Email from Mikayla) "My church youth group has been watching your videos on Sunday morning during Sunday school, and I felt it was necessary to contact all of the awesome people that made the videos. I used the technique WDJD on one of my best friends who was agnostic and she realized that there really is a God that loves her and cares about her. So, I wanted to get in contact with you guys just to thank you for making the videos that helped me lead a friend to Christ. I wouldn't have known how to even begin to share my faith if it wasn't for your videos."
There is a well-known statistic that tells us that 80% of youth stop attending church after they graduate high school. As a parent, that’s the most horrifying statistic in the world to me! Let me bring that closer to home, that means, in a church youth group with 20 kids, over 15 will no longer go to church after they graduate. In a home, 3 out of 4 of our kids statistically will forsake fellowship by the time they’re 18. The cry of all of our hearts should be “why”?!
I have heard many theories of why they leave: New temptations in college—no mom and dad bubble to be a governor for their sinful nature, exposure to new faiths and skeptical questions, not being properly discipled at home, going to youth group, not going to youth group, not sufficiently understanding creationism, etc. While these are real issues, I don’t believe any of them are the reason they quit church.
I spoke with a youth pastor friend who spent half of his life serving youth full-time, and with the firsthand empirical evidence of years of leading, watching, mentoring, equipping, and counseling teenagers he said that he can confidently say that most of them were NOT SAVED. They didn’t read the Bible regularly, they didn’t share their faith, many were sexually active, many experimented with drugs, they didn’t fight for godly fellowship, they were not givers, dated unbelievers, and the list of goat-like qualities goes on. They simply hadn’t been translated from darkness to light. They didn’t drift away from God after high school; they weren’t with God during high school. They drifted away from “church.”
Is it really because of new college temptations or youth ministry that teens stop attending church? If it is, then we can expect that the adult ministry would look radically different, with adults vibrantly on fire for Christ, right? Let’s examine their stats.
Examine a few of our ADULT church statistics:
§ 95% don’t share their faith
§ 85% who make a decision for Christ don’t stay in church
§ 76% don’t give at least 10% of their income to God’s work
§ 75% don’t read the Bible daily
§ 50% of marriages end in divorce (in the church)
Is it really that surprising that the spiritual apostasy found in our adults is mirrored in our graduating youth? The fact is youth ministry isn’t the guilty party nor is adult ministry; it’s an unwillingness to “forsake all and follow Me.”
The real question should be, how can we help our kids clearly understand the gospel—the power of God to salvation, and then equip them to live as believers. Then trust God to do what He does.
Many of our youth genuinely don’t understand the gospel, the whole counsel of God, and we often just presume that they do. And many churches and homes have not taught our teens that an essential, fundamental part of being a disciple is sharing the gospel, and then equipped them for that adventurous task.
What are some things can parents do to water the seed?
A parent is meant to be the primary spiritual leader in a youths life—not a senior pastor, youth pastor, teacher, or youths friend. Lead your children well. Don’t set an example, be an example. Love Jesus for you and teach them well.
Don’t sterilize Christianity. Take them out witnessing. Let them wrestle with the hard questions stranger ask and help them work through and discover the answers.
Support them in getting godly fellowship with other teens their own age. Youth group, school Christian clubs, etc.
“Roots”—equip them to share the gospel with other teens
Email from Kayla) “I am 14 years old and Atheist, I have an open mind and am willing to listen or read the answer to the following question that could convert me to a Christian if you give me a logical answer. Here is the Question I must know... If God created all then how did God come to be?”
“Who made God?” Think about space for a second. Does space have an end? Nope. If you fly a zillion miles in a space ship and there is a brick wall with “The End” written on it, then you have to ask, “What’s behind the brick wall?” We just can’t wrap our minds around it; it’s the ultimate brain freeze. We are forced to believe (have faith) that space has no beginning and no end. Exactly the same goes with God. Difficult as it is for our limited minds to grasp, God created the dimension of time and isn’t limited by it. He is the alpha and the omega; He is the beginning and the end. Just as by faith we accept space has no beginning and no end, we also accept that God simply always was.
For more on the subject, you may appreciate checking out episode #460 called, “Who made God?” from October 23, 2012.
To watch today’s “On The Box with Ray Comfort” episode, visit our YouTube channel:http://www.youtube.com/thewayofthemaster