9. They never attended church to begin with.
From a Noah’s Ark themed nursery, to jumbotron summer-campish kids church, to pizza parties and rock concerts, many evangelical youth have been coddled in a not-quite-church, but not-quite-world hothouse. They’ve never sat on a pew between a set of new parents with a fussy baby and a senior citizen on an oxygen tank.
They don’t see the full timeline of the gospel for every season of life. Instead, we’ve dumbed down the message, pumped up the volume and act surprised when…
8. They get smart.
Are we surprised they are leaving church? It’s not that our students “got smarter” when they left home, rather someone actually treated them as intelligent. Rather than dumbing down the message, the agnostics and atheists treat our youth as intelligent and challenge their intellect with “deep thoughts” of question and doubt.
Many of these “doubts” have been answered, in great depth, over the centuries of our faith. However…
7. You sent them out unarmed.
Let’s just be honest, most of our churches are sending youth into the world embarrassingly ignorant of our faith which plays a role in them leaving church. How could we not?
We’ve jettisoned catechesis, sold them on “deeds not creeds” and encouraged them to start the quest to find “God’s plan for their life.”
Yes, I know your church has a “What We Believe” page, but is that actually being taught and reinforced from the pulpit? I’ve met evangelical church leaders (“pastors”) who didn’t know the difference between justification and sanctification. I’ve met large church board members who didn’t understand the atonement.
When we choose leaders based upon their ability to draw and lead rather than to accurately teach the faith, well, they don’t teach the faith.
Surprised? And instead of the orthodox, historic faith…