I came across a statistics recently on how about 60% of the young people who were raised in church leave before adulthood and I was alarmed. I knew that a lot of young people are leaving the church but I didn’t know it was this bad.
It is important that we understand why this is happening so that we can understand how we can curb this. This is an issue that affects everyone and everyone has their own share of blame
- More than ever people, young people including Christians are being bombarded with the world’s message –
Some of these messages question the existence of God and many are swayed.
- For those who aren’t swayed by this, they are swayed with the message of anyhow-Christianity that presents itself as liberalism – this message questions the validity of God’s Words. So you’d hear things like you don’t have to go to church, you can stream online. When in truth, the local assembly is God’s construct for the believer to be fed and grow.
- Busyness – A lot of young people have crowded schedules maybe school, work or both. I like to see this as misplaced priorities. Jesus said to busy Martha, “One thing is needful”. No matter how much work you think you are doing, if it doesn’t afford you time for the Lord, something is wrong somewhere
- Many feel the church is too judgmental – Unfortunately, this is a real thing. Some churches have zero tolerance for sin which is good but can be done better than how it is currently done.
- No connection – Another major reason why people leave the church is because they don’t feel the connection. For a lot of people especially in megachurches, there is no sense of family or belonging.
As members of the body of Christ regardless of our position or role, we cannot ignore this problem. There’s the need to realize that we cannot entirely blame this on the world. Everyone has got a role to play from the pastors to the church members themselves.
What can be done?
- Study to show yourself approved: When asked serious questions about your faith, don’t chicken out and resort to, “Oh, there is no God”. 2 Timothy 2:15 says to study to show yourself approved. Have you seen how atheists who don’t care about God study just to support their arguments however flawed they are? Surely, an hour bible study on Sunday won’t do. Take it personal, study to defend the faith. Accept the responsibility to explain what Christianity is really about in case you are asked. It is not enough to tell of your experiences – there are logical reasons and pieces of evidence that support our faith. Seek these out because, in the end, creation itself is a witness to the existence of God and history is a witness that Jesus remains the only way.
- Christianity isn’t a religion of anyhow-ness: Much as there is grace, there is also order. The church should do well to explain this to its members. When I say the church, I mean you and I. And when I say members, I mean our brothers and sisters in the Lord. If you see someone falling into this error, remind them of scriptures such as Hebrews 10:25 that speaks of forsaking not the assembly of the saints.
- Busyness: No matter how busy you are, it is important to always remember that “one thing is needful” – knowing God and making Him known. You should always create time for fellowship with your church body even if it means you relocating or getting to work extra early.
- The church should be a safe haven: Jesus is our perfect example. Look how he handled sinners with grace yet firmly pointing out their ills and asking that they don’t return. (The adulterous woman, the Samaritan woman and even the tax collectors). We need to understand that the church is like a hospital. People come to obtain healing hence when this people make it into the church, we ought to handle their past with grace. Do not be the one who would always remind them of their past.
- Finally, God designed the church to be a family: However big the church gets, the plan of God for the church (even mega churches) is one of family and community. This is not the duty of your pastor or Heads of Departments alone because obviously, they can’t be everywhere. This is everyone’s responsibility. When you see a new person or an unfamiliar face in church, seek them out, follow up with them. In this age of social media, connect with them. If every one plays their roles, then we would not have people feeling unwanted in our pews.
We need to be intentional about the growth and welfare of our brothers and sisters. If you notice something, please reach out and say something. Pray for your pastors and church members. Be willing to help when you see anyone of them going through a hard time. Always be willing to listen and offer encouragement without going to spill it at the next prayer meeting. Let the hearts of brothers and sisters be safe with you.
I hope this blessed you