If there’s anything that the pandemic may have revealed to us, it’s that we have not known what exactly has been happening in our public schools. Over the past few years, there have been numerous stories about what parents are “overhearing” when their children are being schooled over video conferencing.
I contend that much of the sexual focus that has finally hit a media has been in our schools and even our televisions for at least two decides, in some case three. Children who watched and heard certain things are now in their 20s and are bringing a whole new set of challenges to ministry.
In 1992, MTV introduced a show called Real World. While it was supposed to give a glimpse of the lives of young adults, it also brought sex and homosexuality right into our living rooms. Other shows followed, such a Big Brother and Survivor that included homosexuals (male or female) who were generally treated as normal by the other contestants on these shows. Will and Grace provided a gay man who was funny and had the support of the other three main actors.
The result of this is that people who are now in their 20s have been constantly “groomed” by the media of the normalcy of homosexuality. Not only is it now considered normal, but also a viable option for everyone. Children as young as middle school were and are now “informed” that these preferences are without cost.
Enter the gospel. I have been meeting with a number of young men, all in their 20s, who have come to Christ and are growing in their walks with God. However, somewhere along the way, each of them has asked the same question: “Can I share something with you?”
The stories are quite unique yet have a similar thread. They were dating a girl and there was a difficult break up. In their struggle to resolve and recover, each of them considered, “Maybe I’m gay.” Since they were told being gay is normal, it was normal to try a new type of relationship. That “try” was the greatest variable. Some were just inquisitive, some tried hugging/cuddling/kissing, and some went “all the way.”
The CDC says that 55% of 18-year-olds have already had sexual intercourse, while the NIH reports that same-sex “sexual debut” is occurring in boys as young as 13 years old.
The bottom line: ministry to 20s now involves dealing with the struggle they are having with things they have done with a same sex partner. While the church continues to tell high schoolers to be pure, they context is always in the realm of opposite sex activity. Few churches are talking to their young people about homosexuality from a biblical basis.
Consider this a call to three things:
1.) Be very clear on what the Bible says about homosexuality. There are some Christian authors who are arguing that the Bible doesn’t mean what we think it says.
2.) Be very clear on ALL the attributes of God. There is a focus today on the love of God, but it’s moving toward God will love you no matter who you are or what you do. The holiness and justice of God are being minimized, particularly to people below the age of 30.
And 3.) Be willing to be involved deeply enough with a 20-something Christian about live in general and intimacy. From my experience, they are desperately looking for someone to confide in.