The elders and the youths accuse each other over the problems of society among which there is inactive participation of the youths in the affairs of the society. As a result, the youths opt out or migrate to other places.
Scholars at times refer to that as rural to urban migration. The concept can be integrated in a religious perspective.
At this stage of life, many youths also tend to migrate from their mother churches to other churches of their interest or to non-Christian religions or else becoming irreligious completely. This leads to the concept of de-Christianisation. The word de-Christianisation can have different meanings: It could mean those people who were Christians and left to belong to other religions which are non Christian.
However, De-Christianisation is commonly used to refer to those people who leave their mother churches to other religions.
In this book, youths have shown very many factors that have led them to that. However, if the religions where they run to also do as the “mother churches”, after sometime, and may be soon, the same youths may run back to their mother churches if they cannot discover any difference. Therefore this book is vital for all (those from where youths run and those religions where youths go).
The writer hence intends to find out where actually the problem is and any possible remedies.
Youths, it is alleged, challenge the Church to be more humane, personal and intimate, championing justice, respecting conscience and personality and providing fellowship and community.
Youth is perceived as the phase of life where there is teeming energy from an individual with a great motivation to discovery and experimentation. It is surely a step away from Childhood, but a journey towards maturity.
Their proper identity can be captured in the following description:
Y- Yearning (looking ahead with great desire for great things)
O - Outreaching (filled with a passion for discovery and accomplishment)
U – Under Pressure (struggling to match personal goals and societal expectations)
T – Transitional (Youth is a passing moment and has to be captured when it lasts)
H – Hopeful (it is in the spirit of the youth to look to the future with hope)
There ought to be a Convergence between the Christian Message and the Rising Generation. Christian message gives what appeals to the idealism of youths but the youths need to search and discover it for themselves.
Idealism inspires young people to look for authenticity, responsible choice, justice and love and also to build a better world. Further more it calls upon the youths to find in the Word of God the liberation they desire, political, social, economic as well as spiritual and also to uphold the dignity of the person
Moreover, the gospel message of community and love converges with the desire of youth to be loved, to have meaningful relationships and to belong to a group.
The Importance of Youths for Society and the Church
Young people exert a very important influence in modern society:
The growth of their social importance demands from them a corresponding apostolic activity. If their life is penetrated with the spirit of Christ, animated with sense of obedience and love towards the pastors of the Church, a very rich harvest can be expected.
Hence the young should become the first apostles of the young in direct contact with them, exercising the apostolate by themselves, taking account of their social environment. It should not be forgotten that: tota capita, quot opinions and similis similem quaerit.
Young people are enjoying a precious few years where their characters are still in the making. The choices they make construct habits that form character. A central task of the youth minister is to help them, under the influence of God’s grace, to make these choices.
Youth Ministry in Line with Catechetics
It is difficult to communicate with the youths in matters of religious faith. For many youths, religion appears to be meaningless, impersonal and irrelevant. This could be due to lack of formation at an earlier age. Or it could be because Church’s liturgy is often dull and has little attraction.
For the Church to appear in our generation as a loving family of God, a deeper evangelisation is indispensable. The baptised have to reach a new stage and refreshed methodology in the ongoing mission of announcing the Kingdom of God and making it penetrate deeper, both in individual persons and the human society, more so in the youth.
A deeper evangelisation targeting the youth has to aim at the personal conversion of individuals, manifested not just in emotional feelings nor in the practice of devotional habits alone, but in deeper convictions leading to attitudes that govern the integral person; body, mind and soul in all circumstances of one’s family background, age, life and work.
Through the ministry of the youths, young people are helped to realise potentials say; social, relational, intellectual, spiritual and apostolic among others, in most profitable way to themselves as well as to the Church and society in general.
It should not be forgotten that the youth are growing to self understanding or self-acceptance. They are learning how to integrate different aspects of their lives and to orient them to God. To be a person of this kind of integrated understanding and action is to be a person of strong character.
…with youth groups we spend more time speaking about human relationships and sexuality…speaking of God’s grace in the context of boy-girl relationships and sexuality can have the greatest effect. Young people ought to be freed to speak of these issues and to relate them to God’s acceptance and grace.
Pope Benedict XVI has particularly emphasized a need for Europe to return to fundamental Christian values, in response to increasing de-Christianisation and secularisation in many developed countries. He hence identified relativism's denial of objective truth as the central problem of the faith, and taught about the crucial importance for the Catholic Church and humanity to contemplate God's love. He thus reaffirmed the urgent “importance of prayer in the face of the activism and the growing secularism of many Christians engaged in charitable work.