By: Kevin Dunning, Bellevue Christian Head of School (firstname.lastname@example.org)
A blog post from “A Few Good Minutes”
A recent survey of 16-29-year-olds in the United Kingdom found a staggering number (89%) that believed their lives had no purpose. Think about that for a moment. If you think your life has no meaning, what a profound difference that will have on the choices you make. Now the temptation may be to say, “Those are just the Brits,” but the Barna Generations study has some similar warning signs for those in Generation Z on this side of the Atlantic.
In the study, only 22% of teens reported looking forward to growing up and experiencing the freedoms of adulthood. Trends showed that Millennials indicated a high priority on achievement and low priority on personal and relationship growth. These results are magnified in Generation Z. Nearly 40% of Gen Z want to spend their 20s enjoying life before taking on adult responsibilities, up significantly from Millennials who said the same.
Pair this view on early adulthood with a diminishing agreement of what constitutes moral behavior (e.g., only 34% of Gen Z say lying is morally wrong) and you get a generation that has little or no moorings, neither motivated by the pursuit of a better future or driven by an internal sense of right and wrong.
Two years ago, BCS adopted “With Purpose” as a tagline. The study gives context to the meaning of that phrase. Bellevue Christian offers many opportunities to families: a quality education, an environment with a strong sense of community, environments to learn and grow through many extra-curricular activities, among other things. But fundamentally, ‘Bellevue Christian School exists for those who want their children brought up ‘in the training and instruction of the Lord.’ We are not here only for the affluent, or for the college-bound, or for stellar examples of Christian conduct. Our goal is to serve the Christian community as a whole, not a particular subgroup.” (Hagen, Second Sight, p.40)
Our tagline captures what many of our teachers and staff have been called to do for decades; to serve students God puts in our paths and help them discover God’s purpose in their own lives.
In a post-Christian world, Christian education is the only option that brings to its students’ hope. Hope for a world made better by seeing each other as created in the image of God. Hope that life matters beyond the four score years we might be granted while on earth. Hope that loving our neighbors as ourselves can have an impact far beyond our families and our community.
The world is changing; God’s values are not. That is a truth worth proclaiming.