The reason youth are leaving our churches

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Luke2427, Dec 9, 2010.

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Do you agree with the video about why young people are leaving our churches?

  1. I agree completely

    10 vote(s)
    52.6%
  2. I agree somewhat

    7 vote(s)
    36.8%
  3. I disagree somewhat

    1 vote(s)
    5.3%
  4. He has totally missed it

    1 vote(s)
    5.3%
  1. Luke2427

    Luke2427
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  2. ashleysdad

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    I completely agree with this video. I work with the youth in our church. They don't need anything else that is cool or entertaining. It seems like everything in our culture today is designed to appeal to a young persons flesh in one way or another. They don't need to come to church and get more of that. They need to come to church and hear that Jesus is above everything else and they need to make peace with Him instead of worrying about what is cool and entertaining. I think that too often churchs in general buy into the concept that youth won't come unless church is appealing. From my (limited) perspective when I tried to make church fun and entertaining they didn't come. They started coming when I started focusing more on Jesus and less on fun.
     
  3. Luke2427

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    My sentiments exactly.
     
  4. freeatlast

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    It is not only the youth, but all ages. In fact even those who remain have fell victim to this lack of true preaching that has come on us today and it is seen in our lives.
     
  5. Old Union Brother

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    great post. You sow to the flesh you reap to the flesh.
     
  6. annsni

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    I haven't watched the video yet and will in a little while. I was talking to a friend the other day about this. She's all down on youth groups and won't send her kids there. I'm a homeschooler and have seen the arguments but I have kind of come to a conclusion. The reason that we see kids leaving churches after youth group is because they came for the social aspect and just never had a changed heart. We have MANY more kids coming to youth group that are from outside the church and we expect greater "salvation rates" from the youth group than from the general church but that doesn't happen. We see kids come in and start doing the "act" but never surrendering to God so when they leave the youth group "culture", they move on. It happens and the best thing we can do is to be sure our youth groups are working with the families, ministering to the families as well as the children and that the Word of God is clearly preached and lived by the staff and leaders. Other than that, we can't expect to see a rate of salvation higher in youth group than we see in church itself.
     
  7. JohnDeereFan

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    I agree with the video, but I tend to look at it from another angle, too: how many of those young people leaving the churches were saved and met the requirements for church membership in the first place?
     
  8. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    And what does my 19 yr old son say when I ask why he doesnt go to church....well dad its terribly boring & it sucks. Its not about music, its not about a show, its not that they dont focus on the gospel. Its that they dont translate that gospel to real life. To him & to my wife its a terrible hypocritical, very superficial & not worth the time.
     
  9. annsni

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    As perfectly godly we can be and as perfectly we can communicate the Gospel, the bare fact is that not everyone responds. Yes, we can draw more in with "fun" but that won't make any more true converts than if we held to just a message of the Gospel. It's just that with the "fun", we have more stay. It's the same with church. Those who leave the church are more than likely those who had never been regenerated at all. They came, they liked the "feel", they stayed, they eventually left for some small offense or whatever - and now blame the church for why they don't believe in God anymore. I'm sorry but you never believed in God in the first place.
     
  10. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Oh I disagree. They left because the church no longer points to Christ.
     
  11. annsni

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    Even in a church that points to Christ they leave.
     
  12. Earth Wind and Fire

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    If they were not regenerated they wouldnt go in the first place. Maybe your overlooking something.
     
  13. Aaron

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    It's not biblical. Worse than that, it's carnal. We should be presenting Christ as a better pleasure than all the sensual pleasures in which youth want to indulge? He said, in fact, that the disciples followed Christ because they were "so taken with Him" that they never felt the cost of their renunciation. In other words, they found Him so beautiful and compelling that nothing else could charm them.

    No where in the Bible is this ever put forward. Quite the opposite really.
    And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.
    They followed Him because they believed His message. And they endured despite persecution because of the power of the Spirit that filled them on the Day of Pentecost.

    The Spirit, which we recieve through the faith which comes by hearing the preaching of the Word of God is no where to be found in the message of the cited video. The message extols the power of hedonism—of desire—not the power of the Spirit.

    There is only one way an individual, young or old, will stay in the church, and that's by the Spirit of God, which is given by faith, which comes by the Word of God, which is heard through preaching.
     
  14. rbell

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    Jesus attracted large crowds. At the end, most who listened to his teaching were at the very least absent; at the worst were yelling, "Crucify Him!"

    We have a responsibility to present the truth of the Gospel. We can be as creative as we can--so long as we do not compromise the truth. I would assert we should be creative--without compromise.

    We must do this in the context of relationships. Relationships are the "web" in which the youth "stick around" long enough to hear, be drawn, commit, and grow. I try to involve as many adults as I can--reaching out in as many ways as I can. I've had better conversations about Christ while playing PS3 and ping-pong than I have standing at the front of the church.

    And we must reach their families. When we reach students, but not parents, the odds are heavily stacked against us:
    • If I get the kid and both parents, my odds are very good.
    • If I get the kid and one parent, my odds are OK, but not great (my experience is I do better if I get the dad).
    • If I get the kid, some sibling(s), but no parents, my odds are slim.
    • If I get only the kid...my odds are very slim. I "keep" a few, but I lose a lot more.
    We must realize reaching today's students is messy and difficult. They have more opportunities to fail than ever. And what's worse, their failures are more public than ever (I did some stupid things as a teen. None of them made it onto Facebook. Heck, I'm one generation removed from none of them making it onto color film! :D)

    Guys, I've been doing this since 1987. I think that we're living in a culture that is more like the 1st century than anything we've seen in a long time. And the result, I believe, of that will be:

    We will reach fewer than before...but the number of weak and nominal Christians will go down. In the coming days, there will be fewer who claim to be Christians...but the ones that do will be more authentic, and less cultural.
    (please don't try to "break down" the above sentence for theological mistakes--I used some "verbal shorthand" assuming you'd know what I meant by terms such as "weak and nominal Christian.")​
     
  15. PastorGreg

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    Humanly speaking, most young people who leave do so because of the half-hearted hypocritcal commitment they saw in their home growing up, IMHO.

    Ultimately, if they are abandoning Christianity it is because of their own spiritual issues, i.e. unregenerated.
     
  16. glfredrick

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    I disagree "somewhat" (not much!).

    Our youth are in our churches, not because they are regenerated, but because their parents bring them (in most cases). They often adopt an attitude of, "I WILL NOT be here once I no longer have to be here." I've been in youth work and I've seen it.

    The antidote is just what the speaker on the video suggests -- Jesus Christ preached compellingly and truthfully. But our youth also need something else that God told us was important, fellowship, love, relationships, guidance, relevant worship, and preaching that they can grasp. They also need a culture that does not force them (for no particular reason) to swim upstream, for if they have to make a choice, guess which way it will go?

    I've seen pastors and youth ministers intentionally test their kiddos with an event scheduled during one of the culture's biggest days (superbowl, for instance) and if the youth chose incorrectly and wished to see or participate in that cultural event, they were seen as less than worthy to be called a member of the church or youth group. That is a sad way to treat the one's we're supposed to love, even if the motives are fairly decent under the stupidity of the action. I even saw one church plant have their first Sunday (and every anniversary Sunday after!) on the same Sunday as the community's annual parade and carnival. The idea was to set themselves apart from the community. Guess which Sunday is low attendance Sunday?

    The pure compelling gospel? Absolutely, but in a way that they can hear, and more so, participate. In our church the average age is under 30. (For those sick of me talking about my church as the example, I do so because what we are doing is fairly unique -- but effective and gospel-centered.) The entire church, for the most part, IS a youth group. Originally, it was thought that being "hipster" was the way to go, but even that was found lacking, as hipsters get older and are no longer in touch with what comes next. That's the way culture works, especially in America. We now major on the gospel and what it means to live that out (much like the video presentation). People are not turning away from our church -- they are attracted to it because of Christ. On any given Sunday, our visitor total equals or is slightly above our membership total. We run a very consistent 1000 members and 1200 visitors on an average Sunday, with high attendance days over 2600 (even more visitors -- our members are very faithful in attendance!). How many of you would like THAT problem with young people?

    They're doing stuff also. We've launched two new campuses this year, with each having attendance in the 250-500 range. We have two more plants scheduled for the upcoming year, plus we're moving into a renovated Catholic Cathedral (plus keeping our existing building -- a converted K-6 grade school that is 3 stories tall). We increased our budget 25% last year and another 18% this year (and at $2.7 million, that is some real money).

    Youth WILL jump in and surrender their lives, but the gospel must be compelling and the church relevant!
     
  17. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Guy, do you have a soup kitchen & stuff in the community where the kids (and parents) can integrate with the poor & destitute in the area?
     
  18. webdog

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    Excellent book on this topic is Josh McDowell's Last Christian Generation
     
  19. glfredrick

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    We do not, but that does not mean that we do not go into the community. We have an active participatory ministry called "Seed" that sees our people of all ages interacting with the people in our community in all sorts of ways, from bringing food, fixing stuff around or on the home, paying bills, teaching things like budgeting, marriage and family skills, drug and alcohol intervention, etc.

    We also send our people to participate in two or more of the local rescue mission-type places (two main ones -- Jefferson Street Mission and Wayside Christian Mission) both of whom minister to thousands of people annually, so there is some "soup kitchen" type of activity if that is what one desires.

    Here is the link to our Seed website: http://sojournchurch.com/ministries/seed/

    Additionally, we are penetrating and changing bad neighborhoods all over our city by a very intentional action -- we are asking church members to move to these neighborhoods and to begin community groups that reach out to the persons in that area. Best thing is that our members are doing this widely across the city! The area surrounding our main campus is one of the downtrodden burned-over areas of our city, and nearby is a park that is the worst place in the city to be after hours, as it is over-run by drug dealers, etc. There are often murders, muggings, and other crime issues that happen on an almost daily basis in the neighborhood surrounding our church. Our people living in this community, very intentionally, is starting to make a difference!

    Here is our site that details all the various ministries that are at our main campus: http://midtown.sojournchurch.com/ministries/

    I'm not sure if you've seen this video (I've posted it before) but this is our church in action... I see these people almost every Sunday, they are real, and about a third of them are now pastors and other leaders in our church. Imagine homeless and broken street people that God picks up, births anew, and then sets into leadership to reach others!

    http://vimeo.com/10529836

    Here is a challenge from our pastor to go out and do something radical:

    http://vimeo.com/12632051

    And the response:

    http://vimeo.com/12866332

    Music is one of our worship teams recorded at the church.
    Also, in the "Stories of Change" video all the scenes in the video are within sight of our building. That's the inner-city neighborhood that we are penetrating!
     
    #19 glfredrick, Dec 10, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 10, 2010
  20. nodak

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    We can get the teens active in service ministry, get them active in music ministry, get them loving the music and culture, and do any one of a thousand things to draw them in.

    We don't keep them for three reasons: 1. They never heard a clear presentation of the gospel and so are unsaved. 2. They heard a clear presentation of the gospel, rejected it, and are unsaved. 3. They are saved and find entertainment based worship silly, shallow, and not worth their time.
     

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