Monday, October 27, 2008

Missing Young Evangelicals

For several years now the evangelical movement has been bleeding young people. As this post from STR points out, there is hysteria out there, but there are good reasons to be concerned. STR cites several studies including one from my denomination, the Assemblies of God, which don’t look good. Even when they are averaged and taken conservatively, we may be losing about 50% of our young people after they leave high school. STR concludes:

It's safe to conclude the church is losing a significant portion of its young people for some period of time. Even if we take Barna's lower numbers and then cut 10% off to be extra conservative, we're still talking about losing half of our young people.

To some, the answer is the direction the emergent movement is going. A better answer is to look at youth and college ministry through different lenses and actually disciple these kids. Before they leave their families, familiar church surroundings and social networks, they need to be grounded in their relationships with Christ. A more detailed answer would be, well, much more detailed. Maybe you have some more thoughts.


Rebecca in TX said...

I would like to see what percentage of this group has been public schooled, private schooled and home schooled. I think that would be eye opening.

Phil Steiger said...

That's an interesting thought. What effects do you think each would have?

Rebecca in TX said...

I would think, after teaching for 12 years in the public school system, that children coming from there would be more likely to walk away from the faith. Anything relating to God or Christianity is edited and deleted from the school books. It is a very intense liberal, secular humanism indoctrination. I know, I was part of it. I would think private schools would come in second and home schools would have the least amount of children rejecting their faith because not only is God's truth central to their education, but it is taught within the relationship of a loving family. Now that said, I also believe that parents, churches, pastors, and Sunday school teachers do not save people and convert them. It is God that changes the heart. So if a young person walks away when they leave college then I think it better they go than become a hypocrite who sits in the pews every Sunday then lives like the devil the rest of the week. It is sad that they are an unbeliever after being among the church most of their lives, but if they leave they were never saved to begin with.