Good Morning all… I just read an article in USA Today titled “Young Adults Less Devoted to Faith”. The stats in this article were alarming. The study targeted 18-29 year olds. The study revealed that 18-29 year olds are leaving the church and not returning. 72% of the 1200 surveyed said they considered themselves more spiritual than religious. In other words, they are interested in all things mystic, but nothing that is specific or might require something in return like a relationship with Jesus. This group is what we call Postmodern.
The postmodern mindset likes God, but not Jesus. They like the warm fuzzy that spirituality gives them, but not the hard realities that sometimes accompany relationships. The postmodern young adult was sheltered by mom and dad who were afraid that if they failed at school or sports or relationships they would become psychologically damaged. So, mom and dad intervened at school, and with the coach, and in relationships to ensure that life was fair for junior… the result?… Adults who run from anything that might be hard or challenging. A relationship with God through Jesus Christ is full of trials and tribulations.
Parents should let their children work through difficulties by taking them to the Word of God, instead of the lawyers office. The Bible will show young children how to elevate virtues above feelings and how to love (put the other guy first) their neighbor as themselves, even when their neighbor is not particularly lovable. After all, what virtue is there in loving someone who is lovable? The real challenge is to love those who are not lovable.
So, what is the answer to the problem of young adults dropping out?… I think the answer is found when they are young children. Postmodern parents have created a generation of self absorbed, thin-skinned, relationship phobic, young adults. My advise is to let them fail. Life is characterized by more failures, than successes, and the lessons learned from rebounding from a failure are far better, than the non-lesson that is delivered when mom swoops in to save the day.
Finally, teach your children to serve in the church!!! Drop a sports activity or a music lesson or the latest (quasi-spiritual) martial arts craze and replace that time with a meaningful, unpleasant, dirty job, in the church, like cleaning the toilets, or weeding the grounds, or scrubbing the refrigerator etc… I guarantee you, your child will grow to take OWNERSHIP of his or her church and therefore, his/her relationship with Jesus as a result. Let me know what you think and if you can suggest any other dirty jobs in the church.
Our children are important and it breaks my heart to see so many leave the church when the solution to keeping them is so simple. That’s all for now… Steve