Author and Regent Grad Sheds “Light” On Reaching Today’s Youth

By Sara Nguyen

For Ron Luce, DSL ’19, when it comes to sharing the gospel and reaching youth for Christ, the numbers tell a big story.

Fifty-two percent of the global population is under 30. The median age of Christians globally is 30, and the age someone is most likely to make a decision for Christ is 13. And yet for all those numbers, today’s Church is struggling with how to reach them.

As CEO of Generation Next, Luce’s mission has been to help equip church leaders around the world to reach and disciple the next generation. That can be a big challenge however when faced with a growing knowledge revolution and what Luce calls the “greying of the Church” — a generation of churchgoers growing older and not effectively reaching the younger.

“We’re about to enter warp speed with the amount of innovation and change happening,” Luce said. “And we need to understand what impact it will have on the next generation and what we can do as the Church to be prepared for it.”

To help answer those questions, Luce enrolled as a doctoral student in strategic leadership at Regent University with an emphasis in strategic foresight.

“I felt this vacuum where I knew I needed to learn a lot more and grow a lot more,” he continued. “At Regent, I was constantly getting challenged to think differently, and what I found remarkable was that each semester I would take a couple classes that were exactly what I needed to know right then for what I was going through or for that next level of leadership.”

Luce’s culminating doctoral project was a book titled, “Faith At The Speed of Light,” outlining the best practices for church leaders to successfully ride the wave of change that is coming.

“One of the biggest ‘aha moments’ with these best practices and foresight research was realizing that [the mandate] for impacting the next generation is not just for the youth pastor. The Church and its leaders have to own it,” Luce explained. “If we don’t own it, then all these people who are shaping the knowledge revolution with all the technology and innovation … they will shape the next generation if we don’t. That’s our threat, but it’s also our opportunity.”

To help create some of those opportunities, Luce helped lead a massive three-day youth event — Jesus Global Youth Day — held in the Philippines. Some 50,000 youth attended, and 101,000 churches and host sites registered from around the world— altogether reaching millions of youth across the globe.

“We use these big events to get the attention of the leaders,” Luce said. “But our real hope and prayer is for churches to join the ‘One In A Million’ campaign — an alliance of leaders interested in reaching and discipling the next generation. It’s not about competing or reinventing the wheel. We need to be missionally focused as a Church and get the message of the gospel to those who are most likely to receive it — and that is people in their youth.”

 

ABOUT REGENT UNIVERSITY

The School of Business & Leadership is a Gold Winner – Best Business School and Best MBA Program by Coastal Virginia Magazine. The school also has earned a top-five ranking by U.S. News & World Report for its online MBA and online graduate business (non-MBA) programs. The school offers both online and on-campus degrees including Master of Business Administration; M.S. in Business Analytics; M.A. in Church Leadership, Organizational Leadership, and Product Management; Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership; and Doctor of Strategic Leadership.

Founded in 1978, Regent University has nearly 11,000 students studying on its 70-acre campus in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and online around the world. The university offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from a Christian perspective in 135+ program areas including business, communication and the arts, divinity, education, government, law, leadership, and psychology. Currently, Regent University is ranked among top national universities by U.S. News & World Report and is one of only 22 universities nationally to receive an “A” rating for its comprehensive liberal arts core curriculum.