Rekindling the Intellectual, Spiritual, Creative legacy of Christians in Culture

Youth Teens are leaving the church. According to the National Opinion Research center, in 1998 only 16% of 18 to 22 year olds had an active ongoing relationship with the faith of their parents. In "Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers," Christian Smith concludes that even when living at home and active in church, teens are embracing an aberrant Christianity, which he describes as moralistic, therapeutic deism." Ask teens why they’re leaving the church and they may say: 1) I never experienced God there; 2) My tribal associations are stronger outside church than in it; 3) The issues that matter to me aren’t addressed at church, And the issues addressed at church don’t matter to me; or, 4) I never saw anything in my parents that made me want to be a Christian. On this edition of The Kindlings Muse: Why teens are leaving the church and why they are right to do so" with guests Bill Hogg and Ryan Beattie.

5 Responses

  1. It seems young people are concerned about the whole person, while the church is only concerned about the spiritual and how God can bless them. How does materialism play into this? Do you the divide between secular and sacred coming down?

  2. “Life is Messy” – The church is not 4 walls, community does not happen on Sunday – it happens in small groups. The real question is what to do now to connect the unconnected.

  3. Is “the problem” really with teens? Seems to me it’s the parents whosse faith life is no longer vital. Comment?

  4. This has been of great interest to me, especially as I have 3 young nieces. I can’t wait to hear the final installment.

  5. I have four kids and two grandchildren. They are our legacy and we need to take them and their concerns seriously, including those about religion and the church. The question we need to get at more deeply is this–why is it that even kids who are connected to faith when they are living at home and attending church, so quickly abandon it when they get out on their own?

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