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Preventing Teenage ‘Faith Drift’

Our research underscores the crucial role of intergenerational relationships.
Preventing Teenage ‘Faith Drift’
Image: Israel Egio

“ROI” is a term I use often. Not because my ministry requires me to wheel-and-deal in high-level business negotiations (unless you count asking for soy milk at my local coffee house). But as I dream about my own ministry, and the ministry of leaders nationwide, I want us to have the best possible “Return On Investment.” I want the gospel seeds I plant to be used by God to yield great fruit—especially when it comes to harvesting faith in teenagers and young adults.

Recent research on the faith trajectories of young people intensifies my quest to find the best ministry ROI. According to multiple studies, 40 to 50 percent of youth group seniors—like the young people in your church—drift from God and the faith community after they graduate from high school.

Our team at the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) wasn’t satisfied with that faith drift, and we bet you aren’t either. So we have spent the last decade studying over 500 youth group graduates, ...

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