Thursday, September 25, 2008

Church Drop Out

a Biblical thought...
Instead you thrill to God's Word, you chew on Scripture day and night. (Psalm 1:2)

a Book thought...
I am learning that the church is at its best when it is underground, subversive, and countercultural. (p168 Bell)
a Dave thought...
NASHVILLE, Tenn.—A new study from LifeWay Research reveals that more than two-thirds of young adults who attend a Protestant church for at least a year in high school will stop attending church regularly for at least a year between the ages of 18 and 22. In most cases, the decision to leave was not planned far in advance. Only 20 percent of these "church dropouts" agree that while they were attending church regularly in high school they "planned on taking a break from church once [they] finished high school."

Life changes or life situations cause young people to leave the church. In fact, 97 percent of dropouts list one or more specific life-change issues as a reason they left church.

Six of the top 10 reasons church dropouts leave relate to life changes. The most frequent reason for leaving church is, in fact, a self-imposed change, "I simply wanted a break from church" (27 percent). The paths toward college and the workforce are also strong reasons for young people to leave church: "I moved to college and stopped attending church" (25 percent) and "work responsibilities prevented me from attending" (23 percent).
In addition to moving to college, others simply "moved too far away from the church to continue attending" (22 percent) and, it can be assumed, did not find a closer church.
How young people use their time and the relationships they choose can also lead them away from church. Twenty-two percent "became too busy, though still wanted to attend," and 17 percent "chose to spend more time with friends outside the church."

I believe that most of our twenty-somethings in The Salvation Army don't attend to leave the movement either, but life does change rapidly through these years and sometimes we don't provide the supportive community and deep level of discussion desired by those going through these transitions.

Just a thought.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That sounds about right. I turn 20 in 2 weeks, If it were not for some rather influential people within the church and my parents constantly praying for me. I would left the church by now. But I have seen and experienced far too much of God to turn my back on him now.
People who are able to set an example, and build relationship with are key!