Today I wish to direct your attention to a post over at Marc5Solas entitled “Top 10 Reasons Our Kids Leave Church“. It is no secret that an awful lot of young people are leaving evangelicalism after high school, many never to return. There is no shortage of books, sermons, and blog posts addressing this problem, and no shortage of different opinions on what must be done to solve it.
Marc5Solas has talked extensively with young people who have left the church, and has identified the ten reasons that come up most frequently in his conversations. A lot of these have to do with the fact that so much of evangelicalism has bought into the idea of making church “relevant”. As a result, many of our churches have become hothouse environments that are not quite the church, but not quite the world. Our youth are tragically ignorant of the historic faith of the last two thousand years and the vast wealth of resources it provides for answering the doubts and objections raised by skeptics and unbelievers. Christian community, or what passes for it in many evangelical churches, can easily be replaced with the sort of community that young people find out in the world. Young people don’t need the Christian faith (as it is presented to them) to find spiritual fulfillment or do good in their world.
Bottom line: Young people don’t need the Christian faith as it has been presented to them. If church is nothing more than a place to learn life-application principles for better living in community…well, you don’t need a crucified Jesus to do that. Why get up early on Sunday morning to visit some cheap knock-off of the entertainment venue you went to last night and hear some middle-aged guy dressed up in skinny jeans trying to be hip (and failing miserably) give you life-improvement principles that you can get in the self-help section of any decent bookstore?
The solution to the problem is simple: Get back to preaching the faith once and for all delivered to the saints. You don’t have to ditch the jumbotrons or the light show or the rockin’ praise band or the Noah’s Ark-themed preschool environment. But make sure that everything you do in your church points people toward the full weight of condemnation that is ours under the Law, and the full freedom that we have in the Gospel.