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The Top Ten Fears of Our Youth
Research on today's most unreached group.

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According to our research, teenagers today are the most unreached people for Christ in the nation. Less than 10 percent of America's youths have accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior. Our research team has interviewed hundreds of young people. In the course of these interviews we came to understand and appreciate them even more.

Among the many areas where we learned so much, perhaps the most revealing was hearing about their fears.

There are two basic reasons churches today do not reach youth. The first is that they simply do not try to reach young people with the gospel. There is no intentionality. The second is that many leaders and laypersons do not understand youths. It is my prayer that this brief background will help you understand teens better and thus have a greater passion to reach them.

In this article, I look at the 10 greatest fears of our young people.

Fear # 10: "I will never have a happy marriage and family."

A majority of youths do not believe they will have an intact and "good" family when they reach adulthood. One of the greatest desires for their future is a good home life. Among the youths we surveyed, 73 percent believe that children of divorced parents have more problems than children of non-divorced parents.

Among their clearly articulated desires, having one marriage partner for life was near the top. And most of the youths we surveyed expressed a deep need to have a spouse and children within a few years. But they fear that the trends of culture mean that very few of them will see these desires fulfilled.

Fear # 9: "Someone I know or love will die of AIDS (maybe me!)."

For the teens of today, AIDS is not some distant problem known only through the evening news. To the contrary, the disease is ever-present in the minds of these young people. And though a superficial discussion may not uncover this fear, our interviews confirmed their numerous concerns about the disease.

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The American Board of Family Practice discovered this fear when asking youths to cite their greatest concerns for the future. Among the top five concerns was the fear of AIDS, specifically someone close to them getting AIDS.

Not only are the youths fearful of AIDS for the future of their nation and world, they fear the disease infecting someone in their families. Almost every teenager we surveyed had knowledge of someone in his or her school, church, neighborhood, or community getting the dreaded disease. For this generation, AIDS is a real and present danger getting ever closer to them and their families.

I remember well a discussion with a 17-year-old male who seemed extremely agitated about AIDS.

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Topics:AIDS, Evangelism, Family, Fear, Generational differences, Generations, Sex, Youth Ministry
Filters:Parents ministry, Pastor, Sunday school, Youth ministry
References:Proverbs 22:6, Luke 18:16, Ephesians 6:4

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Displaying 1–5 of 11 comments

Sarah Montenegro

June 24, 2014  5:40am

Truth is, i feel a lot of this too (though not the AIDS and peer pressure to have sex). It appalled me when i saw how the majority of students have sex before senior year... im not religious (but im not one of those mean kinds and im sorta leaning towards religion nowadays) and tbh im terified with the thought of my parents' death. We grow up thinking theyre immortal, and then are suddenly reminded that theyre not. Thinking about it makes me want to hug my parents and never let go, to cherish them and make them laugh, and i get tears knowing that theyre going to leave and id grow up alone and have to take care of their funerals. Im also afraid of growing up with a phobia of mine, and becoming a parent while having a ridiculous phobia. And the job one!! I want to become a surgeon but... its so much dedication and competition and im just an average kid... my plan b (a criminal therapist) is great but it doesnt pay much. I think ill be stopping here before it gets any more personal pft

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December 06, 2013  12:08am

I loved this article because it gets down to the core of what teens fear, not everyone will agree or can relate but we can at least learn for this article of what youth today are going through. Personally, I have feared all of these 10 at one point of my youth being 22 I have lived through a lot and am happy to know that I am loved by Christ. For other readers if you have never feared one of the ten then you should feel blessed. Take the information and learn from it and spread God's Gospel to the youth in your community, they are in dire need of knowing that Christ loves them and that they are not alone in this world. I am just happy that there are amazing pastors and youth leaders who are living for Christ and want to help! Amen and blessings to all.

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October 02, 2012  1:36am

My worst fear is dat,i might not be able to reach the expectation of ma parent,cause they expect too much 4rm me,and that am gona get old 1 day and surely die,and evrytin hav worked 4 is going to vanish

nannaa saleh

October 10, 2011  5:27am

hi I'm nana and My worst fear is that the world may become an unharmonised, corrupted place which we live in where we long to die. I believe you cant change the world and each individuals belief but you can correct yourself, it all starts with one step. Take it. and the fears listed above are rarely brought up in my society, people believe that marriage is the best gift god has gifted us with, and pretty much wait for the time to wed.

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March 02, 2011  10:54am

Most people have these fears, sure, but I haven't known anybody that frets over stuff like this... Especially when you're like, 14 through 18- unless you have sex with every person you've met or you already have your own place to stay where you have to pay rent or whatever. I don't fret over any of these besides the "being too busy" part. I like the article, but I don't like how all teens' fears are put into these bizarre categories....

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