Over previous newsletters, we have shared a few of the ways our conversations are more complex than when we first started. The pandemic was an accelerant for many struggles such as loneliness, anxiety, depression, and addiction issues. Additionally, we sadly have seen suicide steadily increase in society and as a percentage of our conversations over the past several years.
The ministry has always been on the front line of what people are wrestling with and has had to prepare volunteers on how to meet people in those struggles. People come to us to share their stories because they have no one else to listen.
The latest topics that are growing exponentially include sexuality and gender confusion. Unfortunately, many of these conversations are with children and young adults that are hurting and confused. We expect this trend to grow and the conversations to become even more difficult in the future.
We see more school districts teaching these topics at very young ages. Primary education keeps moving away from biblical principles and more local districts are encouraging gender as a choice. This will only lead to more pain and confusion, but we will be there with the hope of Jesus.
There is never a shortage of people realizing the path they have chosen is not the answer and they need more. Our prayer would be they would connect with their local Christian community but that is also changing. The world is taking convenience to a new level, and the time and commitment for real relationships within church community are often being replaced by online experiences. There are several studies on the impact of these trends over the next 20-50 years and all agree that Christianity will continue to decline in the US with more churches closing.
With fewer people having healthy options to lean into, we expect the difficult conversations to continue to grow. Our Training Portal will undoubtedly have to expand in order to help volunteers be confident in meeting all seekers. We will also continue pursuing discipleship options for those who are willing to engage with other believers. We will most assuredly need your help in continuing to evolve as a ministry to meet the evolving dynamics of the future.