Charlotte Pastor: Young People Need a Calling, Not Rules

Steven Furtick is a young pastor with a thriving church in Charlotte, N.C. But what's burdening his heart is the erosion of truth and biblical values among the younger generation.

"The truth is never more than one generation away from extinction," he said, taking his inspiration from former president Ronald Reagan.

For the past two weeks, Furtick has been shining the spotlight on a generation that some observers say is increasingly turning away from God. The signs seem apparent, such as the high number of young people leaving the church or the prevalence of sexual activity.

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Observing the current moral climate in America, Furtick lamented that he sees a generation growing up that does not know the Lord or at least has not experienced Him.

Though God's word and biblical values have been passed down from Jesus' time, those values have become murkier, the 30-year-old pastor of Elevation Church suggested.

"As values get handed down from generation to generation, we can get so far from the original that we don't even make out the original sound," he told his more than 6,000-strong congregation, using copies of an audio cassette tape to illustrate his point.

"We're losing a lot of clarity," he said.

But it's not all doom and gloom, Furtick highlighted.

"This generation might be in danger of losing the truth and biblical values but they're also the generation that could change the world," he explained.

And what this generation actually needs is not more rules to live by, he stressed, but rather a calling to live for.

After all, this is "the most driven, most opportunistic, most positioned generation in history to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ all over the world," Furtick said.

What Christians need to know is that this is a generation than can spot a fake a mile away; that needs an authoritative figure who can lead them in a direction worth following; and that needs a challenge that's beyond what's humanly possible because they believe in miracles, the young pastor laid out.

Rather than condemning this generation, Furtick called the church to "lift high a standard" so that they can know the Lord.

That standard includes showing who God is.

"How will they know our God if we do not show our God?" he asked. "How will they know that our God is faithful if they never see us step out in faith and trust Him and live above the level of mediocrity? How will they know that our God is worthy of giving their lives to if all they ever see is mom and dad get to church one time every six weeks when it's convenient and nothing else conflicts with their schedule?"

He also urged Christians to issue a stronger challenge than calling young people to be "good little boys and girls."

"Let's tell them ... to be great men and women of God," Furtick said. "Let's raise a generation that isn't just surviving the world but changing it."

Furtick's "One Generation Away" monthlong sermon series continues this weekend.

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