by Rev. Jeff Duncan, Mission and Ministry Director
In my short tenure at LFL, there has been a recurring thought from the Frontlines: “We’re not so young anymore, and, frankly, it’s so hard to get new volunteers.”
NONSENSE! Invite your youth—and not just to stuff envelopes and serve dessert after the Life Chapter meeting! Talk with them. Get their input on life issues. Engage them in discussions on how they see the world. Seek out their opinion. Invite them to study an issue with you—together. Find out what scares them about the future. Ask them about death, fetal-tissue research, in vitro fertilization, embryonic stem cell research, gender dysphoria, suicide (both self-inflicted and physician assisted), and of course abortion and post-abortion syndrome. If you start asking, they will talk with you and gladly “Stand Up for Life!”
In the events I have attended—national March for Life, national and regional conferences, local Life Chapter/Life Team events, sidewalk counseling, youth gatherings, Chat4Life talks, and Life Sundays—I’ve noticed that youth have a real heart to serve the Lord and be a voice For Life!
Now, you may find it challenging. They are sensitive issues you once thought everyone agreed were taboo and illicit. Three words of advice: listen, listen, listen! Engaging your youth in life issues will require patience and tact. Listen to what is important to them. Be careful of condemning their initial thoughts. Remember, they don’t have the wisdom of your age and experience. Yet they are just as compassionate and concerned about what is happening with their friends and family as you! They are teachable. Most haven’t developed dogmatic opinions or entrenched themselves in bad theology and factual untruths beyond redirection and affirmation in God-pleasing expressions For Life. This is your vocation—to bring up the next generation of Gospel-motivated voices For Life!
Remember their innate cultural strengths. They have command over media and technology some of you wish you could develop! Utilize their strengths. Develop their thoughtful understanding of life issues. Capitalize on their abilities to focus on directed projects. Use their creativity to inspire new Life Chapter or Life Team projects. It might not be the way you’ve always done it. Good! Our youth are a gift of God—our future voice and our For Life voice, now!
Take a moment and read Titus 2 and ponder Paul’s teaching in light of Proverbs 1:5: “Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance.” Then invite, encourage, and mentor youth in your circle today.