“Generation Y’s goal? Wealth and fame.”
“Generation Y’s goal? Wealth and fame.” That headline last month in USA Today caught my eye. “Ask young people about their generation’s top life goals and the answer is clear and resounding: They want to be rich and famous” (1-10-07). And then came Newsweek magazine’s cover story last week: “The Girls Gone Wild Effect: Out-of-Control Celebs and Online Sleeze Fuel a New Debate Over Kids and Values” (2-12-07). Turns out our “tweens” are going gaga over the likes of Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, whose morality (or the lack thereof) has shamed even the national media. Advance your mind now to this morning’s worship platform filled with our own “tweens” and teens, active members of our Pathfinder Club, the Evergreens. Take a long, hard look at these kids who are “our own”—bright young Seventh-day Adventist Christians. And then would you please ask yourself the question, How high a priority should it be for this congregation to invest its best energies, its most dedicated leaders, its deepest sacrificial giving to ensure that “our own” survive the spiritual blitzkrieg of the enemy? Because the national headlines don’t have to be the truth about our own children and youth, do they? Oh sure, the society that clamors for the young mind and wallet and attention clamors for our kids, too—on all three of our campuses around here. But that hardly means that we resignedly acquiesce to what some might declare the morally inevitable. Because it doesn’t have to be inevitable that our children and tweens and teens follow the pagan Pied Pipers of America today, does it? Can’t we as a faith community work overtime to surround our kids with spiritual walls and moral values of Jesus that will stand them good stead in the battles yet ahead? That’s precisely why I’m so grateful for the men and women who lead our young—in our Pathfinder and Adventurers Clubs, in our Sabbath Schools from nursery to youth, in our church schools at Ruth Murdoch and Andrews Academy. They remain year after year our unsung heroes in this battle for the heart and soul of every generation, be it X or Y or Z! And to them the rest of us owe a genuine debt of gratitude. “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth” (Ecclesiastes 12:1)—if ever there were a divine injunction (and promise) for Creator-worshiping Adventist kids, wouldn’t it be this? And if ever Creator-loving Adventist grownups needed to seize the moment to support their young with all the time and money and volunteering energy we can muster, wouldn’t this be that time? Won’t you help us help them?