Why Are Young People Leaving the Church?
The statistics are alarming. Over 60% of young people raised in the church leave before adulthood.1 These are 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 More recently, in January 2018, Barna shared that the percentage of Gen Z (the group of young people following the Millennials) that identifies as atheist is double that of the U.S. adult population.3
As Christian parents, we cannot ignore this problem. We must fight for the next generation - our children! So, what can we do? The first step is to understand why this is happening.
reasons for the exodus
There are many factors impacting our children. Yet, the role of parents in a child’s life cannot be overstated. God has given Christian parents the responsibility to pass on our faith to our children, to teach them to know the Bible and show them how to live it out daily. Unfortunately, while most Christian parents share with their children that Jesus is their Savior, many are unknowingly teaching their kids to follow the world through their actions. 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, equipping them to stand in their faith, teaching them to pray, and sharing the Good News with others. This sadly leaves our children feeling secure because they have Jesus, but chasing after the world for their purpose and joy. It is a dangerous line to walk and statistics show many fall away when they leave home since their roots never grew deep.
After the influence of parents, media comes next. Our Christian young people are constantly bombarded by the world's messages and they are facing these attacks everywhere: TV, music, movies, and social media. A 2015 study by Common Sense Media found teens spend 9 hours a day on media4, unknowinging absorbing what the world wants them to believe. The world continues its old, constant refrain that life is all about me, myself, and I and happiness is found in success, pleasure, or status. Additionally, pornography is everywhere and the result is an epidemic sweeping through our young people.5
Friends have a big influence on our children. The desire to be liked and to fit in can cause our young people to watch, listen to, search, wear, or believe in things that go against the Bible.
Young people are being challenged with skeptical questions, with the biggest one being evolution. Evolution is taught as fact in public schools, where God has been forced out. This causes many to stop believing that the Bible can be trusted and turn away from God.
Corporations and Governments
Corporations are adding their voice and dollars in promoting things like gay marriage, transgender, and even the elimination of genders. Governments are passing laws that legalize what God calls sin and redefining what He has established.
What can be done?
The statistics are staggering and the challenges are many. However, there is HOPE for the next generation! Find out what can be done to fight for our kids.