Why does the current church in the US lose almost 80-90% of the youth who graduate from our youth programs?
How many more generations of youth will the church continue to fail before we make changes that will produce different results?
Why are youth who were active in our youth programs stop going to church as young adults and why do so many eventually stop believing in God all together?
Church used to be an intergenerational experience.
In fact, it's more true to say that spirituality used to be an intergenerational endeavor.
In generations past, as youth would transition into young adult life, he/she was typically surrounded by older adults (uncle Bob, auntie Grace, grandpa Jones, grandma louise, etc.).
And when youth were transitioning from childhood faith and as they were encountering adult problems and were faced with transitioning to adult faith, it was the older adults who the young adults would turn to for wisdom and guidance.
In today's generation, one of the things missing from our youth in their transition into adult faith are the spiritually mature adult figures they can turn to.
So our youth are left to fend for themselves. And at best, they turn to one another and to popular culture to help them make sense of the challenges of life.
Without the presence and guidance of mature spiritual adults who have walked this journey, our youth are totally vulnerable and are unable to transition into adult mature faith.
One of the greatest gifts today's church can offer to our young people is not more isolated ministries catered to their demographic, but opportunities to develop meaningful relationships with people outside of their generation. And if the church can help foster such relationships, all the generations would foster greater spiritual vitality.
How is your church encouraging and planning to help foster meaningful intergenerational relationships?