Top 10 Reasons Our Kids Leave Church by Mark5Solas
As we watch and weep over the mass exodus of young people from the evangelical church we have to know something is amiss, that something is terribly wrong. The statistics are more than alarming. But why are the latest generations leaving their roots and dismissing their faith in shocking numbers? If your heart aches at this increasing apathy and want to know the dynamics behind this frightening trend, this article is an absolute must read:
And it is not just recent high school grads that are dropping out of Christianity. This applies to most Gen X, Gen Y, and Millennial demographics as well as Baby Boomers. If we were to be aroused from our slumber of “Comfortable Christianity” we would be cognizant this has been going on for years. And that its pace is accelerating.
There is not much I can add to this well written and concise exposition of a frightening challenge in the contemporary church. But, unable to help myself, here are a few random observations (or rant, if you will):
In our effort to be relevant we are no longer real. Real is what people need…and what they are looking for.
In a misguided interpretation of being “all things to all people” we have become very little to very few.
We’ve let personal comfort trump the comprehensive calling of Christ to take up our cross and follow Him.
The institutional church has become an organization instead of an organism.
We have so watered down the Gospel it no longer satisfies the thirsty.
We have replaced God-centered, God-enthralled worship with entertainers and shallow, secularized music.
We have forsaken orthodox theology and embraced pragmatism and easy believism.
We’ve deployed capitalistic methods rather than teaching God’s Word.
The American church was once 3000 miles wide and only 1 inch deep. Now it is not so wide…or so deep.
We have mistakenly come to think that “gathering together” is the same thing as vibrant Christian community.
Modern Christianity has elevated feelings over reason to the point we have multiplied spiritual infants.
We have continued to unintentionally (and sometimes intentionally) propagate a false sacred vs. secular dichotomy.
We have created a culture that idolizes celebrity pastors, worship leaders, athletes, and entertainers, and have become a cult of personality.
We have failed to keep Christ and His cross at the forefront of all we do and teach.
We have emphasized forgiveness at the expense of repentance.
We have confused the difference between being an institutional church member and being a born-again member in the spiritual body of Christ.
We have preferred impotent spiritualized pop psychology over the life transforming power of the Holy Spirit.
We have forgotten the Great Commission is more than just multiplying – it is also about a disciple’s ministry and maturity.
I could go on, but I think you get my drift. And are probably offended by some of it.
Since I’ve always had a distaste for those who could enumerate problems but couldn’t (or wouldn’t) offer solutions, you have a right to ask me what my answer is. So here are a few of my recommendations:
Return to the simple missional mindset and authentic community so clearly portrayed in the book of Acts.
Re-enthrone Christ as the head of the church.
Permeate everything we do and say with the true Gospel message.
Forsake any compromise that weakens our resolve to present the clear teaching of Scripture…warts and all.
Lead people to the real Jesus and quit soft-pedaling His calling.
Embrace the 5 Solas of The Reformation. If you don’t know them I would strongly suggest you learn and study them. These 5 profound yet simple ideas form the foundational tenets that should earmark and frame all that we do and teach.
“And to the angel of the church in Laodicea [the contemporary church] write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation.
“‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches’” (Revelation 3:14-22).
“Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And
“If the righteous is scarcely saved,
what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”(1 Peter 4:16-18).