Where Have All The Young Men Gone?

(Bro Goodspeed wrote this article in 1998, is this question still applicable today?)

Where have all the young men gone?

Long time passing,

Where have all the young men gone?

Long time ago.

Where have all the young men gone?

Gone to soldiers every one,

When will they ever learn?

When will they ever learn?

From “Where Have All the Flowers Gone”

by Peter, Paul, and Mary

This lament from a time when American young men were gone to war was recently brought to mind by the experience of visiting on the campus of the Cherokee Children’s Home. The occasion was a yearly get-together of several hundred interested and involved Christians from many different congregations of Churches of Christ. A number of people were honored for their present or past efforts that have kept Cherokee active in affording a place to live for children who would otherwise be homeless. And this in an atmosphere and environment that will ensure that many of the children will be effective, contributing Christians in our future world.

As I looked around, I saw a sea of gray and thinning hair. This adorned the heads of the people that for forty years, from 1958 to 1998, have provided the leadership and the energy and have helped raise money and support for the children’s home. As I looked closer, I saw only a smattering of young people. There were a few young men, a few young women, but far too few. Where are the young men who will be the board members, the shakers and movers, the concerned ones whose energies will take this and other such efforts into the next generation? Where have all the young men gone?

In many of our congregations the same problem exists. In one congregation a young man complained that old men were in charge of everything. But where are interested and dedicated young men who will take responsibility? Where are young men that will truly sacrifice?  Where are young men that can be given an area of responsibility and do everything to really see it through? Where are young men who can be entrusted with a work without fumbling the ball?

The apostle, Paul, told the young man Timothy, “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example to the unbelievers in word, in manner of life, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity…take heed to thyself, and unto thy teaching, for in doing so thou shalt save both thyself and them that hear thee.” I Timothy 4:12-16. This is a challenge to all Christian young men to stand up and be counted. Dare to make a difference!

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