Why Do Young People Leave the Church?

Image at: http://www.kingdomsound.org/

Recently someone I know asked for some reasons why young people leave the church. Initially I wasn’t going to answer because I thought that those type of questions often bring one sided responses from young people, responses that only show them as victims. However, I decided that the question was important and merited serious considerations. I hope to present here four reasons why I think that young people leave the church.

It is not comprehensive because I can’t presume to know all the reasons. This is a reflection on why black youths in the Seventh-day Adventist church leaves.

1. Not Interested

One of the reasons that is usually ignored by young people when they are asked to state their opinion on this question is that some of the young people that leave are simply not interested in the God of the Bible and the lifestyle that He is calling them to lead. This is one of the most neglected reasons. Some young people are simply not interested in church. Nobody chased them out, they just prefer the lifestyle that non-religious people are living.

2. Frustration with how the Church Function

A second reason is that some young people didn’t like how a particular church functioned and so they started going around visiting other churches. They never found what they were looking for. It wasn’t their intention to leave but eventually that’s what they ended up doing. They lost interest after a prolonged period of instability. It is important to note that not everyone who leaves the church made a conscious decision to stop going. Most of the time people leave after slowly moving away from fundamental spiritual practices–prayer, Bible study, etc.

3. Bad Reputation

A third reason is because of the shame or ill reputation that some of them gain from bad actions. Some young people commit mistakes, others live a lifestyle that is contrary to the practices of the faith they claim. I emphasize the difference because some young people really try to do what’s right, but since they are imperfect they make mistakes–I’m using mistake here to indicate that they are not living a lifestyle contrary to scripture, they just slipped. Some of these mistakes can be very bad. Others are just on the membership listing of the church but can careless about what God wants.

In either case what usually happens is that once something goes wrong then they are viewed as “children of darkness.” Of course once you are classified as such it’s hard to make a comeback. The pressure of being classified as spiritually worthless drives some of them away. They don’t feel as if there is a place for them in the congregation.

4. They Crave Relationship

A fourth reason young people leave the church is because of the church’s emphasis on “right doing” over “relationship.” These young people feel as if the members of the church don’t care about knowing them but care about judging their actions. They feel as if they are under a microscope all the time and nobody cares about the real them, so they decided that they had enough.

Your Turn

What are some other reasons why you think young people leave the church? How can we resolve these problems?


Author: Jerry Jacques

Jerry Jacques, is a native of Queens, New York. He was born in Cap-Haitien, Haiti on June 12, 1980. His purpose in setting up this blog is to think through biblically with others on theology, culture, and anything else that may catch his attention. His hope is that this blog will be a wonderful stopping point for all who visit. He enjoys reading, writing, movies, bowling, board games, and weight lifting. The views expressed here are the author’s own and not necessarily those of his church. If you are interested in getting in touch, write him at jacquesjerry@yahoo.com. Special Interests: Apocalyptic Prophecy, New Testament, Book of Revelation, Book of Daniel, Book of Habakkuk, Biblical Interpretation, Comparative Religion, and Christianity in Contemporary Culture.

One thought on “Why Do Young People Leave the Church?”

  1. This “scientific” insight into the resurrection may interest you:

    The Center Of The Universe Is Life – General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics and The Shroud Of Turin – video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3993426/

    The End Of Christianity – Finding a Good God in an Evil World – Pg.31 –
    William Dembski
    Excerpt: “In mathematics there are two ways to go to infinity. One is to grow large without measure. The other is to form a fraction in which the denominator goes to zero. The Cross is a path of humility in which the infinite God becomes finite and then contracts to zero, only to resurrect and thereby unite a finite humanity within a newfound infinity.”

    Philippians 2: 5-11
    Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

    “Miracles do not happen in contradiction to nature, but only in contradiction to that which is known to us of nature.”
    St. Augustine

    Intelligent Design – The Anthropic Hypothesis

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