My denomination recently published an article on why 20somethings are leaving the church in its monthly magazine. While I was happy they were addressing the topic , I really don’t think it covered the issue. So here blog reader is your forum to discuss intelligently an issue that has a great impact on all of us.

MY OWN IDEAS

* Leaders insist on entertaining kids rather than providing them with substance. This leads to the ‘camp high’ or ‘Jesus high’ phenomena. This leads teens when reaching 20something to go to pentecostal churches which offer more ‘Jesus high’ type experiences OR they see the holes in a faith that is as empty and weak (having being taught little of the fundamentals of Christianity, like say suffering) – and leave. We must teach faith for the valleys and everydayness of life, a faith that is dynamic, powerful and practical.

* We don’t model the real Jesus.

We have seen it all. From dead, compromising churches to hyped-up phoney churches, telling us that if we just do this or that, the next level will come. And of course, the biggest doctrine of our generation, if you just give more money, all your problems will be solved, or worse, He will heal you, fix your marriage, flood you with lots of money, etc. From: Mary Jean an Out of Church Christian (-USA):
From ‘The Out of Church Christian’s Book’

* Leaders go for ‘big bang’ experiences (think easter camp/ summer camp) SEE THIS BLOG POST and use these to ‘feed’ our teens, neglecting to teach them how to feed themselves using a Bible, Prayer, Solitude and songs of worship.

* We don’t discuss big issues. Leaving things such as our doubts about God, challenges, money, politics, sex, Porn, in an untouched box for the world to handle. So when a teen/young adult does have a problem/question/issue etc in this area their only answer is from a non Christian worldview.

*We provide little intellectual stimulus and when one reaches university or the big wide world we have taught our teens little about their own or other world views. Although at this point I would like to offer a mighty big kudos to Trueu.org for the fantastic work they do in this area for all university students and Soulpurpose for the work they do in NZ they do with NZ teens and young people. You’re my heros 🙂

* The cult of Leader – This one is a pet peeve – ‘If only xxxx was here he was such a good pastor’ , ‘ when xxxxx was here we used to do (heard 5 years after a pastor left – said like it was only yesterday)’ It has been researched that many teens drop out of the church because of the cult of the leader. So much emphasis is put on the leader rather than God (and the fellowship of the saints) that people think that when that person moves that they can’t possibly continue in their faith. We need to work as a team and point people to God. The Pastor is human (shock horror!) and is not infalliable, neither is a youth leader or worship leader. Youth need to be made aware of the concepts of the body of Christ and their value in it.

Why do you think 20somethings are leaving the church?

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