December 3, 2012 by eimrick
I hear many people throw around the statistic that says “75% of church kids walk away from their faith after highschool”. This may or may not be true. I guess if the “statistics say”, then it must be true. I just don’t ever remember anyone polling the students in our youth ministry. I’d like to shed some light on this discussion from our experience out here in suburbia, Cleveland. I think it highlights differest aspects of this “statistic”.
Joe Valenti and I are in our 8th year serving together in youth ministry at Cuyahoga Valley Church. Recently, we looked at the rosters of teenagers over the past 5 years and did a brief “eye test” and talked about where students were at with their walks with Christ and came up with a couple of interesting observations.
A few of the observations were:
1. Parents who looked at the church as having the primary “spiritual” responsibility of their teens were more likely to walk away from their faith.
2. Parents who found little to no value in what the church could assist them with had teens more likely to walk away from the faith.
3. Parents who modeled their faith to their children and had a genuine walk with Christ had children less likely to walk away from their faith.
4. Parents who valued the role of a youth ministry/church and saw them as partners were also less likely to walk away from their faith.
So our simple “eye test” results were the follows.
75% of the teenagers who were represented by #1,#2 didn’t have a strong relationship with Christ at college or had walked away completely.
90% of the teenagers who were represented by #3,#4 from our estimation were walking with Christ and active in Christian community.