Tuesday, August 15, 2006

A Youth Exodus From Church -- What Are We Doing Wrong?

This is a good and timely (or past-timely) article.

One thing I think the author misses is the necessity for good apologetics teaching. Being able to defend the faith, to articulate why one believes in Yeshua the Messiah, Jesus Christ, and to be able to demonstrate both to one's self and to others that he or she has not had to check their brains at the church door is more important now than ever: Why Johnny Can't Believe: On the Failure of the Church to Educate.

Part and parcel of this, of course, is educating our kids to know the Bible itself. I can't tell you how many times we reviewed the Parable of the Good Samaritan or the Sermon on the Mount in my youth group as a kid, but we received practically zero instruction on how the whole Bible fit together, what the covenants are and how they related to each other, how the Apostles interpreted the Tanakh (the OT) and its Messianic prophecies, how the Feastdays pointed to the Messiah, etc.

As a result, 2/3rds or more of my "graduating class" fell away from the faith and never came back.

Of course, how can the adults teach the children what they themselves don't know? When I went looking for a new church home some years ago, I found those who taught more than what Hebrews called the "foundation" from which we are to go on to completeness (6:1ff) were few and far between. Indeed, in most churches, you get dirty looks if you ask a question or suggest a subject of study that they don't consider "down to basics."

Frankly, the number of young people falling away should be a massive wake-up call to the adults: We need to give up the "just have faith" aphorisms, give up a little TV time, and study God's Word with the fervor of a person studying the love letters of their dearest, both for our own edification and for the good of our children.

I know I'm probably preaching to the choir here, but just I wanted to rant and get some things off my chest. :-)


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