GODFREY: I think Dutch Reformed churches, by and large, have done a remarkably good job holding their young people in the church because, of course, they include them in the church by baptizing them, and then they carefully catechize their young people, teaching them the basics of the faith. In most places, they send them to Christian schools so that the faith of the home is supported in the school, and they are faithful in bringing them to church both morning and evening on Sunday.
Where we already have young people in the church, we have to invest in them, discipline them, and disciple them for the kingdom. Maybe I’m being unduly optimistic in a sad age, but I’m sensing that young people are getting more serious. Part of what we have to demonstrate to young people is that church is serious. It’s about serious things. It’s about a serious God.
LAWSON: Church is also very relevant to their lives because God is the most relevant thing to exist.
GODFREY: Absolutely. I think the great experiment in making church comfortable, happy, and easy unintentionally communicated that it is also not important. I think that through our seriousness before God, by having reverence and awe in worship and in our whole educational enterprise, we’re saying to young people, “This is really important.”
This is a transcript of W. Robert Godfrey’s and Steven Lawson’s answers given during our A Continuing Reformation: Pittsburgh 2021 Conference and has been lightly edited for readability. To ask Ligonier a biblical or theological question, email email@example.com or message us on Facebook or Twitter.