Stephen Crabb MP has appealed to Christian leaders in Wales to support young people.
Mr Crabb praised the children and youth work already being carried out by churches but encouraged them to do more.
"Don’t let our young people settle for mediocrity," he said at the second Pembrokeshire Prayer Breakfast earlier in the month.
Nearly 200 Christians gathered for the event where they heard about the youth work being undertaken
He continued: “The Bible stresses just how precious our young people are.
“Healthy and strong young people are a sign of a healthy strong society.
"We need a higher ambition that simply saying they are ‘Doing OK’.
"There’s a thin line between ‘Doing OK’ and slipping into destructive lifestyles.
"We need an aspiration for excellence. We must never settle for the average. Given the right support our young people can do extraordinary things.”
Mr Crabb spoke of the role that his own faith had played in his personal development and suggested that it had enabled him to enjoy a sense of community.
"The community context is important if we want to see our young people do more than OK," he added.
Also speaking at the breakfast was John Cecil, Assistant Head of Tasker Millward School, who expressed concern that young people today have difficulty in forming real as opposed to virtual relationships.
“We need to spend time with our young people for we are seeing an increasing number who are becoming disaffected with school and society," he said.
"They need people who will show an interest in them and to show them that they are valued for who they are.”
Rob James, Pastor of Westgate Evangelical Chapel Pembroke praised the success of the event.
"There was a good representation of civic leaders and we are glad about that because we were able to pray for them and offer them our support," he said.
"We may not agree with their every decision and may choose differing party labels but we thank God for their service and wish them His blessing in the days that lie ahead.”
The prayer breakfast was also joined by children of the “Sing for Joy Choir”, organised by Darren and Lisa Thomas.
MP looks to church to encourage young people
Published 27 October 2012