Myth #2 Youth Are Leaving the Christian Faith at Alarming Rates

What about youth leaving the church and abandoning the Christian faith?

The new research conducted at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary shatters the notion that youth are dropping out of church and rejecting Christ at alarming rates.

Despite how some agenda driven ministers have twisted the data to create a “new model” or to “re-think” the traditional model, the data reveals very encouraging news. In fact, the data is so positive (compared to the accepted myth) that those who have been in the trenches over the past decade or two ought to shout in celebration. What is the impetus for this celebration? It is the fact that 88% of students who graduated from conservative Southern Baptist mega-churches with a traditional approach to youth ministry stayed actively involved with church after high school graduation. While this study was conducted among mega-churches, a similarly positive indication can be extended to large, medium and small churches. Also, LifeWay found that while 70% of all denomination youth do “drop out” (attending twice or less per month) after graduation, two thirds of them return in their twenties. Those of us who live in the youth ministry world know that many strong Christian youth go “off the radar” (attending but not being counted) for about a year after graduation. Many times they simply attend but do not join. Other times, they attend on-campus bible studies or worship outlets that are not part of the data being reported. In other cases, youth simply leaver for a period while exploring new found freedom, temporarily relaxing their spiritual disciplines only to return to them after a season. The fact that two thirds our youth return to “active” status is amazing! Combine that with the 30% who were “faithful” is huge cause for celebration!