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Barna Studies Young Adult Church Dropouts

The Barna Group has released new findings in its study of the young adult churched, showing some of what is commonly believed (that they regularly lose their faith after high school) is actually myth. David Kinnaman, research director, concluded “the dropout problem is not about a huge exodus of young people from the Christian faith. In fact, it is about the various ways that young people become disconnected on their spiritual journey…most young people with a Christian background are dropping out of conventional church involvement, not losing their faith.”

Kinnaman’s research also showed that young people don’t just naturally drop out of church as a part of their maturing, and that college isn’t necessarily to blame for young people leaving churches. It also showed that young adult Christians aren’t any more biblically illiterate than their older counterparts. Even so, Kinnaman warns churches not to minimize the importance of young adults leaving the church: “Churches, organizations and families owe this generation more…(young adult) believers need better, deeper relationships with other adult Christians, a more holistic understanding of their vocation and calling, and they need help discerning Jesus’ leading in their life.”

For the complete report, click here.

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Toni Ridgaway is a content editor for the Outreach Web Network, including churchleaders.com and SermonCentral.com.