Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Why Are Young People Leaving the Church?

Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored

Likewise urge the young men to be sensible;  in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about usTitus 2:3-8 (Emphasis mine)

What I've seen over the 20 years of being a Christian is young people graduate high school or college who leave youth group/student ministry and follow their peers to younger churches. 

Those younger and hip churches lack older saints who have a gold mine of life time wisdom who are not connecting with these younger men and women. This gap creates an environment of immature baby Christians, who learn from more immature Christians, and they remain immature Christians.

Over time this problem creates an imbalance of age groups in biblical churches.

So why is this happening?

Age segregation defies the Titus 2 main principle of discipleship. The passage above is singular in context of a one on one relationship.

 If we separate young people in to their own culture within the church they'll have a hard time connecting and bonding with older men and women in the church's main population.

These older folks are also their family; come to the church of Jesus and find your uncles, fathers, brothers and grandfathers. It is not biblical for my children to depend solely on their peers for fellowship. "He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm." Proverbs 13:20

This is mainly the parents' responsibility to encourage and enable their kids form connections with older saints, but what happens if there are young people who are without parental support? Perhaps their father or both parents are unbelievers and they are not getting the discipleship training they need. That is where the church can jump in and use hospitality, spiritually adopt a young person, and demonstrate an authentic Christian home.

Often times the young person of an unbelieving family are sent to a youth group with their friends, but they are not getting one on one from a mature Christian. They often slip through the cracks and go on unchallenged in their Christian walk.

Even though I disagree with Mike Hauser's pragmatic philosophy of WHY young people are leaving the church they grew up in, I do agree with his solution because it lines up more to the biblical standard.  

Related articles:

Reflection on Becoming a Titus 2 Woman by Sherry Wilson

Pyromanics: "Too many old people"?