What's goes beyond disappointing and into the realm of hilarious is the reasons for young people abandoning the church. They are "youth culture", a lack of "parental involvement", and "biblical illiteracy". "Youth Culture" is something which is obviously not going to change by definition young people will always be involved in "youth culture". Also "parental involvement" is something which naturally diminishes as you become an adult, so that's not going to change either. But they make great scapegoats because they are both unavoidable. Finally "biblical illiteracy". What does heck does that mean? It could be another scapegoat... Does your child know the major themes of Habakkuk?!!! What teenager has a comprehensive understanding of the Bible? I’m 33 have studied theology and am only starting to get there. Perhaps what is more missing is "Life Illiteracy". For example when it comes to Drugs we tell young people drugs are bad, they screw up your life, you'll become an addict and the bible says your body is a temple so don't use them. Then people leave their sheltered church world find friends who use drugs enjoy the experience are not addicts and have not destroyed their body. So they not only end up using the drug but end up chucking out their whole faith as well.
My feeling is we need to be honest. We need to say drugs can be fun and sex can be fun, but there are still reasons not to take drugs and not to sleep with everyone you meet. Similarly we need to be honest and say church can be very boring, but their are still reasons to go, one of those reasons being that if you find church boring we as church want to work with you to see if it is possible to make it more meaningful (NB I didn't say fun).
Seriously though most disappointing of all this article doesn’t even seem to entertain the possibility that someone might leave church, drink alcohol have a sexual encounter with someone they are not married to but still have a relationship with God and still be looking to better understand that relationship and continue to discover what God is like. Maybe if we spent more time helping people encounter God and less time counting their sins, we might spend more time together wrestling with life and what it means to be Xn in our world right now less reading surveys about how “youth culture” has corrupted young people who no longer follow their parents and how only a comprehensive knowledge of the Bible could have prevented this.
SURVEY FINDS 88 PER CENT OF YOUTH LEAVE THE CHURCH IN ADULTHOOD
Leaders of church denominations, youth pastors and parachurch organizational leaders recently gathered to brainstorm ways to keep college students from falling away from the Christian faith, and how to correct the dysfunctions in youth ministry. Mission America and the National Network of Youth Ministries convened the meeting in Orlando. "A significant majority of our church's youth are leaving the foundations of their faith when they transition from High school," said Paul Fleischmann, president of the National Network of Youth Ministries. Research has shown that 69-94 percent of Christian youths forsake their faith after high school, while one study found that 88 percent of youth are leaving the Church. A pilot study of 69 college students conducted by Fuller Theological Seminary was presented during the meeting. Results found that 100 percent of the youth group graduates had since used alcohol, 69 percent had a sexual encounter, and 20 percent had 20 or more sexual encounters in the last 12 months. The study also found, however, that the greater their faith maturity, the less likely the students were to engage in risk behaviours. Fleischmann cited youth culture, a lack of parental involvement, and biblical illiteracy as major contributors to the issues at hand.
Source: Christian Post