What Is a Mature Christian Youth? Well, recently a ground-breaking first-of-its-kind study of Christian youth groups was conducted by Luther Seminary, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and the Center for Ministry Development shed some light on that question.
The study sought to identify congregations that consistently establish faith as a vital factor in the lives of their youth, discover the basis for their effective approach to ministry, and disseminate the results so that all congregations might benefit.
One product of the study was the compilation of this list of 34 characteristics that point to maturity in Christian Youth. Circulate this list among your youth group and church leaders to motivate and help them understand some of the benefits of a strong youth ministry. You can also use this list as a basis for discussing and setting the goals and objectives for your own youth group.
Mature Christian youth may be characterized by the extent to which they:
- Seek Spiritual Growth, Both Alone and With Others
- Are heard referring to having prayer, devotions, and meditation times.
- Ask sincere and searching questions about the nature of a life of faith in God.
- Prefer and attend gatherings where they can learn more about the Christian faith.
- Accept opportunities for learning how to speak naturally and intelligently about their faith.
- Are involved in Bible study and/or prayer groups.
- Join Christian groups to build friendships and learn how to be a friend.
Believe God is Present in the World
- Speak openly about seeking or experiencing God’s guidance.
- Are heard asking each other about what God has recently done in their lives or the lives of others.
- In times of trouble, reassure others that God is active to make things work out all right in the long run.
- Occasionally speak of having been keenly aware of the presence of God.
Act Out of a Commitment of Faith
- Speak publicly about their relationship with Jesus Christ.
- When providing a rationale for their actions will at times cite specifics of their faith.
- In conversation with family and friends brings up topics of faith or Christian living.
- Pray for people especially needing God’s help.