Why Youth Leave the Church: 10 Surprising Reasons by www.churchleaders.com
We all know them—the kids who were raised in church. They were stars of the youth group! And then…they graduate from high school and start leaving. What happened? How do we explain why youth leave the church? It seems to happen so often that I wanted to talk to these kids and get some honest answers. I work in a major college town with many 20-somethings. Nearly all of them grew up in very typical churches. And nearly all have left the church with no intention of returning. Below are the most common thoughts I’ve compiled from dozens of conversations about why youth leave the church.
The statistics are jaw-droppingly horrific: 70% of youth stop attending church and start leaving when they graduate from high school. Nearly a decade later, about half return to church. Half! Let that sink in. There’s no easy way to say this: The church has lost, is losing, and will almost certainly continue to lose our youth. Want to know why youth leave the church?
Here are just 10 reasons:
10. The church is “relevant.”
9. They never attended church to begin with.
8. They get smart.
7. You send them out unarmed.
6. You give them hand-me-downs.
5. They want community.
4. They find better feelings.
3. They get tired of pretending so they start leaving church.
2. They know the truth.
1. They don’t need it.
We’ve traded a historic, objective, faithful gospel based on God’s graciousness toward us for a modern, subjective, pragmatic gospel based on achieving our goal by following life strategies. Rather than being faithful to the foolish simplicity of the gospel of the cross, we’ve set the goal of being “successful” among growing crowds with this gospel of glory.
Now that you know why youth leave the church, go do something about it.