Why Are Young People Leaving the Church?
The statistics are alarming. Over 60% of teens raised in the church leave before adulthood.1 These are young people who said they attended church regularly and went to Sunday school often. Moreover, in May 2015, a poll was released that shows that Millennials are leaving the church in historic numbers.2
As the body of Christ, we cannot ignore this challenge. We must stand in the gap and fight for the next generation! Young people are walking away from God and this is a sad reality facing family after family across America. So, what can we do? Before we can take one step, we must understand why this is happening.
reasons for the exodus
Bombarded by the World's Messages
Our Christian young people are constantly bombarded by the world's messages and they are facing these attacks everywhere: TV, music, social media, school, corporations, governments, and their friends and family. A 2015 study by Common Sense Media found teens spend 9 hours a day on media3, unknowinging absorbing whatever the world wants them to believe and directing them onto the wide road away from God.
From cohabitation to homosexuality to transgender and even the elimination of genders, there is a strong push to redefine what God has established and normalize what God calls sin. Pornography is everywhere and the result is an epidemic sweeping through our young people.4 Then, there is the old, constant refrain that life is all about me, myself, and I and happiness is found in success, pleasure, wealth, or status.
While there is much more that could be said, you can understand why our young people are falling under the weight of all these constant attacks to their faith.
The Skeptical Questions of Our Day
Young people are being challenged at every turn with skeptical questions from our culture, with the biggest one being evolution. Evolution is taught as fact in public schools, where God has been driven out, and Christians who believe in a young earth are ridiculed and mocked. If Christians aren't actively discipling their kids and equipping them with the answers to the skeptical questions, their faith is challenged and many stop believing that the Bible can be trusted and turn away from God.
Our Role as Parents
It is easy to look at these factors and see their affect on our young people, but we cannot place the blame entirely on the world. While the reality might be hard to take, we must recognize and confess that we've also contributed to this problem.
As parents, God has given us the responsibility to teach our children the Bible and to show them how to live it out each day. Most Christian parents share with their children that Jesus is their Savior and demonstrate that it is good to go to church on Sunday. However, many parents are unknowingly teaching their children through their actions that the world is right about what this life is all about. Monday to Saturday we spend our time pursuing careers, possessions, status, pleasure, entertainment, or sports, while investing little or no time in reading the Bible, talking about the culture and what God's Word says, and praying on all occasions. This sadly leaves our children chasing after a purpose defined by the world, while feeling secure because they have Jesus. It is a dangerous line to walk and many fall away when they leave home since their roots never grew deep.
The statistics are staggering and, as you've just read, the challenges are many. However, there is HOPE for the next generation! Find out what can be done to fight for the next generation.