Young people have a lot to offer the church, including important perspectives on faith.

By Maddy Schneider

Socrates, the ancient Greek philosopher, is credited as having said, “The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. … They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.”

That might be the popular perception of youth, but I would disagree. During Living Your Faith, a weeklong event at Northwestern College for high school students to explore ministry and deepen their faith, I had a very different experience.

Little did I know that this week would help solidify my beliefs in the Reformed theology I have been surrounded by my whole life.

The week was divided among worship, teaching, serving, playing, and talking among ourselves, and while I assumed the teaching and serving would be the most important time, that was not the case. My greatest memories of this week were the conversations that took place late at night in our rooms. Never did I imagine I would so love talking and learning about election!

I had heard about election and even read about it in the book of Romans, but in all honesty, it was just in passing. I knew the words, but I had never really thought deeply about the fact that God predestined me or elected me. That all changed during the week, as we talked about it late into the night in our dorm rooms. To wrestle with this issue with other students, who are now my friends, was so enlightening. We were also guided by our college mentors, who helped us explore election in depth. I came to realize that God knew me when he created everything!

Now while some will agree with Socrates concerning what they think of us as youth, I am here to tell you that I am so excited about the future of not only the church but also the youth of today. If you have a chance, you should ask us about our faith and share your faith with us! Conversations about election don’t have to only be limited to a week at Northwestern.

Faith is our life, just as it should be your life.

Maddy Schneider, a high school senior, attended Living Your Faith in 2017. She is a member of Good News Church (RCA) in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.