It has been widely reported that many young people are leaving the church. What is less often reported is that many stay. Steve Parr and Tom Crites have teamed up to produce and excellent new book on why those who stay, stay. Here are a few excerpts:
- Young adults are not interested in just seeing the world; they want to change the world.
- Another dynamic molding the younger generation is the fact that they are seeking deep relationships.
- I believe one result that we are seeing today is a strong desire for what a young adult might refer to as “authentic community.”
- Another surprise to me was that there was no connection between having a youth pastor on staff during one’s teen years and whether or not that person was active in church as an adult.
- Although having a youth pastor did not correlate with whether one stayed connected as an adult, having sufficient activities for students while growing up did prove to make a difference in one staying or straying.
- No correlation was revealed between which of these school environments one grew up in and whether they were active in church as adults.
- However, the research revealed that the faith of grandparents, though positive, had a minimal correlation over whether one had strayed or stayed in church as an adult.
- Research has shown that people are more likely to accept Christ as a child than they are as an adult. Some have reported that the probability of a person experiencing salvation in adulthood is only 6%.
- Because this is what is evident from the research: we have a brief window of opportunity to share the gospel with our children. Adults who accepted Christ as children are more likely to stay in church.
- Another interesting facet of this issue focuses on the lower end of the age “window.” An interesting difference was observed in those who strayed versus those who stayed. If a young adult identified that they were younger than six when they came into a relationship with Jesus, they were 32% more likely to stray from church later in life.
- Do you remember your baptism? If so, you are much more likely to be fully involved in the life of a local congregation than a person who was never baptized, or a person who was baptized but has no recollection of the experience.
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