USA (MNN) — Headlines reeled last week with the reports that the average college debt for the class of 2011 has reached $22,900 — an 8% rise from last year.
The significant rise comes as a blow to college students and parents everywhere, but years down the road, consequences may also strike an unintended victim: Christian ministry.
Jason Woolford, executive director for Christian Resources International, says the declining debt statuses of Americans worldwide could pose a serious problems for ministries like CRI.
CRI gets a majority of their support from those that are 65 years old and older. The generation gives generously to help CRI distribute Bibles, Christian literature and even full libraries to believers in need around the world. As debt continues to strangle the nation though, Woolford laments, "This next generation is not looking like it's going to have the means to do that."
Meanwhile, other concerns have risen in regard to generational differences in materialism.
"This is a generation that is much different than the one that's come before us," Woolford says. "These were people who served in multiple wars, who gave of their time, their life, their money. Now we have a newer generation that is more focused on themselves and things that they can get."
If the trend doesn't reverse, ministries could be in trouble within the next 10 or 15 years. The best hope for change is founded in biblical truth: "That they understand that the blessing comes from giving something away from yourself in hopes that somebody might be saved or learn about the Lord."
"My hope and my prayer is that we can conserve this legacy that has been left from great men and women of the past," adds Woolford.
Pray that this younger generation would grab a hold of God's truths, vision for missions, and expectation for good stewardship. Pray that God would protect the ministries that serve Him.
If anyone feels compelled right now to learn more about CRI or give to CRI, there are several ways to do so. Recently, a donor even ordered books from a publisher and had them sent directly to the CRI headquarters. Bare your bookshelf or get creative. Learn more at cribooks.org.