The Next Christian

Who are we? What can we become? Anything is possible in life! That’s how we are nurtured. We are raised to be aspirational. We want to turn our hobbies into jobs. We are internet doyens with an ability to work with multiple screens and are constantly connected. If you want to get our attention, talk to us using Snapchat or Instagram. Our heroes are not sitcom or movie stars; we follow internet celebrities!  Four-star rating and reviews are essential for us to make decisions. We value friendship and networks. If you ask us to help you, we are ready to volunteer. We all want to change the world.

But all is not that rosy! Technology boosts our dopamine, but the technology we use is filtered. We are showing that life is fantastic even though we are depressed or crumbling. We feel good when we get a WhatsApp message, but lonely when people don’t respond. We like the “likes”, and go back ten times to check our phones for new message. Lack of “likes” raises self-doubt. We have developed narcissistic tendencies; that we are special all the time. But when we face “the real world,” we fall apart; our self-image is shattered.

Many of our relationships are superficial. We have more friends, but few lasting friendships. We are easily hurt. We neither have in-depth relationships nor the skills to cultivate them. We often turn to our devices and social media to seek temporary relief.

We like the “likes”, and go back ten times to check our phones for new message. Lack of “likes” raises self-doubt. We have developed narcissistic tendencies; that we are special all the time. But when we face “the real world,” we fall apart; our self-image is shattered.

We have a dim view of the church. We have doubts and questions but we feel snubbed when we raise them. We are thirsty for transcendence and authentic God-experience. When we hear in the church that God is a cosmic buddy, we don’t get it, but if you tell about a holy God who is also loving, it captures our hearts and minds. What we see and experience in worship service should be consistent with life. We want the church to be a community, but less formal.

This is us: the next Christians. As you read this issue, ask these questions with us: What are some of the trends that pose challenges and offer opportunities to reach out to the youth of India? How are Christian youths coping with trends like digital gaming and social media? How can we help young Christians see beyond consumerism and technology? What can we as church do for them?

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