(Post by: Lilly Hobbs)
“I had seen it happen many times. Heard stories told and realized that it was a harsh reality. No one else seemed bothered though. I didn’t see the people around me making an effort to stop it from happening.
In fact, maybe I’m one of the few who can actually see what they are doing, and why they are doing it?”
These are just a couple examples of the thoughts that I’ve thought about many times over. I mean, kids, teens, and young adults leave the Church all the time, right? It’s certainly not rare or something that we are shocked by.
You see, I’m 16 years old. I fully understand what teens are faced with today because I am one. I know what it’s like to go to church every Sunday because I do it. I get what people think about “religious stuff” because I’ve thought it.
What people don’t know is that we have a very serious pandemic on our hands, and no, it isn’t the virus that we currently seem to be extremely challenged by.
It’s a pandemic that is bringing utter disaster upon traditional Christianity. Causing so many young people to call it quits and walk away from what they know as ‘’Church”.
And believe me when I tell you that it is a literal “disaster” of a mess. And it all happens while we’re sitting.
1 Timothy 6:20-21 says, “Guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called “knowledge” – which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith.”
According to Ken Ham and Britt Beemer in their book titled, “Already Gone”, two-thirds of the young people you see in Church on any given Sunday are already gone. Even if they haven’t actually left and walked out of the building.
You know that teen in the back who always has his jacket hood pulled over his head on Sunday morning? Oh, and that young girl who always recites the Christmas story found in Luke 1-2 at your church’s Christmas play each December?
Yeah, it’s very likely that they’re already gone.
Ken Ham and Britt Beemer also reported that of those who no longer believe that the Bible is true, 39.8% first had doubts in middle school, 43.7% first had their doubts in high school, and 10.6% had their first doubts in college.
Something that I’ve noticed a lot of youth ministries do is focus so much on preparing youth for their time in college. But what about now? According to the statistics, it’s way too late by the time they get to college. Kids are having doubts about Jesus and are walking away from church in middle school.
We may not be losing them physically in middle school, but we have certainly lost them spiritually. They just might wait until college when it’s the opportune time to walk away completely.
You want to know the only reason I haven’t walked away? Because I have a Dad who is willing to drive over a thousand miles to help a guy who messed up just because he felt like it’s what Jesus wanted him to do. It’s because I have a Mom who packs the bags and never questions whether it’s really worth it or not. I also have a few other Godly mentors that show me what it looks like to truly live out Christianity the way Jesus tells us to.
Because trust me, if it was up to the Church to keep me involved and passionate about Jesus, I would have been included in those stats that I shared with you earlier.
Jesus starts around the kitchen table on an ordinary evening. And if there’s one thing I know to be true, it’s this… if kids don’t see their parents making the right choices and living like Jesus is real, they won’t either.
We’ve traveled the U.S. and I’ve seen it in every little American town and big city I’ve been in. It all goes back to the Church in every way. If the Church hasn’t produced passionate believers in one generation, it won’t be passed on to the next.
I lead Bible Study groups for younger and older girls two nights out of every week. If parents show their kids that Bible Study isn’t as important, or should I say even more important, than their school, sports, or any other activity, then don’t think that the kids will make Jesus first when they are old enough to make their own choices.
This stuff is real, and young people are walking out while we’re sitting in our comfy church chairs showing them nothing different that makes them want to stay.
Young people will stop leaving the faith when there are Christians who will disciple them and show them that the Jesus they serve isn’t boring, and that He isn’t like anything they’ve ever experienced before.
The thing is, you kind of have to get up to do that. It’s true. They will start staying when we stop sitting.
“God’s Church is not a social club. It’s not a building, and it’s not an option. The Church is life and death. The Church is God’s strategy for reaching the world. What we do inside the Church matters.” (Francis Chan)
SO WHAT IS YOUR RESPONSE?
= Were you aware of this “pandemic” before you read this post?
= Did the statistics shock you? If so, why?
= What are you going to do differently?