Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Finding Faith {Young Adults Leaving Church?}

I love the church my family is a part of! There are so many great ministries, the services are balanced {more on this in a minute}, and the youth are very involved! Our church has a richness about it, an authenticity.

I didn't always attend this church, though. I grew up in a non-denominational/charismatic church. I left my second year into college because of various reasons that dealt with what I felt was important to a church family and the structure of a worship service. (Maybe someday soon I can tell you more about the details of all this but it will take some thinking and praying so the message I'm trying to express gets across properly. I still have friends that attend that church and, from what I can see, they love where God has them. That church isn't where God wanted me, though, and I hope others can see that I'm happy where God has me now!)

I was headed off to college and looking for stability. I was searching, I was {and still am, hopefully} a young adult! I met my husband my sophomore year of college and he rocked my spiritual world! We had many deep discussions about faith, and I found that I couldn't answer his questions. My faith was deeply rooted in a heart way but my head {knowledge} wasn't there. I knew main stories, I knew the basics, but my depth of knowledge about the Bible lacked considerably.

For quite a few years now many churches have been trying to find ways to reach the young adults that have been leaving the church. There are many theories about why they leave but very few solutions as to how to get them back. Many of these theories revolve around a young adults developing worldview. It's not that they leave the church in the sense of not believing anymore, but they just don't agree with the church view on social issues, world policy, environmental stance, etc. They, instead, search for a church that will fit their worldview.

At least most of those that "leave" a church are staying in the faith and just searching for where they belong. Much like I did in college. It's kind of what college is for; to find yourself and establish yourself as an adult in the world. An adult that can think for them self, do for them self, and have a worldview that they find fits them well. {Maybe I'm looking at this too simply, though?}

Here are a few articles I have found (written recently) that tackle this topic.

What's so Uncool about Cool Churches?

Why Millennials are leaving the Church

Where have all the Young Adults gone?

My worldview, my beliefs, were most deeply formed when I questioned, doubted, asked the tough questions of myself. It's when I was in college. I didn't leave the faith. I was searching for a place to belong, for a place to call my faith home, and a balance that is rooted in tradition.

Do you have an opinion on this subject? Are there any other articles that should be referenced here?


  1. I didn't find my faith until I was in my 30s. But, I can honestly say that my family and I left the first church we started to attend after our move to Iowa for a couple of reasons. 1)My husband didn't feel comfortable there for reasons he couldn't explain. 2) The pastor made it his mission to point out people who hadn't been there in a while once even asking my son, "Oh, you still have a mother?" when I walked him into youth group. 3) They kept themselves very closed off from the community going so far as to condemn other churches or groups.
    It was almost a full year later that I met a pastor from another church and this church rocked our world. They welcomed us with open arms, loved on my kids, husband and I, gave without asking for anything in return, and preached love and community. My children quickly became very involved with this church as did I. Not once did we receive a letter asking us for more money like the first church sent out every few months. The pastor was very much involved in the community and encouraged everyone to love the town and help their neighbors regardless of who they were.
    When other churches in town were losing people to the bigger megachurches in a nearby city, this little church that was over 150 years old was growing.
    I think it comes from having a pastor who speaks to the congregation instead of at the congregation, who is reachable and eloquent at getting the message across. Pastor Phil's message was, "Go Be the Church!" and he lives it. Genuineness is very important.

  2. I think young people leave the church because they think they can handle their own lives. They don't want to be told what to do and how to live their lives. Little do they understand that we all have to come under authority in some way. Of course God is the ultimate authority. When you work for a company, you have a boss and there are usually multiple levels of management that you have to come under. Even if you own your own business, you have to come under the authority of your customers. There is always someone to answer to whether it is God or man. For most, I think they will eventually make their way back to the Church. Some do not. It is the downside to being created with free will. I know I would give anything to ensure my kids continue to follow Jesus. They were born with the same free will I was. They may choose to walk away from it as they get older. I pray that is not the case, but I have to embrace the fact that it is not something I have control over. Great post!