Monday, October 28, 2013

A Crisis of Parenting

Focus on the Family has released the results of a new study looking at how many young people born between 1980 and 2000 are actually leaving the church.  For several years there has been a lot of talk with statistics thrown around about how few young people who grow up in church actually stay serious Christians after leaving high school. 

The new study offers some encouragement and hope!  And it actually shows what the church should have known all along - children who grow up in homes where faith is seriously, routinely, and vibrantly - though not perfectly - practiced are very likely to become serious Christian as adults.    And the reverse is true - children who are taken to church by their parents but who do not see those same parents engaged in a habitual, loving, and obedient relationship with God day in and day out are very likely to be church and faith dropouts. 

As we have started a church the past 2 1/2 years, one thing we have emphasized routinely is that the church can only reinforce what children should be receiving at home.  The primary place for discipleship, according to the Scriptures, is the home.

"This is not a crisis of faith, per se, but of parenting," the Focus on the Family study noted.

You can read a summary of the study, Millennial Faith Participation and Retention, here from Focus on the Family.  Also, the website allows you to read the entire report.

Also, Baptist Press released a good article today summarizing the report. . . .

"The idea that young adults are abandoning their faith in droves may be widely accepted but isn't fully accurate. So says a Focus on the Family study that casts light on trends among young adults that may contradict doomsday predictions for the Christian faith.

The study, titled "Millennial Faith Participation and Retention," tracked the religious trends of Millennials (usually those born between 1980 and 2000) and found that only a fraction are leaving their childhood faith -- usually because they may not have had much of one to begin with.

The study utilizes data from the Pew research sources and the National Science Foundation's annual General Social Survey."

Read the entire article, "Young adults who abandon faith may have 'lukewarm' upbringing," by John Evans here.

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