Young People Seek Faith Beyond The Church

Wallace Bruce

On the night of November 2nd, students from both the Magee and Coleraine campuses of Ulster University met at Cornerstone Church in Derry/Londonderry to discuss their faith and how to engage others with their beliefs. A stark contrast to the downward trend of faith in young adults over the last few years.

So, what leads to young people coming into faith? Among those helping organize and run the November event was Wallace Bruce, a staff worker for Christian Unions Ireland. Bruce discussed his thoughts on what leads young people away from the church and what brings them back.

“It’s no wrong statement to say that some churches have struggled to keep up with the times. We’re living in a more secular age than we ever have before. People might say that the UK or Northern Ireland is a Christian country or whatever, but in what sense, you know? There is less Christianity or faith in schools or life in general. It’s become more secular. On one hand, that seems like a loss, and that seems like a bad thing. On the other hand, it actively contributes to some of the superficialness. You know where Christianity or faith is just something that everyone kind of does. What is the depth there, really,” said Bruce.

“There’s lots of different things going on, and I think maybe the church has been slow to adapt, not in their message, but in their means and to what society needs to hear. Our younger generation wants security and wants depth and authenticity. I think that a church that engages authentically will experience growth and experience people being drawn to it.”

The event focused on teaching students how to engage in missionary work. It’s often through that same engagement that many young people find themselves in faith.