressure and deny the existence
of God. But your prayers, your love, your example may be the keys
to keeping them in the family of God for a lifetime.