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Young Adults and Leaving the Church (Part 3)

August 2, 2010

Young Adults

I have been talking about young adults leaving the Church and why exactly this happens. Mostly I have just been giving my opinions, but I think its important to talk about these things, lest we lose all of our young adults. You cam check out the previous posts, parts 1 and parts 2.

Here are the questions we are looking at:

  1. Why are young adults  leaving the Faith/ Church?
  2. Why do we try to give people what THEY think is good for them?

I would like to finish up by answering the question “Why do we try to give people what THEY think is good for them?”

I have always found it funny that  the Church thinks that adults desire to “connect.” There is a major disconnect with those that lead young adults in the Church and young adults. They don’t want to connect, or need to connect… they already do! Go to your local nightlife hot spot in your city and watch! They are connecting just fine. And in more ways than one.

We think they need to connect, but what they need is to be taught. Yes connection is vital, I understand that, but what young adults need more, is being taught how to grow into maturity. There is a  disconnect that is  happening because older, wiser, weathered Christians have taken their ball and gone to play in a playground called mid life crisis. The young adults are then left to figure out how to do life on their own. No one is teaching them how to find a mate, keep a schedule, grill a steak or grow in the Lord.

What young adults “think” is good for them mostly likely isn’t. If we let that happen, everyone would be finding themselves forever. Sometimes what we think we need and what we need are drastically different. Giving young adults and people in general what they think they need only produces big crowds. And big crowds are shallow, and disappear as fast as they formed.

However those who are willing to go against feeding people what they think they need, will find themselves leading a group of quality people. Not a bunch of people who only think about themselves.

Give people ways to build their view of Christ. Give them the Gospel, help them understand its implications to EVERYTHING! When we do this, and not what they want, I really believe we will produce a quality next generation.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Craig permalink
    August 3, 2010 10:57 am

    Just read Part 3 and I think you answered my question from my comment on Part 2. You and I agree. Especially when you find adults in a “mid life crisis” as you point out, in the “adult service.”

    Let us preach the Gospel.

  2. Ben permalink
    August 3, 2010 11:43 am

    I would probably change it from “taught” to “coached.” One of the things that I believe young adults hate is how condescending older people can act towards them. Considering how much information is available, even compared to ten years ago, people are self-teaching at an amazing rate. However, the structure is never put into place. Coaches put a good structure around good teaching. Without a good structure, you fail to build a good team.

    The other thing is, I think there are internal needs that we know are good for us but if they are never presented to us, we simply don’t go after them. For instance, a father figure is something that everyone craves but unfortunately they are not being provided. Deep down, I think we know what we need, it just takes conduits to provide the resource, event or whatever for that need to be met.

    • Benjamin Davis permalink*
      August 3, 2010 7:01 pm

      Ben I disagree respectfully. Changing the words “taught” to “coached” would be a bad thing. Coaching implies that one can leave a team. Once God has chosen you, then taught would be the better word, because you can’t lose your salvation. (I know, I know, can of worms opened)

      I guess I follow you on the other point. But I would say it takes maturity to know what you need.


      • Ben permalink
        August 3, 2010 7:05 pm

        Well you can certainly choose to leave your salvation, just as much as you choose to accept it. So I am not sure where “teaching” really fits the bill there….oh wait, we have two theological POV’s, crap.

        The once saved, always saved doctrine is simply not Biblical in my opinion. But that has nothing to do with this post.

        Maturity is subjective. A baby is hungry, it cries because it knows it needs to be fed. Not much maturity needed there.

        • Benjamin Davis permalink*
          August 4, 2010 2:19 pm

          You make good points on the maturity.

          This is another blog post, but let me ask you this…

          Who does salvation belong to?
          If God saves you, can He lose what He saved? Or can God lose track of someone He saved?

          • Ben permalink
            August 4, 2010 2:23 pm

            Salvation belongs to God but is given to His creation as a gift that we can choose to accept or reject. See you come at from a point of “God saves you” whereas I would say, “we accept the gift from God.” The gift of salvation is always available and freely ours to choose but like any gift, we can accept it and then reject it. That is part of our free will relationship with God and why we freely choose to love Him.

  3. justinjgood permalink
    August 3, 2010 3:38 pm

    I just read through this whole young adults and leaving the church series, and I’d say that yes, you touch on some good points, and much of what you wrote makes sense.

    I think that you missed two very important pooints:

    When you say that so many young adults are leaving the church, I think that there is a seriously skewed view of what “the church” really is, and IMO, that is the redeemed bride of Christ. Yeah, a lot of young adults are walking out of buildings and congregations and running straight into the world, but were the ever a part of the biblical church in the first place? ,

    This second one, you touched on, but from a slightly different point of view, and that is that I believe that many of these ministries are focused on the wrong things. Too many are focused on being relevant or fun in order to attract people in, and some are even too focused on their own mission statement of serving, helping, equipping, etc…. when the primary focus should be to glorify God. Yeah, serving and equipping have their place, but no, they cannot be the primary motivating force. Even relevance may have it’s place, but it cannot come through a compromise of biblical truth.

    • Benjamin Davis permalink*
      August 3, 2010 7:04 pm

      Justin I could not have said it better myself. Maybe they were just a part of trendiness like it talks about in Hebrews 6.

      And as for the comment on the churches focusing on the wrong thing, I couldn’t agree more.

      I might even add that maybe we should put To Glorify God in our mission statements and let that rule what we do? Who would ever do that in the 21st century Church?

  4. August 16, 2010 9:03 am

    Big Ben just read thru ur blog series on “Young adults leaving the church.” My initial thought was how do we get young adults to be saved & in the church…but thats another discussion. You brought up something in either part 1 or 2 that hit me. Youth pastors teaching students to avoid big sins and everything will be ok. Terrible. Grace & Redemption & Love are huge ideas that need to be preached. Teenagers screw up. And then based on crappy teaching they then feel unloveable by the church or Christ when the do mess up.. Hence they leave cuz they can’t measure up to what their youth pastor was preaching…

    My other thought is this…the church does not invest in young adults like other ministries ie youth and kids…why? Because the perception, in my opinion, is because there is no return on the churches investment.

    Kids = Parents = Numbers = Tithes

    Young Adults = No Parents = Debt = Less Tithes

    I hate to say it, but I think some churches don’t invest in young adults because they don’t get the immediate return of marketing to kids and families. Couple that with poor teaching from youth pastors equals 75-85% leaving the church.

    there is my 2 cents looking forward to hearing your feedback.

    • Benjamin Davis permalink*
      August 20, 2010 11:45 pm

      I agree that there might be a lot of churches that forget about the young adults. It’s a shame really.

      Love and grace need to be taught, and I think they are in places. When you said that though I think sometimes teens are taught love and grace, and Jesus loves you but Gods nature is not taught. Youth pastors teach kids that if they avoid sins life is going to be all about them. And then they realize that life isn’t. The two realities don’t match up you know?

      What are your thoughts?

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