The biggest problem Youth Ministry is experiencing is that after our high school senior graduates, he or she will most likely not attend church. Bottom line after a student graduates college they will never return back to Church. Given that some denominations, “estimate that over 50% of their youth group graduates fall away from either their faith or their faith communities upon entering college…” (Laurie Goodstein, “Evangelicals Fear the Loss of Their Teenagers,” The New York Times, October 6, 2006.) Troy Murphy argues that 80% of high school students walk away from their faith. (Not sure where he got this statistic? He did not provide a bibliography)
Why is this?
• Students go to a public university and get blindside with philosophy and evolutionary biology that essentially undermines everything they were told at youth group. And the student does not know how to confront the intellectual intensity going against their system of belief.
• Students do not fully participate in “Big church”. It is essential students feel included and welcome. Also it is imperative a student learn how to respectfully sit in a service for a hour without their ipod or cell phone.
Jim Burns of Youthbuilders and Mark DeVries of Family-Based Youth Ministry stated: “The degree to which students will stay in the church, get involved, and make significant life decisions for Christ is directly dependent on their sense of belonging to the community. The goal of any youth ministry must be that students see and experience themselves as participants in God’s family of faith.”
• Parents hand down their faith to the student. The parents will force their Christian convictions on the student while giving them an ultimatum of they cannot drive or get allowance if they do not believe what they believe. Student need to own their faith. They need ownership to why they believe what they believe. Student need to land on their convictions for themselves, not their parents.
• Students do not know how to walk in their faith without youth group. Basically students do not know how to listen to God’s voice without the structure of youth group. Students do not know how to experience the spiritual disciplines by themselves.