I had a wonderful time going to a Baseball game with a friend who has an effective on-going outreach to the Starbucks crowd. He is very, very good at reaching out to young people (between the ages of 18-29). The kids he reaches are not “church” kids but some of the best examples of the new narcissistic now that has little use for you or the church if you try and “sell” them the gospel.
My friend (Rick Davis) reaches these young people by providing answers to their two key questions: 1) How do you know, and 2) by what authority.
Rick has been a student of culture and has paid especially close attention to the work of Dallas Willard. Willard’s new book, Knowing Christ Today, is perhaps the best book a person could study (and I mean study, not peruse) if you want to be able to break through the narcissistic shell many of these young people have developed.
Rick has found, and has logged in hundreds of hours at Starbucks cultivating relationships and doing evangelism, that you need to be able to provide a reasonable, intellectual response when asked these question. You will probably only get one shot. These kids make fast and binding decisions based on what can this do for me. They want knowledge. They want to find an authority they can trust. They are spiritual hungry, but are skeptical of what the church offers. Rick is providing this and is reaching these kids when most churches wouldn’t even get a chance.
I would encourage anyone wanting to reach younger folks for the Kingdom to get Willard’s book and build a philosophical response so you can be ready to give an account of the hope that is in you.