Why Do Kids Abandon the Church?

Supposedly 7 out of 10 kids abandon the church by the time they’re 23 years old. Tim Challies reminds us that the gospel is more powerful than the pollsters are alarming. Read the whole thing. You’ll be blessed and encouraged.  Let’s keep the gospel “of first importance” at WBC…for the eternal joy of our children.

I wonder how many of those 7 out of 10 kids who abandon the church, how many of the 94 percent, how many of the 6 of 10—however you want to interpret the numbers—I wonder how many of them have ever truly encountered the true gospel. I wonder how many have heard that gospel and then seen it consistently lived out in the lives of parents and friends’ parents and pastors and young people and old people. I have no doubt that 60 or 70 percent of young people do, indeed, abandon church. But I have no doubt that far, far fewer than this abandon the church when they have been raised in homes and churches that treasure and model and celebrate the gospel.

I am convinced that the reason so many young people abandon the church is that they have seen far more hypocrisy than gospel; they have had their emotions stirred but never their souls.


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Jerilyn on July 23, 2011 at 9:39 am

    Read the article – I believe many hear the true gospel, but what they don’t experience is the true love of Christ through others. We, individually and as a church do not reach out to those who leave after high school, they are forgotten – no letters, packages, visits, calls, texts,e-mails – no one is persistent in demonstrating the love of Christ to our young adults. We give them a bible, clap at a service for their high school accomplishments and then forget them. They no longer feel the community that they once experienced as a child but the world is so willing to do that for them! Oh sure, it it is convenient for us we invite them to events happening in our church, or not and we happily support those who have gone to the mission field and yes we pray when asked – but as for our average college-age kid, they are the lost sheep and we do not go actively searching for their hearts. Oh, we will go on mission trips to third world countries but we won’t go to their college or thier homes for a visit. Were not we the ones who vowed to be with these kids when they were dedicated, baptized? Didn’t the pastors hold their little hands and kiss their heads promising to be a part of their lives, hoping one day to marry them and watch them have families of their own? We need to love more, and it isn’t always in such a grand way, these young adults are right in our midst, longing for Christ and we don’t reach out and take the opportunities to love. Parents need help, it truly takes a village and the church is falling short.


  2. Jerilyn, thanks for reading the article and interacting. Challies’ point hits home for the whole church–pastors/elders, leaders, members, parents…. We all desperately need to declare AND demonstrate the gospel, calling each other to follow Jesus, showing each other what it looks like to follow Jesus. Before and after High School, before and after empty nest, before and after retirement. I thank God that there is a growing concern and passion for WBC to commit as members to each other to be disciples of Jesus who take responsibility to disciple each other.

    May God forgive us of the times we’ve let each other down in this. And may we find zeal to love like Jesus as a fruit of our repentance.


  3. I abandon the church at 24 years old and have not gone back: I am 57. I can tell you that the years I was in church no one in the church seem to care if I was there at all. I heard more about the judgement of God than his love. I had questions, since I seem to read the Bible more than those who attended since they were children, and was told I thought too much. Is it any wonder I am agnostic now?


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