Also, thanks to Blane Young, who provided me this book free as part of a blog give away.
1. Teen church engagement remains robust, but many of the enthusiastic teens so common in North American churches are not growing up to be faithful young adult disciples of Christ.
2. There are different kind of dropouts, as well as faithful young adults who never drop out at all. We need to take care not to lump an entire generation together.
3. The drop out problem is, at its core, a faith development problem. It's a disciple-making problem.
Even though the childhood and early adolescent years are the time during which spiritual and moral compasses are calibrated, the experimental and experiential decade from high school to the late twenties is the time when a young person's spiritual trajectory is confirmed and clarified.
Access - unprecedented access to information, analysis, opinions, relationships and worldviews.
Alientation - unprecedented levels of disconnection from relationships and institutions.
Authority - new questions about who and what to believe and why.
All things considered, a young Christian has about 1:9 odds of losing his or her faith entirely. While this is a rare outcome, it is a very high number when you think about the estimated five million eighteen to twenty nine year old ex-Christians encompassed by this statistic.
When you have a child, you open up a grave. - Gary Kinnaman
I suggested earlier in this book that we have a mass-production approach to faith development. Taking our cues from public education, among other sectors of society, we have created a conveyor belt of development that industrializes the soul formation of young people - who eventually become adults with inch deep, mile-wide faith. The outcome is adult Christians who were not transformed by their faith as children, as teens or as young adults. [This paragraph should pain most of us.]
Youth group teens who aspired to science-related careers = 52%
Youth pastors/workers who have addressed issues of science in the past year = 1%
[Also think about the projected gap in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math students]
In 1960, one of out every twenty births was to unwed mothers. Now that percentage is 42%.
Jesus was in close enough contact with his disciples that he was able to shape the rough-hewn edges of their faith and ministry. Jesus knew his followers. If your churches are too large to cultivate this type of knowing, then our ministries are likely too large to disciple as Jesus did.