With the pandemic casting the spotlight on needs within and outside the church, Christian youths and young adults were asked to rank the issues they were most concerned about.
WHAT DO YOUNG CHRISTIANS CARE ABOUT?
The preliminary findings show that within their church, young Christians are primarily concerned about the physical and emotional isolation (79%) that has emerged as a result of COVID-19.
A further 71% said they noticed the same issue among their peers.
This is not surprising, given that churches are still transitioning from online to in-person services.
Mental health/psychological distress also figured prominently, with 51% listing it as a concern exacerbated by COVID-19 in their church, and 69% observing this among their peers.
In terms of societal issues, inequality was their top concern (70%), followed by mental health (65%) and the welfare of migrant workers (61%).
HOW DID YOUNG CHRISTIANS FEEL ABOUT THEIR CHURCH’S RESPONSE?
Encouragingly, most respondents had positive impressions of their church’s commitment to meeting societal needs – more than 70% were aware of some community outreach project that their church was involved in.
Half (50%) said that their church was able to help low-income families in the neighbourhood during COVID-19.
Interestingly, almost two-thirds of the respondents (60%) also said that Christians in their church had been a positive influence in inspiring them to live generously.
This highlights the importance of the church community in setting a good example for others!
Moreover, 47% of participants were personally able to serve the poor in their community through their church’s programmes.
However, there was one area where young Christians felt that churches could focus more on.
Close to half of respondents (49%) thought that more should be done to draw attention to societal issues.
Participants also felt that churches should be more active in teaching missional social responsibility (47%), which can be described as living out the gospel in our communities as part of our Christian calling.
Such findings align with the statistics from a 2019 Barna/World Vision survey, which found that only 25% of regular church goers in Singapore thought their church helped them to “better understand social justice”.
This is similarly reflected in this Micah Singapore study where around a quarter of respondents said their church has helped them “better understand the needs of the poor”, “better understand the needs of marginalised people” and “better understand social justice”.
WHAT CAN YOUNG CHRISTIANS DO?
The biggest hurdle for most people to get involved in integral mission was not knowing where to start – half of the respondents said that they had not gotten involved because of this reason.
Given the number of different organisations and areas of need as well as the scale of some of these issues, it’s understandable that many would not know how best they can contribute, let alone where to begin.
HOW CAN YOU START?
If you’re interested in taking one small step towards putting your faith into action, Micah Singapore is organising the inaugural Micah-thon next weekend, from February 26-March 1, 2021.
Micah-thon is a hackathon with a twist, where teams tackle real-life challenges submitted by churches and organisations on issues such as creation care, migrant welfare and mental health.
Although maximum capacity for participation in the team challenge on Day 2 (February 27) has been reached, sign-ups for Day 1 and 3 are still open!
You’ll have the opportunity to hear keynote speeches and other findings from the Micah Singapore survey, pitches from the teams and more.
It’ll also be a great way to start exploring what like-minded Christians are doing, even if you’ve never had the chance to think about these issues before. For more details, head over to www.tiny.cc/Micahthon.
We hope that these conversations will eventually lead to greater insights and more targeted actions to alleviate societal needs as well as help the Church better share the gospel.
In doing so, believers will be better equipped to help their local churches and communities “do justice and love kindness” (Micah 6:8 ESV) – something which Micah Singapore calls integral mission.
See you there!