Q&A with Fikre Prince

Q&A with Fikre Prince


Fikre is an associate pastor at Evangel Ministries in Detroit, Michigan, where his focus is technology development and discipleship. For 18 years he served in youth ministry at Evangel and in various groups in the region. He holds a degree in economics from Wayne State University, and has completed studies in apologetics and biblical studies at Biola University and Detroit Bible Institute. He is married to Lakeisha, and together they have five children.

Q: Many of the data points from this study indicate confusion or ambivalence in teens when it comes to the truth. In your experience, what impact is relativism making on youth discipleship? What difference, if any, do teens’ ambivalent views of truth make to the way you approach ministry? 01

I believe the gospel has always had an answer for relativism, but we did not think we needed it. For many years we did not teach the gospel in a way that could be translated to different cultures and experiences, because we did not think we needed to do so. For most of our history, youth have been sheltered by their parents and local communities, who acted as gatekeepers to knowledge. But now they are able to grow up just as familiar with Korean or Kenyan culture as they are with American ways of life.

So now we can begin to talk about Christ with a greater understanding of the whole world. I can teach about absolute truth and contextual truth, and youth can understand the difference. In earlier times I was limited by kids’ low level of awareness of and interaction with the world outside our community, but now I get questions about turmoil in other countries or how to understand the Bible as we learn more about civilizations that predate Israel. That is exciting.

We cannot teach God as just Israel’s God, or just America’s God; these kids interact in global digital communities. When we show them how big God actually is, they can see how he is at work around the globe. When we teach that God knows the heart of man and that our fleshly desires are selfish and wicked—and people all over the world, no matter their faith or non-faith, struggle with that reality—they can see all people’s need for him.

Let’s convey the value of all people by showing kids through the pages of the Bible that each of us is made in the image of God. Let’s show them how God’s people have interacted with different cultures, especially in the book of Acts. As we disciple our youth, let’s help them see how the salvific work of Christ translates to different cultures and backgrounds, even if this diversity is not often shown in our local congregations.

I believe part of relativism’s appeal is a desire to be accepted and to accept others. When we make it seem as though God is against youth or their friends, of course they want to find ways to rationalize or explain away that idea. A lot of what comes across as ambivalence is really kids trying to make sense of what they hear, what they see, what they know of truth and love. Relativism is only dangerous to youth if the adults in their lives cannot help them uncover the flaws and outcomes of this belief. We must communicate the truth of the gospel on a more expansive playing field, so they can see God’s sovereignty at work over the whole earth.

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