A Young Earth
The world is getting younger.
It is an assertion that seems to defy almost everything we know about chronology and science, and from everyday observation.
The world’s population is getting younger.
This seems more plausible, even though it still seems to counter our personal experience of aging. We don’t feel or act younger as time passes. For those of us past age 50, our bodies testify in the other direction.
But the facts—carefully assembled by those who know—are unassailable. The median age of the world’s 7 billion souls has been declining in recent decades, and now ranges from a low of about 15 years of age in some countries of the 10/40 window to a high of more than 40 years of age in several regions of Europe.* More of the world’s people are young than at any other time in recorded history.
And what is true of the world’s population is proving true of the population of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Even among a people who practice “believer baptism”—with children raised in the faith often becoming members only after age 10 or later—there are millions of church members around the globe under the age of 30. That fact is both sobering and inspiring. It reminds us that the church’s “energy potential” is vast and still largely untapped—that there are hundreds of thousands of youth and young adults whose Spirit-given gifts can yet be recruited to the mission of telling the world. But it also means that we must quickly develop a special sensitivity to the ministries and methods that will best engage them and their non-believing peers.
Read this month’s cover feature, “The Power of One,” with a prayer in your heart that the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s youth ministries will become its most effective tool for sharing the good news of a Savior who changed the world in just 33 years.