Wednesday, March 12, 2008

They Don’t Plan to Leave

Diana left the following comment just a few minutes ago:
“Tonight I'm meeting with a group of HS girls, and have been praying about talking to them about intimacy with God, and about the statistics of High Schoolers graduating from church.”

Made me think back... It was about 3 years ago when I realized that our “successful” youth ministry wasn’t producing the fruit it should be. I desperately looked for the reason(s). I began talking to and surveying our teens (current and former) about these issues. Overwhelmingly, teens involved in youth ministry don’t plan to (or want to) leave the church. Yet within a year, most do.

Maybe they’re just telling us what we want to hear (despite the fact that they could remain anonymous if they wished).

Related… I asked the parents with teens currently in the youth group what it would take for their kids to continue in their faith. Their standard answer was “a great college program”.

Then I talked with the parents of former teens who graduated yet stuck with their faith. Without exception they gave me the name of at least one adult who connected with their son or daughter.

1 comment:

Diana said...

Well I had an incredible talk with those girls, they were more open about their lives and their walks than they ever had been. Unfortunately, I'm not the regular leader of the group, so don't know what kind of ongoing mentoring or discipleship I can have with any of them. But it was very enlightening.

They overwhelmingly agreed that it's easy to base their walk with the Lord on church, small groups, and events. One girl said "I only recently realized that even without church I'd still be a Christian, and I'd better figure out what I want that to mean."

They also really wanted to start studying the Bible for their Bible Study! What a concept :) They also weren't surprised by the statistics. Several of them have parents who work at the church, they're the really "involved" kids, and they said it's so hard to know what intimacy with God is, and it's sometimes scary, so it's easier to just be busy with church things.