Skip to comments.3 Common Traits of Youth Who Don't Leave the Church
Posted on 08/24/2013 10:20:59 AM PDT by ReformationFan
"What do we do about our kids?" The group of parents sat together in my office, wiping their eyes. I'm a high school pastor, but for once, they weren't talking about 16-year-olds drinking and partying. Each had a story to tell about a "good Christian" child, raised in their home and in our church, who had walked away from the faith during the college years. These children had come through our church's youth program, gone on short-term mission trips, and served in several different ministries during their teenage years. Now they didn't want anything to do with it anymore. And, somehow, these mothers' ideas for our church to send college students "care packages" during their freshman year to help them feel connected to the church didn't strike me as a solution with quite enough depth.
The daunting statistics about churchgoing youth keep rolling in. Panic ensues. What are we doing wrong in our churches? In our youth ministries?
It's hard to sort through the various reports and find the real story. And there is no one easy solution for bringing all of those "lost" kids back into the church, other than continuing to pray for them and speaking the gospel into their lives. However, we can all look at the 20-somethings in our churches who are engaged and involved in ministry. What is it that sets apart the kids who stay in the church? Here are just a few observations I have made about such kids, with a few applications for those of us serving in youth ministry.
1. They are converted.
2. They have been equipped, not entertained.
3. Their parents preached the gospel to them.
(Excerpt) Read more at ipost.christianpost.com ...
Find a way to make morality respected and even rewarded. Heck, make morality a competitive sport, especially in good deeds. Improve on church role models. They must be straight, honest, charitable, good sports, admirable.
Yes, morality is good and should be encouraged.
But nothing will ever replace conversion. It’s not enough to follow Jesus teachings. One must give one’s life to Christ, and accept the salvation only He can offer.
Are you trying to find the one true faith or keep the youths interested? You may be right. But you are answering the wrong question. Have a blessed day.
and you have to let their faith be their own... that means letting go and letting God work through their circumstances... prodigal son (cringe)... not too long ago our two sons were debating on whether it was worse to be a wayward son or a prodigal son...
Yes, but no matter what parents do, children are always susceptible to being captured by our secular, pagan, vulgar culture, even if they are children of pastors. Wanting to fit in and be accepted is of paramount importance to kids, and when everyone else is doing it, then.....
WOW! Great article.
I’m disappointed by the shallowness of Sunday School teaching. In the one hour normally set aside for “school” you would think there would be a primary focus on study. I wonder how much time people devote themselves to studying God’s word verses things like “man day”.
And, yes, this chastisement includes me as well.
Crisis in Christiandom BEEP!
At the risk of trying to sound “too spiritual” I think there is another factor. It’s more than living a moral life before them - some lost parents do a pretty good job of that. And it’s more than preaching the Gospel TO them. It’s living the Gospel before them. Do they see us laying down our lives for Christ in the day to day of life. Do they see us struggling to be Christ like - and when we blow it do we seek their forgiveness if we’ve wronged them? Kids need to see that the standard (Christ) is being “applied” to our life as well - even when it’s painful, embarrassing, or humiliating. Are we honest enough with them to let them “see” that in our lives. What’s fair for the goose is fair for the gander. It just seems to be a fact of life that when others share their struggles and failures we feel closer to them because we see them as vulnerable - just like we are. To be fair, also, young married couples, who are believers, with small children are still growing in their their faith - and that is the formative years of their children. Who doesn’t make mistakes? Still, each of my three had their own crisis of faith but came out on the right side. We are all living in Sodom today and evil seems lots stronger than when I was growing up.
yes, ultimately morality does not equal conversion. everyone lives by a moral code whether they consciously know it or not. morality is subjective and relative and even so one can’t live by your own code perfectly. Even those that live by “I do what I want” fail because they are forced to do things they don’t want to do.
morality never saved anyone. conversion (ie sincerely receiving Jesus as Savior and Lord) saves.
I never said, "We have to go to Church." Therefore, it was never a duty nor was it an option.
I tried to be the best example of what a good Christian should be.
I kept my kids out of government schools, and I never let anyone take over my role as parent.
If my kids ever questioned why we go to Church I would say, "Jesus asked His Apostles to pray with Him for one hour when He was in the garden. The least we can do for Him is to visit Him for one hour a week.
Show trials and pogroms to follow.
This is a very excellent article. It shouldn’t be about the sports and the fun things - they have to be equipped. The should know and understand their faith. Catechesis isn’t just the ‘unfun boring stuff tacked on’, it’s the core of what it should be about.
You wouldn’t let your kids ‘opt out’ of school. Why would you let them opt out of church?
Kids aren’t stupid.
85% of children institutionalized for their schooling are NOT ACTIVE 2 years after high school. These kids are also from highly active evangelical homes.
So?....Do you want the odds in your child's favor or against them?
Answer: Choose homeschooling.
Progroms have already started.
If a person wants to get and keep a job it is now dangerous in many areas of our society to let on that one is a Christian.
And....Look what happened to many people and their jobs during and after Prop 8.
Please read my post #15.
If you want the odds to be 95% in your child’s favor, choose homeschooling.
If you want the odds to be 85% for failure, choose godless and socialist-entitlement K-12 institutionalization for your child’s schooling.
Historically speaking, the pogroms have never stopped.
Excellent and convicting comments. Thank you.
True. Good point.
Live what you preach.
“3. Their parents preached the gospel to them.”
The primary role of evangelizing and disciplining rests on the parents, more specifically on fathers (Eph 6).
Is it possible that modern day Youth Ministry usurps that role and is partly responsible for the decay?
Youth Ministry has replaced fathers in spiritual roles.
Welfare has replaced fathers economically.
Sharing the Gospel has been replaced with “come to my church this Sunday”...so you can hear my Pastor tell you what I’m suppose to tell you...in a worship service that is for Holy Spirit dwelt assembled Saints, which ironically since they have not the Holy Spirit they can’t worship in Spirit and truth, understand in a life changing way the Word of God, partake in Communion without drinking judgment to themselves or stand out like an outcast as the elements are passed, and sing Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs from a heart focused on God.
Thanks for the ping!
Homeschooling now can't possibly compensate for fifty years of not fighting the battles that should have been fought to keep the schools from becoming instruments of State indoctrination just like being a "pure" conservative can't possibly make up for eighty years of letting democrats control both Houses of Congress.
I agree it's the best thing you can do if possible at this point and home schooled my kids for their High School. It seems to me a lot of homeschooling advocates overestimate how many people can actually do it, though, and those who can't aren't limited only by their willingness to tighten their belts a bit.
If the child’s chances of abandoning their relationship with Christ is** EIGHTY FIVE PERCENT**, what parent in their right mind would do that to a child? It is highly unlikely that any child would be left totally illiterate and innumerate, but even if they were, illiteracy and innumeracy can be fixed. People do it all the time. An eternally lost soul or the permanent temporal consequences of STDs and broken marriages can not be fixed.
2) Before a family decides to put their child in godless indoctrination camp, they should get **all** the facts. They should attend their local homeschooling meeting and talk with other homeschoolers.
It is **AMAZING** who manages to homeschool and how they financially manage. Really! Even single moms are successfully managing while holding down a full time job and their children are thriving spiritually, temporally, and educationally.
They find a pack, maybe one that's not yet totally corrupt, adopt a couple of the traits of that pack, and before you know it they and their entire little pack have no problem joining in with whatever the media popularizes. That's how you have churches that brag about the number of college age kids who attend during their summer break by sort of cough and mumble when you ask them about queers marrying one another or abortion.
The kids they failed have come home to a place they know will compromise and another cycle of compromising and lowering standards to keep young people interested begins.
Homeschooling now can’t possibly compensate for fifty years of not fighting the battles that should have been fought to keep the schools from becoming instruments of State indoctrination just like being a “pure” conservative can’t possibly make up for eighty years of letting democrats control both Houses of Congress.
Homeschooling isn’t about saving the nation. It is about a parent giving their precious child the best opportunity for saving their one and only **eternal** SOUL!
I invite you to read up a little on the history of compulsory government owned and run single-payer and socialist-entitlement K-12schooling in this nation.
Since the dawn of modern government compulsory schools ( mid-1800s) these schools were, and always have been, “instruments of state indoctrination”.
This is a very interesting post.
True! Every word of it.
2. Their chances of abandoning Christ when they get on their own whether they're home schooled or not is nearly the same and probably 95% if they're uneducated and feel betrayed by parents who kept them out of school for some reason. I saw a whole lot of that in the criminal justice system, people who had parents who felt that no education was better than hearing about evolution, hearing that black folks are equal to white folks, all sorts of things.
3. Nothing difficult is ever easy and it's difficult to go from having fifty or a hundred bucks a month that isn't allocated in advance to dealing with a single car you can't repair if it fails, budgeting food stamp meals, and deciding what payment you have to miss as soon as there's a $50 bump in the road you didn't expect.
Do you directly or indirectly gain income from the government schools? Just wondering.
This piece is very off-base, I think.
What is the point in learning the Gospel of Christ if they never get a chance to go out into the world and use it?
How many people in Church are hungry or thirsty or need helped out of the ditch?
Too many parents stop at being saved by Christ and not becoming like Him. It’s bad doctrine that leads to bad outcomes.
“hearing that black folks are equal to white folks,”
Equating religion to racism. Your liberalism is the most bigoted of all.
I’ve been teaching Sr High Sunday School for 13 years. Today we are doing John 3:16 vs John 3:36.
Some of the best Sunday School lessons my son had was when they had to outline particular scripture passages. He still remembers those-and that was when he was in 3rd grade.
And, btw, they were instrumental in his coming to Christ.
You and the horse you rode in on, pal.
What others had to say about what they believed is what they believed and they lived accordingly. If someone thinks stating a fact about the way people make excuses for themselves is “your liberalism” then that someone has major reading comprehension problems along with their obvious lack of intellect.
It works both ways so wake up.
Anyone who is so shallow and ignorant that they automatically assume someone who doesn't agree with their pet theory is part of the indoctrination machine that passes for an education system in this country needs to pull their head out of the warm, moist, dark, channel they've been keeping it in so long.
No I don't make a cent from anything to do with the schools or the government or from people who home school, either.
I also think the 85% is a skewed number in that we are assuming that these kids are actually "the Church". Just because someone has been taught what the Gospel is, doesn't mean they were chosen before the foundation of the world, or if they were chosen, had been elected to believe at a young age. There is a difference between living in light of the Gospel as a Holy Spirit dwelt believer vs. living out a set of moralisms.
It is my understanding that the Doctrine of Perseverance will not have a true believer leaving the faith and never returning. If one does leave, it may be that they were never "of us"...but just "among us".
The other teacher had the lesson. I have to do it next week. We are reconciling the love of God with the wrath of God.
Kids get the wrath thing better than adults.
It is my understanding that the Doctrine of Perseverance will not have a true believer leaving the faith and never returning. If one does leave, it may be that they were never “of us”...but just “among us”.
But actually i think you are right, i don,t think they have lived long enough for God to put that much responsibility on them even if they were chosen before the foundation of the world, Jesus was close to 30 before he started his ministry and we know he was chosen.
Doctrine of Perseverance teaches that those people who die Saved were members of the Elect.
Once Saved Always Saved teaches that your state at death is irrelevant to whether you go to Heaven. if you had a Salvation experience, you go to Heaven.
Agree. I'm reminded of the age requirement of the Israel children to NOT be held accountable for the sin of idolatry and thus were allowed to enter the promised land after the 40 years.
There is a time in every one of our kids lives when they have to move beyond "this is what mommy and daddy think" and test those beliefs and take ownership of what they will call truth in their particular worldview. We think they may be rebelling but they are seeking to establish their own rules of life.
If you haven't listened to Paul Washer on testing yourself to see if one is in the faith then I highly recommend it. Every Youth Leader should show this to their group.
Only 15% of children attending godless government schooling survive that challenge.
95% of homeschoolers do.
So?....Should parents choose the option with the best chances of saving their child’s soul and avoiding the very serious temporal consequences or should they choose the option with a better record of success?
Equating religion to racism. Your liberalism is the most bigoted of all.
Yep! Someone’s liberal slip is showing.
I haven’t assumed anything. I am asking.
There **are** schools in this nation that **are** so horrendous that it really would be better for the child to never attend. Illiteracy and innumeracy can be fixed. Death or permanently disabled can’t be.
I have never received any income of any kind from homeschooling, the homeschooling curriculum industry, or tutoring.
Agree. I’m reminded of the age requirement of the Israel children to NOT be held accountable for the sin of idolatry and thus were allowed to enter the promised land after the 40 years.