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.”
To quit or not to quit? I’ve been wavering between these two options for six months now, and I’m nowhere closer to a decision than I was last fall.
Without going into too much detail, here’s the situation. A decade ago, God led me to get involved with a wonderful group of people. I’ve been very committed over the years, spending a great deal of time and energy. As a result, I’ve contributed to a worthwhile cause, developed new skills and much-needed confidence, and seen relationships blossom. God has definitely used my involvement to both help others and to teach me and lead me in new directions.
Now, however, the situation has changed. Things aren’t so great. In fact, it’s so bad that we’ve lost close to half the volunteers we had a couple of years ago—over 50 people. No one wants to gossip (which I find both unusual and commendable!), but it’s pretty clear why people are leaving. They’re leaving for the same reason I want to leave. My question is, what does God want me to do?