Calvary Pastors This post comes from Calvary Chapel Pastors

Another book has been published supporting what I’ve been speaking about for many years now… young people are leaving the church in alarming numbers.

David Kinnaman*, in his book ‘You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving the Church and Rethinking Faith” takes an interesting approach in identifying those in the current generation who are leaving the church. He divides them into three categories, labeling them as nomads, prodigals and exiles.

Nomads are those who at one time were involved with a church or faith community, but have drifted away. They may still identify themselves as Christians, but do not attend church on a regular basis. They’re likely to consider going to church or Christian fellowship as optional.

Prodigals are those who have given up on, or rejected, the faith in which they were raised. Unlike the prodigal that Jesus described, they do not return and are likely to claim that Christian beliefs don’t make sense and they are therefore ex-Christians.

Exiles are those who struggle with the conflicts of the “church world” and the “real world.” They may understand their calling to be a witness but desire to “find a way to follow Jesus that connects with the world.”

Whatever we call them, we need to recognize the alarming fact that a mass exodus of young people from the church is taking place. And, we must ask the question “why?” What makes them prone to wander from their upbringing in the church? When does the danger of drifting begin?

I address this in many of our rforh resources, and in my talks. But it all boils down to the simple solution that the Bible gives:

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)

Although this is not a guarantee, we must take these words very seriously. Parents need to take action and get involved with the Christian education of their children.

Jesus was clear in his teaching that unless your house is built upon a rock, a firm foundation, it will fall. He warned of the dangers when a storm comes, saying that a only a firm foundation will stand. Let’s read the passage:

“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” (Mat 7:24-27, emphasis added)

Jesus says the wise man, whose house is built on a solid foundation, is the one who hears His sayings and does them. Teach your children to be wise. Help them to understand what they believe and why they believe it. Equip them with biblical answers so they can defend their faith when confronted by the skeptics of this world. As Proverbs say…“Train them up.”

Let it begin in the home. Moms and Dads, don’t relegate this responsibility to the church or the Sunday School. Be intentional and purposeful in teaching biblical truths to your children…for their good and God’s glory.

Stay bold,

Carl and the rforh team

*If you’ve read my book, Reasons for Hope in the Mosaic of Your Life, you might remember that I referenced David Kinnaman. He defines the group of young people born between 1984 and 2002 as “Mosaics” (and sometimes called Millennials, Generation Y, Echo Boom or Generation Next). These young people are the future leaders of our country. We must take seriously our responsibility to reach them for the Lord Jesus Christ. For more information, read beginning at page 19 of Reasons for Hope in the Mosaic of Your Life. If you don’t have the book, we’d love to send you chapter 1, compliments of rforh. Email with “chapter one please” in the subject line.


continue reading the views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of Calvary Southampton

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