Twentysomethings Leaving The Church??

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by HeDied4U, Sep 26, 2003.

  1. HeDied4U

    HeDied4U
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    Study Shows Twentysomethings Leaving the Church
    by The Barna Research Group

    A new study from the Barna Research Group of Ventura, California shows
    that millions of twentysomething Americans - many of whom were active in
    churches during their teens - pass through their most formative adult
    decade while putting Christianity on the backburner. The research,
    conducted with 2,660 twentysomethings, shows that Americans in their
    twenties are significantly less likely than any other age group to
    attend church services, to donate to churches, to be absolutely
    committed to Christianity, to read the Bible, or to serve as a volunteer
    or lay leader in churches. Perhaps the most striking reality of
    twentysomething's faith is their relative absence from Christian
    churches. Only 3 out of 10 twentysomethings (31%) attend church in a
    typical week, compared to 4 out of 10 of those in their 30s (42%) and
    nearly half of all adults age 40 and older (49%). The low level of
    twentysomething church attendance is not just due to the "college
    years," when many young adults may not have easy access to a church. The
    research shows that church attendance bottoms out during the late 20s
    when the vast majority of students have transitioned from education to
    the workforce. Just 22% of those ages 25 to 29 attended church in the
    last week.

    ------------------

    God Bless!!

    Adam [​IMG]
     
  2. GODzThunder

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    You know, I do not remember all the comments he made but a good researcher on how to handle this situation with the younger generation dropping out of the Church today is

    Dr. Thom Rainer of the Rainer Group.

    He addresses this issue with much research and response.
     
  3. blackbird

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    Adam--the figures are alarming, aren't they? I believe, too, that the statistics may go beyond the twentysomethings to touch on the teenage years--I have read in the past that the church looses over 85% of its teenagers who graduate high school! Out of ten graduating Seniors--the church will loose 8.5 of um--

    Why such alarming figures--yours and mine? The church's fault?? No--no more the church's fault than when a soldier AWOL's from the Army!

    I've also read that say, you and your wife move from your city to another one---the company transfers you--when you move--you will be less likely to attend church in the city you moved to.

    I think the reason is a sudden change in comfort zones--those stats would prove true for Senior Adults if the study was aimed at their age zone--its extremely hard to move from one comfort zone to another--to break the other zone's "ice" and to fit in---I will keep studyin' this matter like you--try to figure out what it is---can't be the preacher---I'm 44 but yet I have a host of 22's sittin' in front of me every Sunday---I don't know why some will stay but majority won't!

    Your brother,
    Blackbird
     
  4. Taufgesinnter

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    Well, you know old-timers (those born before 1946) generally prefer traditional services.

    Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) generally prefer contemporary services. I wouldn't be at all surprised if that meant something of a rock feel. Theirs is the last modern generation, and while rebellious in their youth, are still reachable with rationalism and teachable with doctrine and theology.

    Baby Busters (those born between 1965 and 1982), so-called Gen-X, generally prefer contemporary services too, but I suspect probably more like a pop feel. However, they may have tastes that bridge their parents' generation and that of their own children. Remember, Gen-X spans ages 21 to 38 right now. As a transitional generation between modern times and the post-modern world, they may be susceptible to modern rationality but also are drawn to post-modern experimental learning. If not their parents' generation, which is more likely, then theirs is the last generation easily reached through a traditional three-point sermon and syllogisms and doctrinal theology.

    Echo Boomers (those born since 1983), so-called Gen-Y, have shown some affinity for Celtic-style worship services, as have their older siblings (those in the younger half of Gen-X). This includes low-key lighting, early medieval styles of chanting, and emphasis on solemn, pre-modern spiritual experience. This spiritual hunger and desire to connect with the distant past and bypass modernity as a post-modern generation may offer its own clues on how to reach and retain them.

    As post-moderns, they reject modern sermons and their basis in Enlightenment rationalism, but embrace the ancient biblical methodology of story-telling, whether by literally spinning a tale or by acting it out through drama. They respond better when preaching and teaching do not resemble lectures (which are a poor way to teach anyway) and are thus not lectures about Bible stories, but when the teaching is Bible stories or contemporary equivalents.

    It's also better (this is true for everyone, but especially for a generation conditioned to have short attention spans) if the teaching is broken up, mixed up, and reinforced with multimedia and multiple-format presentation that incorporates questions and answers--IOW, they expect and respond to that which is interactive. If the message is presented in drama, explained in story, backed up by music, illustrated visually, and discussed in forum, they'll take hold of it. They need to see it, hear it, feel it, talk it through, and think about it, maybe even write about it, not just absorb it passively.

    If the message of the day is read to them as a sermon, and the rest of the service doesn't connect to it anyway, they'll zone out in three to seven minutes. And eventually they won't feel church meets their spiritual needs and will look elsewhere and stop going.

    (BTW, the Echo Boomers are fascinating to me in several ways, not the least of which is their demographic mirroring of the Baby Boom. The most interesting thing to me is that they are children of both Baby Boomers--who'll be having children for at least another 10+ years, and the Baby Busters, the youngest of whom have only recently begun having children while the oldest have been for nearly 20 years already. That's quite a population explosion.)
     
  5. dianetavegia

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    I'm a Baby Boomer and I DON'T prefer contemporary. I prefer the 'Old Time' religion services with hymns and 'hell fire and damnation' preaching.

    [​IMG] Diane
     
  6. blackbird

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    Diane Tav--

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] Ditto from Blackbird!
    Your buddy,
    Blackbird
     
  7. Taufgesinnter

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    I'm a Baby Boomer and I DON'T prefer contemporary. I prefer the 'Old Time' religion services with hymns and 'hell fire and damnation' preaching.

    [​IMG] Diane
    </font>[/QUOTE]Baby Boomers generally prefer contemporary services.

    Contemporary choruses with simplistic lyrics, sung six times in a row, annoy me to distraction. As I indicated on another thread, I prefer old-fashioned hymns and spirituals like Gott Ist die Liebe, Nun Danket Alle Gott, Es Sind Zween Weg, Amazing Grace, My Sheep Know My Voice, And Can It Be, Guide My Feet, and the Gloria Patri. I'm not saying whether I'm a Baby Boomer, Baby Buster, or Echo Boomer, though. Just call me part of the Pepsi Generation.
     
  8. Dr. Bob

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    Me? I'm part of the GERITOL GENERATION.

    Have absolute disdain for 99.9% of CCM and Rock. Our new Bible Study is singing quality music and studying the doctrines of grace. Amazed at home many 20somethings are craving more than bread and circuses.
     
  9. Ben W

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    Ive noted that alot of Twenty Somethings like myself are falling out of the boring and stagnant churches, yet alot are falling into groups like Calvary Chapel, the fastest growing mainstream denomination.
     
  10. blackbird

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    Ben--define boring and stagnate as the twenty somethings see it!

    Define mainstream denomination stuff---what are we doing wrong to make the minority group leave--and what can we do to improve--

    The thing I believe that keeps them coming back is the scripture I expound on---every Sunday and Wednesday!
    Blackbird
     
  11. dianetavegia

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    Bro. David, I think you have to 'entertain' them with floor shows, interactive screens.... maybe some Playstation 2 type games to go along with the sermon... and nothing can last more than 30 minutes.

    Think that'll float at YOUR church? Not mine!
    Diane
     
  12. Taufgesinnter

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    As opposed to what I listed, which are valid and effective teaching methods... [​IMG]
     
  13. Trotter

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    They need the word of God. Entertainment they can get on television, but salvation and spiritual growth can only come through the revealed truth of Scripture.

    Christianity is an "intelligent" religion. The Bible doesn't recite itself, and God doesn't follow you around like a lost puppy. We, as Christians, must go to His holy word and "draw nigh unto God." But, unfortunately, those of the younger generations (I'm a Buster-1968, but include my own) have been largely educated by TV and secular music. The average attention span of Americans is shrinking each year, and is somewhere around 2-4 minutes. We need to reverse that trend, not reinforce it.

    When I came to Christ, it wasn't because of a multi-media presentation, or a full scale circus. It was the word of God laid open before me to expose me emptiness. The Spirit drew me, not to the spectacular or the "modern," but to the truth of His word, the truth of Jesus' blood, the truth of my sin. What twentysomethings need is reality.

    No matter how many PowerPoint presentations you give, how many "holy dramas" you perform, you will only hold them so long. As my pastor puts it, "You can bring 'em in with a hot dog, and somebody else will take 'em off with a hamburger."
    And that is true enough.

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  14. blackbird

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    Binky the clown??
    Andy Griffith videos?

    I just don't understand--I use to be a twenty something---and I came and heard the preacher---expound scripture, exalt the Lord Jesus Christ, preach those hell fire and damnation sermons, and blister your britches if you were a gossipper---and not a worshipper---and came back at nite for some more and couldn't hardly wait till next Sunday to get here--and now I'm the one expounding scripture, exalting the Lord Jesus Christ, preaching hell fire and damnation sermons, blister the britches of the gossippers and my twenty somethings are doing what I did when I was twenty--they come back at nite for more of what they got at morning--then again on wednesday---I just don't understand!
     
  15. JonathanDT

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    I'll let Ben explain it since he said it, but you totally misunderstood him.
     
  16. Jim1999

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    My last pastorate was in a university and college city. We started a group we called College and Careers. It was intended to attract students and young people just starting out in the workforce.

    We discussed the things that interested them. Situations at school and situations at work. Obviously, the word of the Lord was prominent in the service. It started out as an hourlong program and many times went on for two hours and more.

    I will admit that teaching at the university did give me an advantage, but I think it can work in any church. The thing is relevancy. If the message isn't relevant to them, you will lose them.

    The other thing I did was link up with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship which does a marvellous job working with university students.

    These kids are away from home and they have specific needs they don't often want to talk about.

    We had coffee and soft drinks and snacks during the service to keep everything informal. They have enough regimen and work and school.

    It started off with 6 kids and grew to over 30. For music, we used an old gospel song book and we were not afraid to sing secular songs.

    Try it, as the advert goes, you will like it.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  17. Sularis

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    Here's a 20 something answer

    groups - you gotta a group coming back - perhaps at one time your church focussed on the transitional years of teens and college, and a group was formed - perhaps you still focus on that age group - and such you still have 20somethings - but perhaps you dont - what may have happened as it did in my old church, and current one - is that there was a charismatic one or two people that held the group together, once they leave, if the group doesnt have sufficient ties - it will slowly break apart

    Simply put - Im different then old people - perhaps im tooo gosh darn young at heart - perhaps I dont need to hear about sending kids to school - grandkids - retirement - im still looking out to life - yes ive experienced a lot - but there are parts of me that havent yet settled, and Im looking - Id love to go to a new church witha progran that cares about me
     
  18. gb93433

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    I know of churches that are growing and singing hymns. There are also chruches that are singing contemporary music and they are growing. Christian Scwartz claims as they have studied churches all around the world that there is one thing that stands out. The churh's ability to grow is directly related to its ability to love. Doesn't that sound familiar? Didn't Jesus say how they will know we are Christians? It doesn't matter so much what the songs are and whether the preaching is the best in the world. But what does matter is the love we have for one another.

    But I do think as an older person I am to train the younger people to disciple others. To train someone means that I serve that person selflessly. I put them ahead of me by my example. I cannot demand my own way. The mature should ne serving the less mature.

    Everywhere I have lived the people like a different style of preaching and music. But evryone responds to love.
     
  19. Ben W

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    O.K Boring and Stagnant.

    Let me say first and foremost that this is in no way attempted as an insult to any denomination or group of Christians. Either is it to suggest that churches shold use multi media type presentations to get people along.

    The reason that I use Calvary Chapel as an example is that they are similar to a Baptist Denomination, they are a Mainline church and not into the Hype or Charasmatic nature. Either are they Pentecostal.

    Yet they are bubbling over and alive anyway. They preach the word of God and people are serious about there commitment to Christ.

    Calvary Chapel have modern music. Just like the hymns that were sung in the 1920's were modern to those churches. It is o.k to write new hymns and chrouses. I would say that churches that do not permit people to express themselves and have a platform to write new music are stagnant, sometimes the same music over and over can become boring.

    I am sure that the majority here are well aware when they are in a church meeting where the people are passionate about what is happening. The same awareness of being in a church meeting where people are just "Going through the motions". Again churches where people are looing at watches or clocks to see how long it is until the meeting finishes are likely to be boring and stagnant.

    Every church leader should be training his or her replacement. often a number of churches dont do this, people dont get to excersize the gifts God has given them. People cannot grow and get bored.

    Etc, Etc.

    Calvary chapel is a church that encourages people to express themselves in the arts, people are nurtured to grow in there calling from God. It is not built up on hype but mainstream Christianity. It doesnt preach hatred of other Christians, or try to correct percieved errors in other churches. It is full of Baby Boomers it started as a direct result of the Jesus Movement. and it is in touch with people.

    Hence it is one of many excellent mainstream denominations that are not boring or stagnant.
     
  20. Dr. Bob

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    Here in Wyoming, anything associated with Calvary Chapel type is "delightfully charismatic" or open to it. We Baptists have nothing to do with such. That may be why the illustration breaks down from continent to continent, and perhaps within the USA itself.
     

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