6 Reasons Young People Leave the Church

Check out this recent study being put out by Barna. They spent 5 years asking the question “why do teens tend to give up on or leave the church after they turn 15?”

The findings (which can be more explored in David Kinnaman’s newest, “You Lost Me“) reveal that most of the reasons why young people are leaving the church can be summed up in to 6 main concepts:

1) Churches seem overprotective
2) Their experience of Christianity is shallow
3) Churches come across as antagonistic to science
4) Church experiences related to sexuality are often simplistic and judgmental
5) They wrestle with the exclusive nature of Christianity
6) The church feels unfriendly to those who doubt

Now, clearly I’m not one of the statistics of “those who left the church.” However, I AM one of those who have found the tension in all six of these areas, particularly numbers 3-6.

There are many of us who are exploring new ways to approach these issues. Or, perhaps it’s more accurate to say, we are uncovering ways that are old (hearken back to Jesus and the Biblical Writers) but that have been lost and so now are seeming new, or fresh. And many communities and churches are starting to address these issues in ways that resonate with people (most of all, the disenfranchised youth referred to in this study).

I think it’s high time we start listening to the voices of the next generation, for in them I sense a call to return to lost values and misplaced beliefs.

I, for one, am hopeful.
Hopeful that Christian women and men are rising up to the challenges of addressing these (and other) issues that are slowly emptying our churches.

About these ads

One thought on “6 Reasons Young People Leave the Church

  1. This was good to read, Colby. Of our 3 grown sons, one has completely rejected the faith and I’ve so often wondered if we could have helped to prevent it. He says #5 above is a big issue for him, but looking back, he identified and hung out more with his “school friends” than his “church friends” in high school. I think that was a big thing for him. We switched churches when he was in middle school and he told me that was the beginning of his walking away from his faith. He realizes that he has to take responsibility for his own faith and doesn’t blame us, but just told me that’s when it began. Yeah, there’s some guilt there.

Enter the conversation here...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s