04 Local Faith Leaders Comment on the Findings

Local Faith Leaders Comment on the Findings


Dr. Ruth Perrin‘The paucity of connectivity is heartbreaking; that so many in our country feel that level of isolation and loneliness. Given the 2017 WHO report revealing the levels of existential anxiety among British teens, it’s perhaps not a surprise, but it is still deeply troubling and striking among the more developed nations. . . Apparently national and global issues, both present and future, are creating a climate of anxiety which is felt acutely among young Britons. It’s a hard time to be young. That those embedded in faith communities seem to be doing better is heartening. The gospel clearly does make a difference to their lives and perspectives. We can be confident that we have answers our younger generations need in order to thrive and, regardless of our secular culture, be unapologetic about offering hope in the name of Jesus.’

Dr. Ruth Perrin, Researcher into Millennial faith, University of Durham


Jordan Kelly‘For a long time, culture has been driving away from Christianity. On the whole, we’ve become consumed by rationality, and there is a huge emphasis that life’s meaning and purpose must be realised and understood through science alone. Despite this, in my experience amongst friends and the people I work with, there’s still a deep desire, a yearning to find purpose and meaning beyond this. For the most part, this goes unspoken. The challenge today is to find a way to effectively communicate the gospel to individual hearts. As a society, we have access to so many ideas, it doesn’t surprise me that many aren’t enticed by the gospel. It seems to me we generally do not present it very well. I think we have the opportunity to bring the gospel to life for a generation who are desperate for what Jesus brings and to fill the void that has left so many wanting.’

Jordan Kelly, Coach for Divine Renovation Leadership Network UK


Stephen Foster‘A substantial portion of our congregation is 18-35-year-olds and when you’re regularly communicating with that audience, what you find quite quickly is that attention isn’t an obligation; it’s a gift. They don’t have to listen to what you have to say. We sometimes say that you have between 60 and 90 seconds to persuade someone to listen to what you have to say. We want to communicate the unchanging truth of the gospel to a rapidly changing generation and a rapidly changing world. We want to be as relevant as possible to what’s going on in people’s lives. We want to be as authentic as possible. We’re not experts; we’re kind of fellow travellers on the way with this generation, trying to work out what it means to follow Jesus in every area of our lives.’

Stephen Foster, Alpha International, UK National Director


Dan Blythe‘Many of this generation have not been exposed to rule-based religion, so when you start talking about a God of Love, they are open to discussion. When we chat [about] Church, they picture a building with stained glass windows and an organ. When we discuss Church being the people and not the place, it causes interest. I believe this is an exciting time for the Church, and I believe we will see multitudes of this generation encounter God’s grace.’

Dan Blythe, Pastor at Hillsong Church London


Jo Saxton‘It’s lonely to lead without anybody investing in you. It’s hard. I think it was Marian Wright Edelman who said, “You can’t be what you can’t see.” Part of having someone believe in you is someone looking at you and saying, “I see you. I see what you’re about. And I see a way to get there.” Jesus prayed all night about who to invest in, and I think every one of us who call ourselves Christian leaders will do well to do something along those lines. I genuinely do. He was a model for how to raise up a generation of people who would go off and do incredible things. Not only do we believe in him, we believe in his leadership, and we believe in his pattern of doing it. If we have this gift of a generation coming across our power, we should be praying about how to invest in them.’

Jo Saxton, Speaker, author, co-host of Lead Stories podcast

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