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Discerning Culture

Reasons Young People Are Leaving the Church – A Good Rant

Marc@5solas has a post on why he thinks kids leave the church. He has taken the time to interview some kids who have left the church. It seems like he lives in a culture of large squishy churches. Those of us in small, Northeastern, missionary churches wonder what he is talking about but here are his findings:

Here are his top 10 in reverse order:

10. The Church is “Relevant.” – The church is trying to be “cool” like the world. But we are not. Favorite quote “The minute you aim to be authentic,” you are no longer authentic.
9. They never attended church to begin with. – They have been coddled with fun rather than introduced to the multigenerational nature of the church.
8. They get smart. – The agnostics and atheists ask deep questions that we don’t prepare them for.
7. You sent them out unarmed. – We never armed them with answers.
6. You gave them hand-me-downs. – We focused on feelings not historic truth.
5. Community. – They find better community than a manufactured community of the church.
4. They found better feelings. –  Rather than an external objective historic faith, we are giving them an internal, subjective faith. And then they find a place that feels better.
3. They got tired of pretending. – If they are fed a positive feeling message and not the true gospel which goes with ups and downs.
2. They know the truth. – They can’t obey the law.
1. They don’t need it. – They haven’t heard the real gospel.

You can read the whole article here.

My take?
I don’t live where he lives. If I had experienced all these things I think I would write a post that has the bite his has.

However several good points for us:
1. Are our children hearing the real, objective, historic gospel of God’s righteous hatred of sin and atoning work of Christ?
2. Are we preparing our children for hard questions through apologetics and to think deeply through doctrine?
3. Are we being authentic with our children about living the Christian life?
4. Do we see relevance as the key hindrance of the gospel?
5. Do our church leaders know, preach, and teach the gospel? Do we as parents?

I think the only real blindspot is that he goes after the churches rather than the parents. But that is why I am writing as I am.

This article makes me more excited about the focus of The Apollos Project on equipping parents to disciple their children. It makes me more excited about our Leadership Apologetics and Doctrine Class and Seminars. It makes me more excited about finishing my writing!


  • Pat M. says:

    I saw his article, Chap. I thought it was good but I also couldn’t relate to the church he describes. And I came here to search out and link to one of your articles to add to the discussion. 🙂

  • Laura Sailer says:

    Keep up the good work, Chap, we need you. I live in the Bible belt where we are immersed in therapeutic moral deism. I could relate to much he described with much concern, which is why I stay involved in youth ministry and try to do what I can to make a difference. LS

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