Thinking Matters Youth is a Tauranga (New Zealand) based initiative that seeks to provide a safe place for our young people (both Christian and non-Christian) to ask the hard questions of faith, life and God. Youth will always have heart-felt questions about why the world is the way it is – and we want to answer these questions intelligently and thoughtfully from a Christian Worldview.
The Church has always wanted to address the hopelessness our young people experience. The hopelessness that comes from living in a hedonistic culture that tells us there is no purpose or meaning beyond that of immediate personal gratification. We watch the binge drinking, teen pregnancies, suicide and other consequences and instinctively know the Christian Gospel is the only lasting solution.
But what the Church has so often missed are the significant intellectual barriers people hold onto that prevent the Gospel from even being heard and understood.
Thinking Matters Youth wants to address these intellectual barriers so our young people can better hear the Christian message and find the hope they so desperately need. We want to demolish the arguments and pretensions that have been set up against the knowledge of God (2 Cor 10:5). We want to provide intelligent and thoughtful answers to the big questions – intellectually and emotionally satisfying answers that come with a message of hope and redemption – with the Christian Gospel at the core.
In addition, we also hope to address the tragic statistic where three quarters of young Christians walk away from their faith when they leave home – despite the best intentions of the Christian homes and churches they were bought up in.
We believe the Church today is teaching our kids WHAT we believe, without backing it up with the reasons WHY we believe it. The result is that often young Christians are leaving home with a shallow faith founded on emotions and Christian community – both worthy and necessary aspects of Christianity – but insufficient for a deep and lasting faith.
Then when their community broadens beyond the church through new study or work life, the intellectual challenges come and they find themselves unprepared. The result is all too often an abandonment of what is often written off as mearly their ‘parents faith’. Research shows that the most common reason cited is some sort of intellectual challange that their church was unable to answer.
Thinking Matters Youth wants to address this by showing them a confident faith founded on evidence, reason and critical thinking – loving God with all of our minds (Luke 10:27). We want to show that there ARE answers, and inspire them to seek those answers, so that they too can defend and share their faith with confidence.