Kara Powell: #1 Reason Youth Leave the Church—And How to Reverse the Trend

Kara Powell: #1 Reason Youth Leave the Church—And How to Reverse the Trend

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Kara Powell is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) and a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary. As a youth ministry veteran of over 20 years, she serves as an Advisor to Youth Specialties. Named by Christianity Today as one of “50 Women You Should Know,” Kara is the author or co-author of a number of books including Sticky Faith. Dr. Kara Powell discusses the greatest change in youth ministry today and the number one reason this generation walks away from their faith.

Big Questions:

What has changed the most in youth ministry over the last decade?

What’s the #1 Reason this generation walks away from their faith?

What is needed to bridge that gap between the youth and the church?

How should the church approach doubt in ministering to students?

Key Quotes:

“Of all the youth group participation variables we’ve seen, being involved in intergenerational worship and relationship was one of the variables most highly coordinated to young people’s faith.”

“Almost half of all young people drift away from God and the church after they graduate.”

“Our vision is that churches and youth ministries would be the first place where young people feel like they can go with their tough questions.”

“What I wouldn’t want to see is kids saying, ‘It’s on the news, they talk about it at school, I’m hearing about it on Twitter and Snapchat, but we’re not talking about it at church.’ That dichotomy is really dangerous and communicates a not-so-subtle message that the church and my faith is out of touch with the world.”

“On purpose, raise tough questions about what’s happening in our world.”

“I would rather have kids wonder their questions aloud in the context of a faith community than stifle them or wonder them with other friends who don’t share our faith.”

“It’s not doubt that is toxic, but unexpressed or unexplored doubt that is toxic.”

More from Kara Powell on ChurchLeaders

Leadership Book Interview: Kara Powell

Numb Generations

Parenting Baby Steps with Kara Powell

Mentioned in the Show

Fuller Youth Institute

Fuller Theological Seminary

Sticky Faith

Can I Ask That?

The 5 Love Languages – Gary Chapman

Around the Web:

Kara Powell on StickyFaith.org

Kara Powell on Facebook

Kara Powell on Twitter

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Andrew Hess
Andrew Hess is the director of content at the White Horse Inn and editor of corechristianity.com. He formerly served as the editor of churchleaders.com. His writing has been featured on The Gospel Coalition and Focus on the Family. He lives in San Diego with his wife Jen and they recently welcomed their first child. Connect with Andrew on Twitter @AndrewWHess.