Studies Show Teens Leaving the Faith in Droves

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USA Today ran an article yesterday that confirmed much of what I've been writing about for the last 10 years.  "Seven in 10 Protestants ages 18 to 30, both evangelical and mainline,
who went to church regularly in high school said they quit attending by
age 23. And 34% of those had not returned, even sporadically, by age 30." says Thom Rainer, president of Lifeway Christian Resources. 

The article went on to point out most 18-30 year olds are 'more spiritual' than 'religious.'  More spiritual than religious?  What exactly does that mean?  AND…what's going on here?

Spiritual-religious Rainer says, "most tweens, teens, and young adults are mushy type Christians, or Christians in name only."  I find this absolutely FASCINATING!! The old days when 'everyone' had some sort of moral compass has eroded into a generation looking for answers.  The sad part of it all, they're left alone to wrestle through morality in an a-moral world.  

When asked about they're belief system 65% still claim to have some sort of Christian background, but let's be honest; how many teenagers actually know what it is they believe? 

I'm certainly not blaming them for not knowing, but go ahead and start a conversation with a group of teenagers and just start asking about how they reconcile their belief system in the real world?  You'll be AMAZED!!!!


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Ask them about life, and what it means to believe in the sanctity of life.
Ask them about dating and sexuality.  Ask them what's really going on in school.
Ask them about cloning.
Drug abuse.
Alcohol.
Lying to their parents.
Cheating on a test.
Ask them what is the most important factor in choosing a profession.

This is exactly why we do what we do. 

I'm not going to sit back and watch our next generation continue to live life without any help.  They need people to mentor them.  They need people to help explain why we do what we do.  They need people who are willing to live life with them, NOT AT THEM, and help show a model of how to do faith.  They need help putting a framework together making sense of the most important parts of the faith.

This study, and subsequent article, has given me another shot in the arm.  We MUST be about helping our students know what it is they believe, and why they believe it.  It's why KIVU is doing what we're doing.  As we invite kids to come out experience the beauty of Southwest Colorado and the adventures that ensue, we also spend time helping them develop a framework for how to 'think' about this moral compass. 

The reason Jordin said she was so excited about what went on at camp wasn't necessarily because she climbed the highest mountain or rafted the most intense rapid.  No, the reason Jordin was excited about camp…it helped develop who she was as a person.

I'm so excited as I watch Jordin navigate the media world.  Does she make mistakes?  SURE!!  We all do.  But, she's got the moral fortitude to stand up when it counts, and declare her faith to the world. 

I'm committed.
I'm in.
I'm ready to walk with students and help them see a comprehensive Christian Worldview where we can see these outrageous numbers begin to turn.  

Come join us at KIVU this summer.  http://www.campkivu.com

To God be the Glory!!

4 Comments

  1. Great post!
    I agree it’s up to us as parents and teachers to teach and demonstrate moral beliefs to our children and young adults. Fortunately life gives us many opportunities to choose the moral high ground and act out our faith and love for mankind. We need to live our faith out loud share our experiences with each other. Experience is the best teacher, as long as it’s someone elses experience!

  2. Excellent post Andy
    As parents we do our best to model and live Christian values and our reliance upon God for all things. Ultimately our children need to be brought to a point of decision for their own lives. If our children see our relationship with Jesus in action and see His work in our lives, they too will know how when they are ready for full commitment.

  3. Our pastoral staff met for 2 hours to discuss this article. The trend is disturbing but I believe the Church can turn this trend around. If enough of us are disturbed enough to the point that we take action then I have hope that my 16 year old son will not be a statistic. But as a parent I’m not leaving him up to the church. I have to be the one who takes the lead in making sure he is successful in his faith.
    http://newsongsofpraise.blogspot.com/

  4. dude. right on. thats so legit. I feel like i speak for a lot teenager when I say that we have NO IDEA what is going on, so any wisdom or answers would be great. I think that KCO and Kivu does a great job of asking the questions so many of us are too afraid to ask, and finding answers, giving us a stong foundation to go out into the world with.

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