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From Barna Research Group:
4,000 churches will close this year
Only 1,500 churches will successfully launch (that’s an 80% failure rate)
Only 15% of American churches are growing
Of those that are growing, only 2.3% are growing through conversion. The rest is transfer growth.
Just half of the 200,000 viable churches in America added even 1 new member through conversion last year
Youth Ministry is a crystal ball: Wanna see the church in 20 yrs? Look at youth.
– Kenda Dean
Q: Is there a relationship between church growth and youth involvement?
A: Yes. Sociologists of religion have found a correlation between church growth and youth involvement that is consistent across different types of churches. In all these churches, the greater the youth involvement, the greater the church’s growth. Specifically, 58 percent of growing churches said the level of youth involvement was high.
As of late I have been talking with some of my EX youth group students who are in college. I am always compelled to ask: “As a graduate of church youth group, what do you think youth ministries can do better in order to get a teenager to be a life-long follower of Jesus?”
My graduated teens would comment: “the faster I got to lead something in the church, the more comfortable and confident I felt putting my faith in God. I actually got to practice and test my faith.”
I strongly agree that there is a correlation between church growth and youth involvement in the church. Granted I am biased…. I love advocating for mid to late adolescents in the church context. I just think it is cool when a church has a youthful energy and really cares about what the youth and youth pastor really think about how to do church. Today’s student generation is already ready to take the keys to leading the church. Reggie Joiner in THINK ORANGE talks about the best way to stimulate and sustain faith in a teen is by giving them a personal ministry. If we don’t start giving teens areas in and outside of the church to lead now, then they will be leading blindly in 10 years. So why wait 10 more years? Let’s give them the keys to the church now.
Do you agree or disagree with me? Am I off my rocker? Why or why not?