Why the stat stating 90% of kids leave their faith is dead wrong.

I am not a huge soap boxer but please indulge me this. I have heard for the past few years that 90% of Christian kids leave their faith when they leave their homes. This stat has never sat well with me. It still doesn’t. Upon hearing that stat for the first time I asked God to have mercy on our kids and began to think how I could turn the tide in our church.

Being in the same church church for 14 years is very sobering. It’s sobering because I get to see the end result of my theories about ministry as well as the theories of others. I remember a couple of years ago I started looking back over a decade of ministry what had me and my team done well where had we failed? There were lots of good things we could point to, one of the biggest things we saw that was lacking was a clear explanation of what the Gospel. In kids ministry, and youth ministry we love concreate truth to a fault. We proclaim how to behave forgetting to explain our purpose for being. We need to clearly articulate the Gospel to the kids in our churches. What does this have to do with kids leaving their faith, you say? Everything! My contention is that because we those kids attended services but did not understand the truth of the gospel. They were a church attender but they never really left the faith because they truly understood the power and simplicity of the gospel.

Simply put these kids never left their faith because they never fully had it in the first place. My contention is with the walking away, it’s that they never truly entered a life giving relationship with Jesus Christ. When you understand the power of the Gospel it changes you. You don’t leave it. Attending your mom and dad’s church on the other hand is very easy to leave.

So while the problem is largely the same the how to fix it is drastically different. One requires a change in methods the other in our methodology all together.

Here is another blogpost talking about this very thing. What say you?

 

 

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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9 thoughts on “Why the stat stating 90% of kids leave their faith is dead wrong.

  1. Sam, you are so right. I have become so convicted in the past three months about what we are NOT teaching our kids. So often we look for "the decision" that often times sets kids and adults alike up to experience easy believism without a full understanding of what it means to be a Christ follower. I am not talking about a "Christian checklist" here but about actually "being." A Vineyard doesn't TRY to produce fruit… it just does because it is connected to the source. When we are connected to Christ who is our source of life we will bear the fruit we were intended to. I have recently talked with our kids about the enemy and how he has a plan to kill, steal and destroy. God also has a plan for their life and that is that they have it in the fullest possible way. He promises that there is no where that we can go that He is not there and that if we seek Him with our whole heart that He WILL be found. People can walk away from an easy beliveism consumer mentality picture of church.

  2. Equipping them with how to do that on a daily basis…when things are great…. when we feel alone…when noone else around us is interested in doing the same…when we don't understand…? We need to have the conversations as parents that asks how they are groming in their personal walk with the Lord. This week I played Hide and seek with my kids.

  3. Having been in the same church for around 12 years, I have seen several shifts in many of the dynamics of children's minsitry. Discipling of our "older youngers" moves up on the priority scale every year. We, too, are working to make sure that everything we do points back to Christ and the Gospel, and we are learning to choose wisely how to spend our time and resources on those things that do that the best. Since we have begun making those shifts in priorities, we are seeing fruit in the lives of our kids as they learn to trust God for themselves and find places where they can use their gifts not just for them, but for the kingdom. Thanks for taking the time to talk about something that really needs to keep being said.

  4. I would suggest that the problem is much deeper than you think. It is about the Church's complete failure to nurture children's spirituality. If we believe we are all made in God's image, then we are born physically, mentally, socially and spiritually. You only have to have a discussion with a group of small children about the world about them or God and they come up with the most profound statements and insights that leaves many adults way behind!

    So what do we do with these children? We pump them full of "concrete truth to a fault", going over the same Bible stories year in, year out. (Generally the more fantastical ones, like Noah, Jonah, David & Goliath, etc.) We get them to make things, colour things in; we teach them songs with actions, etc, etc. But we don't sit down with them and explore what they're feeling about themselves, their families, the world around them and what it means to them to (or would mean to them) to relate to Jesus Christ or God in a way that breaks through into everyday life.

    The Church effectively educates spirituality out of its children, until we're left with teens and adults that struggle to relate to their spirituality, or seek it from other sources who are far better at relating to it than the Church!

    Research and study by Rebecca Nye in the UK is breaking ground in how we can meet the spiritual needs of children. You should try and get a copy of her 2009 book: "Children's Spirituality – what it is and why it matters" Pub: Church House Publishing ISBN: 978-0-7151-4027-7. I think you will find it an eye opener and might just change your whole outlook on how we work with children.

    Also, you may like to check out a US website: First Steps Spirituality Centre http://www.1ststeps.net/ which also explores how we can help children nurture and develop their already existing ability to relate to their Creator Father, especially at times of real need, such as during illness or bereavement.

    Cheers

    Graham Richards
    Children's & Youth Work Adviser
    Richmond Archdeaconry
    Ripon & Leeds Diocese
    England