Stat of the Day

According to the Southern Baptist Convention:

88% of children raised in evangelical homes leave church by the time they are 18 years old, never to return again. -Worship Leader Magazine

What's causing this?


Matt W. said...

That's quite a question, but sadly, not too surprising.

I think there are several reasons for this. First, many Churches have turned away from Preaching and Teaching the Gospel, and are making no effort to teach people how to be diciples, and this is magnified in Youth Groups, with the focus there being more on being morally based social clubs than on being teaching ministries. (From the people I've talked to, I don't think this is Bethany, Thank God.)

Second, and this is the one that nearly drove me away from the Church when I was an older Teen, is that at that age, many people don't take them seriously. When I was about 19 or so, I went to the adult Sunday School class with my parents, which was taught by the Pastor in that particular Church, and a woman had a question about something he had said. Obviously, she wasn't getting what he was saying, and it just went on and on, and became more and more inane, making no progress. A couple of other people interjected things, and the Pastor welcomed the input, but it still didn't help her. I had a thought, a little differant way to look at it, that probably would have made it understandable for her, something that I'm ussually fairly good at, and the Pastor would not even let me speak. I walked out, and almost didn't go back. Thank God that I realized that this was people being stupid, and not a reflection on God Himself. So, I think that making them feel marginalized, or like adults don't value them, or act like they don't have anything to add, what would you expect from them?

Sometimes, too, I think we're dealing with young adults who were brought in by some sort of overboard Church marketing scheme (I'm not bashing all Church Marketing, just the overboard fluff stuff) and never heard the Gospel (see point 1) and so the Church never really meant anything to them anyway.

I'm sure that there are some other reasons too, but I think that these are some really big ones.

Anonymous said...

I think it's like a game of catch. The person throwing can aim poorly, the person catching can drop the ball. In some cases, youth groups (the throwers) are way off aim in what they are preparing (or not preparing) their students for. In other cases the adult church/big church/etc. is doing poorly at receiving these students into their adult roles at church.
Hmm... I like this analogy. I think I need to write an article now.

Matt W. said...

Of course, to be fair, I only adressed the Church and Youth Groups and such, but I was just looking again, and you said, raised in Evangelical Homes, I still think my original comment relates, but also, a lot of Christian parents are content to leave the spiritual instruction of their children left to the Church. This we must not do.

Gary Durbin said...

Thanks for thoughts, guys. I think there's a lot of reasons, but parenting or lack there of, has got to be one of the biggest issues contributing. Thanks again.