YOUTH LIFE STYLE AND CHURCH GROWTH

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CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.1      Background of the study
Church Growth is a movement within evangelical Christianity which focuses on developing methods to grow churches based on business marketing strategies. It cannot be disputed that youths play a vital role in the life of a Church as they are the leaders of tomorrow and future of the church. The elderly stands out but youth’s contributions have been shinning and have always been flagbearers of every Church. For any tangible growth to take place in any Christian community, the youth must be significant in that process of growth. This is the more reason why wise nations, countries, groups and organization focus more on the development of youths so that the future of such investments would never be improvised or blind. It is therefore of vital importance in the Catholic Church to prepare assiduously youths for the tasks they would naturally face in the coming future. It is only when we have nourished our youths that they in-turn develop the Church. The questions are “what amount of attention do we give the youths and what level of devotion does the youths give to the church. The youths of today have very high ideals, and to deny this would be grossly unfair. But we must admit that very often these ideals can sour, can be perverted and can be exploited. Often young people ultimately relinquish their ideals if they suspect that the situation is hopeless; if they conclude that nowhere can these ideals be fulfilled. Unfortunately, this is the usual progression of events today. Disappointments lead to abysmal falls, often to depths lower than those they condemned when their idealism was fresh. Where this does not happen, ideals are exploited by false prophets of good. The sectarians far from the fullness of truth are able to inspire youth to make such amazing sacrifices Yet at the same time, the Orthodox Church, possessing the fullness of Truth, has a real difficulty in keeping her youth (Abednego: 1989). It could be that in ignoring the high ideals and potential moral heroism of our youth we have failed to familiarize them with our examples of such heroism, displayed by our own young, even the very young, who loved Christ and His Church in past ages. The youths are important fabrics in the society. Can there be any society without youth? Obviously no, that is why we must see to it that our youths find their rightful places in the church. Church growth begins with church health and not the other way around. We see in nature that healthy things grow. This is by no means a new concept, but it's still true. From this research, we will discover what a healthy church is like and how youth life style can boost church growth.  
1.2      Statement of the problem
One key problem is the inability to examine youth life style and church growth. Another problem is how best to measure numerical growth. A variety of indicators for attendance and occasional offices are available, but all are affected to some degree by measurement error and random fluctuations. Such variability poses particular problems with small churches, where the addition or subtraction of just a few people produces large proportional changes in the totals.  
1.3      Objectives of the study
1.  To examine youth life style and church growth.
2.  To change the unhealthy culture of some church youth ministries.
3.  To cast a fresh vision for the church.
1.4   Research questions
1. What amount of attention do we give the youths?
2. What level of devotion do the youths give to the church?  
1.5   Significance of the study
This research work will assist churches, ministries, pastors, etc in discovering the vital roles youths play in the life of a Church as they are the leaders of tomorrow and future of every church. From this research, we will discover what a healthy church is like and how youth life style can boost church growth.
1.6   Scope/Limitations of the study
This study is on youth lifestyle and church growth.
Limitations of study
1.        Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
2.        Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.  
1.7   Definition of terms
Church Growth: is a movement within evangelical Christianity which focuses on developing methods to grow churches based on business marketing strategies.
Youth: Youth is the time of life when one is young, but often means the time between childhood and adulthood (maturity).
Life style: Lifestyles define us; they are the way we live our lives, what we do, with whom, where, how and what we use to do it.

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