Jump directly to the content
magcover

Already a subscriber?

Home > Issues > 2007 > Fall > Why Many Young Adults Quit
Article Preview. Log in or subscribe now.

About three-fourths of young people quit church. "Tell me something I don't know," you say.

Well, Lifeway Research (Southern Baptist) says they know the reasons why 70 percent of 18-year-olds who attended church regularly in high school quit by age 23: they don't like it. And by age 30, 34 percent still have not rebounded. That means one in four young Protestants has left the church.

On their laundry list of reasons: they wanted a break (27%), church is too judgmental (26%), they moved away to college (25%), busy with work (23%).

On the positive side, the 30 percent who kept attending church cited solid spiritual reasons, including: "it's vital to my relationship with God" (65%) and church "helps guide my everyday decisions" (58%).

Lifeway's Ed Stetzer blames the losses on sorry youth ministry: "Too many youth groups are holding tanks with pizza," Stetzer said. "There's no life transformation taking place. People are looking for a faith that can change them and be part of changing the world."

"Unless religious leaders take younger adults more seriously, the future of American religion is in doubt," said Bowling Alone author and sociologist Robert Wuthnow, whose new book, After the Baby Boomers, was published in September.

The proportion of young adults identifying with mainline churches is about half what it was a generation ago, and evangelicals have barely held their own, Wuthnow said.

log in

To view the rest of this article, you must be a subscriber to LeadershipJournal.net. Activate your online account for complete access.

Related Topics:ChristianityFaithStatisticsTrendsYouthYouth Ministry
From Issue:On the Margins, Fall 2007 | Posted: October 1, 2007

Also in this Issue: Fall 2007

Effective Hospital VisitsSubscriber Access Only

Look carefully for the primary condition: fear, fatigue, or ...

Guides to the Kingdom

Why our church attends to prodigals, children, the poor, and those with disabilities.

Outside In

What it takes to minister to those on the margins.

Dumping GroundSubscriber Access Only

In a place where even people are considered refuse, no one would listen to the educated, accomplished pastor. Until he became one of them.

Subscribe to read more

Subscribe Today!

  • Monthly issues on web and iPad
  • Web exclusives and archives on Leadership Journal.net
  • Quarterly print issues

Print subscriber? Activate your online account for complete access.

Join the Conversation

Average User Rating: Not rated

No comments

Use your Leadership Journal login to easily comment and rate this article.
Not part of the community? Subscribe, or on public pages, register for a free account.
Editor's Pick
Biodynamics of the Kingdom

Biodynamics of the Kingdom

Diversity strengthens the vine and the branches.
Sister Sites
Help Others Find Freedom Through Spiritual DisciplineBuilding Church Leaders

Help Others Find Freedom Through Spiritual Discipline