We were cruising around the block for the umpteenth time. Street-side parking spots are rare in San Francisco, and we urgently needed one. I was grumbling under my breath, my attitude deteriorating faster than an overripe banana, when a small voice piped up from the carseat in back. “Mom, did you ask God for a parking spot?”
“Er, that’s a great idea, sweetie! Why don’t you pray for us?”
So my preschool-aged daughter asked God for a parking spot—and darned if one didn’t appear just down the street, as if by magic.
Hmmm, I thought.
It just so happened that both of my parents died in the month of September. My mother passed away in 1998 (over Labor Day weekend) and my father followed her this past year. Now, as September rolls around again, I start to think about the family I grew up in. I’m the only one who can. You see, I have no siblings. Not only that, but my mother was also an only child, and my father had just one sister. I haven’t seen my two cousins since we were all in high school; we were never all that close.
It bothers me that no one else knows what my childhood was like. No one else knows the family stories, the special memories, or the little peculiarities that were uniquely ours. Sure, I’ve told my husband and daughters some tales of my growing up years, but I’m sure I haven’t told them everything. Now no one is going to remind me of the ones I’ve missed.
The news is everywhere—young adults are leaving the church! Survey after survey is finding that only a small percentage of kids raised in a Christian home continue on with church attendance as they grow up. It doesn’t matter if they’re on their own, or still living with their parents. Christian leaders are doing some serious soul searching, beating their breasts over what went wrong.
- The Barna Group has found that “nearly three out of every five young Christians (59%) disconnect either permanently or for an extended period of time from church life after age 15.”
- A survey by LifeWay Research found that “seven in ten Protestants ages 18 to 30 who went to church regularly in high school quit attending by age 23. A third of those had not returned by age 30. That means about one-fourth of young Protestants have left the church.”