I raised both of my children in the Church as the old folks would say. So I wasn’t surprised when a recent study by LifeWay Research—an organization affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention—found 70 percent of respondents had stopped attending church by age 23. Of those “dropouts” (as the survey called them), 58 percent noted at least one church- or pastor-related reason for leaving. The most frequently cited reasons were "church members seemed judgmental or hypocritical" and "I didn’t feel connected to the people in my church." Additionally, 52 percent said "religious, ethical, or political beliefs" contributed to their departure. A lot of young people think the church says, ‘Don't ask questions—read your Bible for the answers. Don't think—pray.’ Many young people think they are to intelligence and this teaching insults them. Some of them believe the church creates prejudices, forcing them to judge people because they don't believe in Jesus Christ or because they consider the possibility of truth beyond Jesus and Christianity. We can’t become more Christlike unless we first identify how we’re not like Christ. My son who's 25 now stop attending church when he was 16. One thing I got tired of fighting with him every Sunday morning to get up and get dress. I ask him why he didn't like church and his response was it's boring. Today I am still standing in prayer for him not to attend church per-say but for him to be saved.
1) In your opinion, what are some factors that contribute to young people leaving the Christian church?
2) What concerns or frustrates you most about today’s Christian church?
3) What encourages you most?
4) How can we—as individuals and as a church—promote honest, meaningful conversation?
5) Could this be the reason for the self-hate and don't care attitudes among our young people?