Three out of five.
That’s what the research shows. According to Barna Group, 59% of young adults leave church permanently or for an extended period for one of the six reasons that we’ll be talking about here.
Regardless of the reasons, that’s a number that disturbs me. I don’t like it when I think about everything that I’ll pour into my kids during their lifetime, only to realize that (statistically speaking) more than half of them will likely walk away. Not necessarily because of anything that I’ve done, but because of issues with the church.
I know, I know… The statistics don’t mean that it will definitely happen to MY family. But I cannot help but think about all the pastor’s kids and the elder’s kids and all the other ‘prodigal parents’ kids out there leaving mom and dad to wonder where it all went wrong.
Statistically speaking, I’m not sure that I can be all that different.
That’s why this Barna study interested our blogging team. Barna recently published the results of study called You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church…and Rethinking Faith.. This study is also the foundation for a new book by Barna Group’s David Kinnaman called
Our team of bloggers will be talking about the reasons listed in this study, mostly because they resonate with us too. In this series, we’ll tackle one at a time as we search for ways that we can overcome some of these obstacles.
- Reason #1 – Churches seem overprotective.
- Reason #2 – Teens’ and twentysomethings’ experience of Christianity is shallow.
- Reason #3 – Churches come across as antagonistic to science.
- Reason #4 – Young Christians’ church experiences related to sexuality are often simplistic, judgmental.
- Reason #5 – They wrestle with the exclusive nature of Christianity.
- Reason #6 – The church feels unfriendly to those who doubt.
As you can imagine, some of these conversations have the potential to be quite explosive. But our prayer is that you’ll join in with us as we explore these reasons, and offer possible solutions. I’ll also say that we need to go into this discussion with a teachable heart.
Changing the church isn’t about changing someone else. It’s about changing ourselves.