The alarming church dropout rate for youth leaving high school is less about young people losing their faith and driven by their alienation from church participation and their search to connect faith with the world they live in, according to new research from The Barna Group.
In “You Lost Me: Why Young Christians are Leaving Church…And Rethinking Faith”, Barna’s David Kinnaman notes that “most young people with a Christian background are dropping out of conventional church involvement, not losing their faith.” (Read: Five Myths about Young Adult Church Dropouts). His research shows that about 3 in 10 young Christians stay involved with the church through college and young adulthood (although the ELCA has reported lower figures). Read more
Over at Duke Divinity School’s Faith and Leadership blog, Presbyterian pastor Carol Howard Merritt writes about some trends that church leaders should be paying attention to, particularly in relation to younger (emerging) generations. Her top five:
- Younger generations aren’t faring well in this economy. How do we handle money/debt/success, and are giving expectations realistic for them.
- Young workers often don’t have the choice to take Sunday off. Do we have opportunities for them to engage in community and worship at other times? Read more