Thursday, August 09, 2007

Church Drop-Outs

The Church Report has a story on why youth quit church:

A new study from LifeWay Research says 70 percent of young adults who attended a Protestant church for at least a year in high school dropped out for at least a year between the ages of 18 and 22. LifeWay Research conducted the survey of more than 1,000 adults ages 18-30 in April and May, Baptist Press reported Tuesday.

...Ninety-seven percent of church dropouts list a so-called life change or life situation as the reason for leaving. Reasons include, "I simply wanted a break from church" (27 percent); "I moved to college and stopped attending church" (25 percent); "Work responsibilities prevented me from attending" (23 percent); "I moved too far away from the church to continue attending" (22 percent).

Brad Waggoner, vice president of research and ministry development at LifeWay, said "Relationships are often the glue that keep people in church or serves as the attraction to begin attending again following a period of absenteeism. Many people are deeply influenced by friends and loved ones."

Waggoner advised, "Church leaders should passionately and consistently challenge church members to maximize their influence with youth and young adults. Frequent and intentional contact can either prevent or counteract the tendency of some to drop out of church."
I'm not of the opinion that we need to keep reinventing the wheel. I have no problem with church programs, but if it takes friends and loved ones and new programs to keep the youth in church then what kind of Christians are these youth to begin with? Why isn't the Gospel good enough anymore? Why isn't Jesus Christ good enough anymore? If flimsy excuses like work and relocation are enough to keep them away, then maybe these youth need to re-examine themselves to see if they are still in the faith.


At August 19, 2007 8:59 PM, Blogger Liz said...

The youth are Southern Baptists? Sorry, I just had to. LifeWay is affilated with SBC. Anyway, Dr. Waggoner isn't reporting how many youth are saying relationships bring them back. Something smells bad when a researcher won't publish the actual statistical results and methodology.

At August 19, 2007 9:11 PM, Blogger Liz said...

On second thought... I did find some of the results and one thing they're not too clear on was if "drop out" was defined as "not returning to the church respondent attended in high school" or "dropping out of church all together..." some of the results indicate either as the intent behind "drop out."

At August 25, 2007 12:23 AM, Blogger Dad said...

You may want to check out the source of this article. See:

Rising Evangelical Star Jason Christy Leaves Trail of Fraud, Associates Say
By Hannah Elliott

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. Aug. 1 /ABP/ -- When young, charismatic Christian publisher Jason Christy was tapped two years ago to lead the powerful Christian Coalition, the group's leaders praised him for his ability "to inspire and encourage people of faith to action." But Christy's business dealings -- both before and after his one-month affiliation with the Coalition -- instead have inspired former customers and co-workers to file lawsuits charging Christy with defrauding their Christian businesses.

Christy, 36, who apparently had no previous public-policy experience, persuaded the Christian Coalition in 2005 to place him in one of the most visible and powerful positions in evangelical life. But before the coalition's leaders officially turned over the reins of their 1.2 million-member national lobbying group, they learned of a trail of legal and financial problems that has followed Christy from coast to coast.

Former associates and customers of Christy's many business ventures -- mostly Christian magazines -- say he cheated them out of money and threatened them. At least 10 of them have filed lawsuits, Associated Baptist Press has learned, and others have gotten court-issued restraining or protection orders against the Scottsdale, Ariz., businessman.

Christy says all the allegations are false. He and his supporters say "enemies" are spreading lies about him because of soured business relationships. But critics say Christy is a scam artist preying on trusting Christians.

Christy now publishes The Church Report, supposedly a conservative, national print magazine and web site. He has appeared as an analyst on CNN and spoken at megachurches like Robert Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral. He hob-nobs with some of the evangelical elite and still has relationships with leaders in highly respected positions, like the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.

This article is continued at Associated Baptist Press News:

Also at The Baptist Standard: and

Christianity Today: and

The Christian Century:


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