Skip to main content

5 Keys For Reaching Your Lost Generation
Calvary Church Weekend Bible Study
Acts 17:14-35


Reaching the Lost Generation: Insights from Pastor Ed Taylor

In a recent teaching at Calvary Church, Pastor Ed delved into Acts 17 and discussed the urgency of reaching the lost generation. He not only called each believer into action but also shared a Bible Study from God’s Word filled with practical steps to effectively share the Gospel in today’s culture and bring light into the dark places of this world.

Develop a Genuine Burden for the Lost

Begin to care deeply for those who are far from God.
Pastor Ed highlights the disconnect between the church and the world’s desperation for sin. Often, those outside of the church looking in only know us for what we are against, and they don’t know what we are for! Believers need to be as desperate to tell everyone about Jesus as the world is for sin.

Pray and Obey:
Reflect on Your Emotions**: Consider your emotional response to the world’s sin and brokenness. Are you moved with compassion? Allow yourself to feel the weight of the lostness around you.
Pray for a Burden**: Ask God to give you a heart that breaks for what breaks His heart. Pray for specific people in your life who do not know Christ. Ask the Lord to provide opportunities for you to share Jesus with them.
Engage in Self-Examination**: Regularly assess your priorities and actions. Are you more focused on identifying the darkness or bringing the light of the gospel?

Go Where the People Are

Christianity is not a religion of ISOLATION but INFILTRATION!
Drawing from the apostle Paul’s example in Athens, Pastor Ed emphasizes the importance of engaging with people in their context. Paul went to the marketplace, where people gathered to share the gospel.

Pray and Obey:
Identify Your Jerusalem**: Ask the Lord where He wants to use you. This could be your workplace, local coffee shops, community events, or online platforms.
Be Present and Active**: Make a conscious effort to be present with the people the Lord places before you and build relationships.
Share the Gospel Naturally**: Look for opportunities to share the gospel and reflect Jesus in everyday conversations. Be prepared to share your testimony and the message of Jesus Christ.

Build Bridges and Connect

Learn to connect people to Jesus tactfully!
Pastor Ed reminds us to listen to others, get to know their stories, and engage in small talk to build relationships and trust. Building trust opens doors for deeper conversations about faith.

Pray and Obey:
Engage in Small Talk**: Don’t underestimate the power of small talk. Simple conversations about everyday topics can open the door to deeper discussions.

Listen Actively**: Show genuine interest in others by listening to their stories without interrupting or judging. Ask open-ended questions to encourage them to share more.
Build Trust**: Be consistent and reliable. Show that you care about the people in front of you as individuals. We want to reflect the love that Jesus has for them.

Be Culturally Relevant

Learn to effectively weave Jesus into the culture we seek to reach.
Pastor Ed encourages believers to be tactful and nuanced in their approach, understand the culture, and speak the truth in love. This involves being sensitive to the individual and what is going on in their life. Remember that this is a person that God loves standing before you.

Pray and obey:
Study the Culture**: Take time to understand the cultural context of the people you are trying to reach. What are their values, beliefs, and concerns?
Speak the Truth in Love**: Balance truth with grace. Focus on pointing them to Jesus and His love for them, not answering theological questions they aren’t even asking.

Be Patient**: Understand that building relationships and sharing the gospel is often a process. Be patient and persistent in your efforts.

Preach the Whole Gospel

Present the WHOLE Message, including repentance.
Pastor Ed highlights the significance of preaching the whole gospel, including Jesus Christ’s life, death, and resurrection and the call to repentance. Presenting the complete message of salvation is crucial, not a watered-down version.

Pray and obey:
Know the Gospel**: Ensure you clearly understand the gospel message. You can’t share what you don’t know. But don’t worry about knowing every detail in the Bible; trust that the Holy Spirit will help you in the moment.
Share the Call to Repentance**: Don’t avoid discussing the need for repentance. Explain why turning away from sin and turning to Christ is essential.
Be Authentic**: Reflect on your own experience and transformation. Remember, you have a testimony, and God has done great work in you! Share your own genuine stories of faith.

Final thoughts….

By developing a genuine burden for the lost, going where the people are, building bridges, being tactful and nuanced, and preaching the whole gospel, believers can significantly impact today’s culture. God is asking us to actively engage with the world around us, sharing the hope and love of Jesus Christ. He asks you to be faithful to WHO He has placed before you. The results are up to Him; only the Lord can change a heart.


Welcome to the Study of God’s Word with pastor and author Ed Taylor, recorded live at Calvary Church in Aurora, Colorado. To learn more about the many resources available through Abounding Grace Media or to tune in to our live stream services, visit us online at Calvary Coat Church or download our free Calvary Church app. Now, here’s Pastor Ed to lead us in our study.

Amen. Open your Bibles. Acts chapter 17. We’re going to pick up where we left off last time. Acts chapter 17. And the title of our study today is Five keys, Five keys for Reaching Your Lost Generation. So you want to be taking notes? Today I’m going to give you five things for you to consider and refine and hone in your life in reaching this lost generation. Because you look at the generation today, and it doesn’t take much to see the lostness of our world. And I wonder what it will be. What what will it take exactly, for the 21st century believers to be as desperate for the lost as the world is desperate for sin? I want to say that again.

I mean, what is it going to take even for our church, even for some of you? What’s it going to take for you to be so desperate for reaching the lost, as the world is desperate for sin? Because there seems to be a great disconnect in the world today between the church and its effectiveness, and the way the world just loves sin and just goes for it. We’re the church. Not so much going for the things of God. I mean, watching the world today, it’s an easy call. It’s like a slam dunk. It’s an easy call. I mean, it doesn’t take much effort at all to watch the news, to see what’s happening in different echelons of society, to see governmentally, to see morally. It’s an easy call to to say that the days that we live in are the worst that we’ve ever seen. It’s an easy one that that seems to be what the church is good at, actually. Unfortunately, the church seems to be really good at calling all darkness, darkness, darkness.

Look at what’s happening in our world. I can’t believe it. Everything’s happening. What’s happened to our country? Look at what’s happening to our neighborhood. Look what’s happened to our city. It seems like the church is really, really, really good at identifying every bad thing in culture. But. Then what? Then what? So let’s agree that you’re completely correct and I would agree with you. It’s very difficult days, but that doesn’t really change much. Your ability to see all the evil in the world doesn’t change much. It’s like, man, look at this and look at this, look at this. And the answer is actually yes, it’s true. Your generation you’re in is really bad. The worst of the worst. The last days. The last of the last days. But the ability to call it out doesn’t change much. I mean, that’s really where Paul is here. Paul in Acts 17, he’s in a similar since he’s in the city of Athens, he’s looking around. He’s super upset about it.

He’s provoked in his emotions. Just like you’re super upset, perhaps, about things going and the way things are just tanking so quickly. Remember, you know, after the last few years, if we’ve been learning with Covid and such and governmental overreach and all that, we’ve been learning, like, I think God’s been giving us a perspective where we’re a church last days, last days, and we believe it. Believe me, I believe it. But I think what’s the disconnect is, is we just didn’t believe we would be the generation to see it and live in it. But we are. We are the generation living in very difficult times. And here’s the answer. The answer is that you’re provoked enough emotionally to some kind of action. And the only antidote for the ills of society is the gospel of Jesus Christ. That’s it. And if the church isn’t the church in a dark world, then the world will only get darker. That’s why Jesus would advocate and teach us that we’re the salt and the light of the earth.

Look, let’s step back for a second and let’s just consider some things. And if you don’t believe me, I challenge you to study these things, because our generation is really not so different from any other generation over the years. I mean, even the first century that Jesus walked into the Greco-Roman world, especially the Grecian culture, was very sexually perverse. I mean, it was it was bad. And I don’t need to go into all the details in order to emphasize the word bad. It was. And of course, the Romans, having no culture of their own, adopted the Grecian culture and spread it through the known world. And it was bad. What Jesus walked into was really, really bad and upside down sexually. And yet at the same time, our generation is different than other generations. A lot is the same and a lot is different. Our generation is is more fractured from each other than ever before. With the advent of the iPhone and the iWatch and the smartphone and TikTok and YouTube and Twitter and now X and Facebook and now I, our generation has gone from the AI generation to being the I don’t care much about you generation in which we live.

Info on demand has become morality on demand, and the world is turning impersonal at a rapid pace. I mean, you got to understand something. The world you live in, which is very different, the algorithms you submit yourself to in social media are literally changing your brain’s neural pathways, changing the way you think. That’s why you notice why if you’re on social media a lot, you’re just getting angry or and angry and angry because they understand these programmers do. How to keep you in an echo chamber. Why? Because their only goal is to keep you on your phone. That’s how they sell more. It’s not that complicated, but behind the scenes it is changing the way you think, changing the way that you behave, changing the way that we relate to one another, where you have the pseudo feeling of being connected but you’re not connected at all. That’s our world. The world that our children are being raised in. Kids are exposed to things that you and I were not exposed to in the same way when we were growing up.

We have to admit things are different. Children today. Young people today are being exposed to pornography and graphic hardcore sin. With the phones that have been given to them by their parents. Day in and day out. That’s our world. They’re experiencing things at a much earlier age in a much larger dosage. Due to all this technology and our kids are in the battle of their lives. But it’s not just kids. We have meetings here weekly and monthly here as pastors with men and women of our church talking about the ills and difficulties in their life, what some people call counseling. We prefer to use the phrase biblical discipleship. But because of the nature of these conversations being confidential, I can’t lay them out for you. But if I did get a chance, you would come to the same conclusion that I have. It’s not just the kids that are at risk. The parents are at risk too. And the adults are at risk too, because we’re dealing with the same thing. My wife’s leaving me because of pornography.

My husband isn’t talking to me more because I’m on my phone all the time. Where my kids, they’re sideways. My singleness. I I’m not living a pure life as a single. And on and on the list goes, this is our world. And yes, it’s different, but what’s happening to my audience today is all the sin that you dive yourself into and you live in is removing you from the dark world and making you more critical. So you’re really good at the critical darkness of the world when you’re living in it yourself. And so what happens? The world plunges into darkness because the church isn’t the church. I mean, the reality of the world today is there’s more stealing, more cheating, more lying, more drinking, more drug use, more sexual immorality among the youth and adults than ever before, even though the world tries to capture, you know, the culture tries to form your thinking as well, right? And you’ll see these things on the news. They go, oh, crime is down, crime is down, crime is down.

But in our culture in particular, the only reason crime is down is because they’re changing the definition of crime. And when you right away start legalizing drugs and the behavior that comes from drugs, oh, of course crime is down. When you defund police, of course crime is down. But you got to open your eyes. Church, the world needs the church. And we need to be faithful to what God has called us to do. And it’s not just being critical of the darkness. Just go ahead, say it. One thing you don’t have to do it now, but just go ahead and say the world is horrible, then stop saying it and do something about it, because saying it and saying it isn’t going to change anything. And I hope you’ve seen that by now. I mean, you can get really good at saying everything that’s bad, but for goodness sake, church, you got to do something about it in the world that God has called you to. And that leads us to the question today how do we reach our generation? How do we reach? I think we’ve talked about a few things that doesn’t reach our generation the high minded, morality and finger wagging, preaching and condemnation that’s not going to reach them.

But how do we reach them? I think we have a great example of Paul in Athens, and it’s very, very interesting how the, the how the similarities of Athens meet to our culture today. Pick up with me. Let’s let’s say we’re in verse 14 of acts chapter 17 by way of review. Notice he says, then immediately the brethren sent Paul away to go to the sea. But both times both Silas and Timothy remain there. So those who conducted Paul brought him to Athens, Athens, Greece, and receiving a command for Silas and Timothy to come to him with all speed, they departed. Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked. What I just described, perhaps your spirit provoked by your culture. His spirit was provoked within him when he saw that the city was given over to idols. Therefore he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and with the Gentile worshipers, and in the marketplace daily with those who happen to be there. And then certain Epicurean, which would be the atheists of the day, and stoic philosophers, two sets of atheists.

One would be the partiers, the Epicureans, and then the Stoics would be the ones that would criticize the partiers. But they both don’t believe in God. One is a simple life. One’s a party life. But they all are just talking that just talking, talking, talking, but never coming to the knowledge of the truth. They encountered in verse 18 and some said, what is this babbler want to say? And others said, he seems to be a proclaimer of foreign gods, because he preached to them Jesus and the resurrection. So they took him and brought him to the Areopagus. If you like to write in your Bibles, you could also circle that and write Mars Hill, Marseille. We’ve actually, if we ever do a Footsteps of Paul trip, which I hope to do soon, we’ll go to Mars Hill. I was actually Pastor Ian and I were in Marseille many years ago, and he snapped a picture of me on Mars Hill teaching this very topic. So this is on the side of the Acropolis, where you’re right behind you.

You’re in the shadow of the Acropolis coming down. It’s on the side of the hill there. This is where they would hang out. Notice it says. And they would come in verse 19, May we know what this new doctrine is of which you speak, for you are bringing some strange things to our

Keywords: God’s word, Pastor Ed Taylor, Calvary Church, Aurora, Colorado, Acts chapter 17, reaching the lost generation, gospel, urgency, practical keys, believers, burden for the lost, darkness in the world, genuine care, emotional response, apostle Paul in Athens, engaging with people, everyday lives, hope of the gospel, building bridges, small talk, preaching the whole gospel, repentance, authenticity, relevance, faithfulness, trust, personal level, study and worship.

Leave a Reply