Jump directly to the Content

Six Reasons Young People Leave the Church

Barna President David Kinnaman examines the trend.
Six Reasons Young People Leave the Church
Image: Todor Tsvetkov/iStock

Isolationism. One-fourth of 18- to 29-year-olds say church demonizes everything outside church, including the music, movies, culture, and technology that define their generation.

Shallowness. One-third call church boring, about one-fourth say faith is irrelevant and Bible teaching is unclear. One-fifth say God is absent from their church experience.

Anti-science. Up to one-third say the church is out of step on scientific developments and debate.

Sex. The church is perceived as simplistic and judgmental. For a fifth or more, a "just say no" philosophy is insufficient in a techno-porno world. Young Christian singles are as sexually active as their non-churched friends, and many say they feel judged.

Exclusivity. Three in 10 young people feel the church is too exclusive in this pluralistic and multi-cultural age. And the same number feel forced to choose between their faith and their friends.

Doubters. The church is not a safe place to express doubts say over one-third of young people, ...

January/February
Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
Warrior, Chief, Medicine Man
Warrior, Chief, Medicine Man
From the Magazine
The Image of God in ‘Invisible Man’
The Image of God in ‘Invisible Man’
Ralph Ellison’s novel depicts the quest for personal dignity in a society determined to deny it.
Editor's Pick
Come Ye Pastors, Heavy Laden
Come Ye Pastors, Heavy Laden
Learning to walk under the weight of ministry's many hats.
close