Studies have long shown the most active age-group in the church are teenagers/students. Think about it, with their summers full of camps/mission trips, and school years full of retreats and bi-weekly services, it’s not hard to see why that is. These valuable years before college, marriages, children, and mortgages are spent developing deep, faith-based relationships and learning more of God’s heart through His Word.
Alarmingly, however, studies also show that the most inactive group in the church are young adults from 18-29. There is a MASSIVE spiritual drop off rate once our students head to college, and we have to ask ourselves - why?
There are clearly many factors – cultural disconnect, new-found freedom, or even just misplaced priorities that make it easy with their busy schedules to justify sleeping in on Sundays…
But one of the BIGGEST reasons our students fall away from the church is that they are put out in a pluralistic world and immediately confronted with a barrage of ideologies and questions they have never faced.
Many of these questions are deeply theological, personal, and tricky to navigate. Having our faith fundamentally challenged without appropriate preparation can feel like going to the Olympics without a coach or any national support. The temptation can be to just give up, and statistics are showing that’s what many choose to do.
To combat this, we will be taking our high school students to the Lead Defend Conference in Conway on March 3rd. We want to ensure that we are equipping our students with the practical tools needed to handle thinking and conversing through deeply polarizing issues. Our desire is for our students to confidently and securely know how to make a stand for Christ in the face of opposition.
My prayer for this conference is that as our students learn to seek deeper matters of faith, they find joy and more joy as they encounter the heart of He who is Truth, and that they feel strengthened in confidence as they go forth to proclaim His name.
Mission Reports, observations, and encouragement from your favorite Student Ministry Team.