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Abstract

The study investigates the life style of a Godly and worldly youth and its implication on the growth of the church. The roles youths plays in today’s church and ministry building cannot be over emphasized.  Most ministries are being raised by Godly youths so, investing in today’s youth is so essential in growing the body of Christ. The study randomly selects a sample size of 160 youths from a population of 200 worldly and Godly youths in Cross Rivers State. The researcher adopts simple percentage in analyzing the data obtained from the respondents with a well-structured questionnaire. The findings here reveal that it is imperative for the truth of the gospel to be passed down from generation to generation in order to grow the body of Christ. Also, the Godly youths today have been known to take a nosedive into the technological and consumerism distracting worlds that lead to destruction of their spiritual attachment with Jesus as well as their ties with the society. As is evidence, the dominating secular culture in the world deprives the youth of personal, economic and spiritual tools which will aid the young generation into being Christ’s disciples. In turn, the young generation has sought to neglect their role in spreading the gospel and settled for less since they have been ignored by the society. The study recommends that Church leaders should endeavor to inculcate Christ like attributes tour teaming worldly youths by continuous spreading of the message of love and not of hatred.

 

 

 

 

 

                                          CHAPTER ONE

                                        INTRODUCTION

1.1      Background of the study

The 21st century being a technological age has modernized most of the Godly youths, such that to differentiate between a God fearing and worldly youths is posing serious challenges to scholars around the world. Church Growth is a movement within evangelical Christianity which focuses on developing methods to grow churches based on business marketing strategies. It cannot be disputed that youths play a vital role in the life of a Church as they are the leaders of tomorrow and future of the church. The elderly stands out but youth’s contributions have been shinning and have always been flag bearers of every Church. For any tangible growth to take place in any Christian community, the youth must be significant in that process of growth. This is the more reason why wise nations, countries, groups and organization focus more on the development of youths so that the future of such investments would never be improvised or blind. It is therefore of vital importance in today’s Church to prepare assiduously youths for the tasks they would naturally face in the coming future. It is only when we have nourished our youths that they in-turn develop the Church. The church is a community composed of members from diverse backgrounds who enjoin to share the work of God. The youth must therefore be involved actively in drawing the congregation both old and young to participate responsibly in the work, life and mission of the church and the community (Nielson, 2016). When the youth are drawn to the community it becomes easier for them to comprehend what it is to live in the Christian community.

The youth have a big role in today’s ministry which can only be possible through adults demonstrating to them that a discipleship and love culture is embraced in the church (Day & Kurtz, 2017). Paraphrasing (1 Timothy 4:12), “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity”.  This is an admonition on the need to live a Holy and blameless life addressed to a young man, Timothy.  But, premarital sex, insolent speech, materialism, ruthlessness, theft and violence are some of the common vices generally found among Christian youths today. In our various churches, the youth have been deprived of proper assets for development from the church, parents and school to help them grow and spread the gospel. Such assets will assist in preventing the youths from premarital sexual behavior, drug abuse and anti-social behavior which are rated high risk behaviors. This way, the level of responsibility and pro-social behaviors among the youths will be encouraged and spread by youths to their fellows in the church hence promoting living standards that are healthy and spiritually effective to yield successful and responsible adult society. To boost these efforts, the church must incorporate contemporary stratagems to the youth ministry in establishing the growth of youths. The elders have a role to be flexible and adjust to the ever changing needs of youths through updating and matching the youth energy and vitality while avoiding old models. The youth must therefore in the long-run not to dilute the gospel message but discover how to live out the good news and encourage others to do so (Nielson, 2016).

The worldly youths need guidance and support as they navigate through the most challenging part of their development and seek to grow in their daily endeavors in today’s society. Christ-like leaders are needed to serve young members of the congregation and help them to reach their full potential.

Godly youth must be rooted in a biblical foundation in order effectively communicate with young people. It is important for the truth of the gospel of Christ to be passed down from generation to generation in order to grow the body of Christ. Ultimately, helping youth to grow spiritually in their formative years will equip them to make an impact in church growth both now and in their future. This study will examine the lifestyle of Godly and worldly youth and its implication on the church growth.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Today, a great percentage of our Christian youths are living a life of disobedience to the Word of God, they are copying the patterns of this world with dexterity. Today, the lifestyle of the youth is such that it is very difficult to have a distinction between Christian youths and of those of the world. How can we change the perspective of our youth who are easily lured and enticed by worldly lifestyle? This research is vital because it aims at making an analysis of the Christian youths’ lifestyle, enlightening them and warning the victims of the dangers ahead. Most organizations especially in church set up always want their youths to live and practice the godly lifestyles (character trait of Jesus), the absence of this brings a very big problem between the youths and the leadership of the church. In some instances, the youths are removed from position of leadership or placed on church discipline. This indicates that Christian organizations are after godly lifestyles that will lead to a very good behavior and achievement of its goals and objective.  The researcher have an enormous burden regarding lifestyles of most of our youths in Church who are beclouded by this new age philosophy which is geared towards self-aggrandizement, hedonism, individualism, and self-confidence. This has led them into a life of sexual immorality, drug abuse, occultism, pride, disrespect, indolence, get rich quick syndrome, violence and so on. This study seeks to make an analysis of godly and worldly youth lifestyles with the aim of finding the causes, effect, and solution of the new age philosophy that is leading our youth towards worldly lifestyles rather than Christ-like life.

1.3      Objectives of the study

The main objective of this present study is to examine the lifestyle of a godly and worldly youth and its implication on church growth. The study intends to cross examine the following sub objectives;

  1. To uncover the root cause(s) of moral degradation and eroding of our Christian values among the Godly youth.
  2. To discover the effects of Godly youths copying worldly lifestyles.
  • To establish what the Bible says about the Christian youth and worldly lifestyles.
  1. To proffer solutions and admonish Godly youths to return to Christian values.

1.4 Research Questions

The following determining research questions will serve as a guide to the process:

  1. What are the roots causes of the moral degradation and eroding of our Christian values among Godly youths?
  2. Do the youth contribute to the growth and sustenance of the church?
  3. How can the youth overcome these negative tendencies?
  4. Does the youth lifestyle go in line with the church doctrine?
  5. Is there any significant relationship between a Godly youth lifestyle and church growth?
  6. What are the roots causes of the moral degradation and eroding of our Christian values among Godly youths?

1.5   Research hypothesis

The following research hypothesis will guide the study;

H0: Godly youth cannot overcome these negative tendencies and influence from the world.

H1: Godly youth can overcome these negative tendencies and influence from the world.

H0: there is no significant relationship between the youth lifestyle and church growth

H2: there is a significant relationship between the youth lifestyle and church growth

1.6   Significance of the study

This study aims at digging the root cause, the effect and the appropriate way of solving the worldly lifestyles affecting our youth so that organizations, parents and youth will benefit from the research findings. This research is very significant because youths are the future of every organization especially the Church. Many, if not all church denominations in Nigeria have been affected by the change in the lifestyles of their youths. This research work will assist churches, ministries, pastors, etc in discovering the vital roles youths play in the life of a Church as they are the leaders of tomorrow and future of every church. From this research, we will discover what a healthy church is like and how youth life style can boost church growth.

1.7   Scope/Limitations of the study

A research of this nature on life style of a godly and worldly youth and its implication on the church growth seems broad such that it cannot be exhausted in this research work. For this reason, the research shall focus on what the Bible teaches about Christian youth and godly lifestyles, the root causes of moral degradation and eroding of our Christian values among Christian Youths, its effect on the youth and society, and how they can overcome these negative tendencies. On the other hand, this research shall focus on some selected churches in Nigeria only because of security challenges, time, and budgetary constraints. The researcher shall sample the opinion of some selected Christian youths from different churches in Nigeria through a questionnaire. However, there were some constraints that tend to interrupt the flow of the study which include;

Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.

Inadequate Materials: Scarcity of material is also another hindrance. The researcher finds it difficult to long hands in several required material which could contribute immensely to the success of this research work.

Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
1.8 Definitions of Terms

The following terms have been defined for the purpose of this study:

Youth: Youth is the time of life when one is young, but often means the time between childhood and adulthood (maturity).

Life style: Lifestyles define us; they are the way we live our lives, what we do, with whom, where, how and what we use to do it

Church Growth: is a movement within evangelical Christianity which focuses on developing methods to grow churches based on business marketing strategies.

Implication: the conclusion that can be drawn from something although it is not explicitly stated or the action or state of being involved in something.

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