by Dean Lusk of EGBDF
This morning I posted the following comment to Twitter
: "[I'm] Considering why so many HS graduates wind up permanently 'graduating' from Christianity. Unanswered questions? Pharisaical adults?
" (In case you don't use Twitter, you should know that it's essentially a glorified text message broadcasting/social networking thingy. Each update is limited to 140 characters.)
That comment generated some interesting feedback from several Twitter friends:"I think they leave because we make Youth Ministry a 'Holy Grail' and then have crap or nothing available after they graduate! We taught HS students to expect to receive tons. We don't teach them to serve. But, then we require service as adults. They walk!""I would say yes to both of those... I think being being in unauthentic churches that show no relevance to life is biggest reason!" "Entertainment oriented youth groups?" "I think it's a combination of a few things that include entertainment-driven youth groups, silo ministry, and parenting.""yea I was surprised at how not completely terrible Rocky Balboa was"
(Oh, wait... never mind this one)"The HS graduates leave church because church was nothing more than a social club and had no impact in their lives."
I remember what it was like when I graduated from high school. I remember thinking that the youth group "at church" was pretty lame
, and was extremely happy to be out from under any obligation to it. For me there were really no theological overtones to it, like, "I don't know if I believe this whole 'God' bit" or "How do I know that the Bible is really the Word of God" or "If God is really good
, why do bad things happen to good people?" I just wanted to have a good time. There's no sane way to argue that teenagers and college-aged people are not leaving Christian beliefs behind
. If you would like to hunt for such research and studies yourself, be my guest, but you'll find that they're leaving in droves. Here's a jump-start if you want to Google for it
.I attribute it primarily to some fundamental errors in what is taught within the Church
. Not necessarily "taught" in lessons (though that's often a glaring problem), but "taught" in our lines of thought and in some principles we take for granted -- principles that are not Biblical but are so steeped in tradition that they're never questioned. (UPDATE: just so you'll know, I intend to elaborate on this in my next post)
What do you think? Why are so many teens and young adults are bidding farewell to the Church or to Christianity?
(I'm intentionally not defining the terms "Church" and "Christianity" -- I'll leave that to you.)