Sunday, May 16, 2010

Where are they?

Last Sunday, I visited the church where I grew up. During the service, the church honored its graduates. The thing that struck me was that there were three little ones who had graduated from kindergarten standing up front holding a gift Bible, one college graduate holding her gift, and three "no-shows." The three high school graduates were not in attendance, and there was a sense of bewildered surprise by the adults that they were absent.

Lifeway Research conducted a careful study in 2007 of the issue and discovered that 70% of young adults (ages 23-30) dropped out of church for at least a year between the ages of 18-22. That 70% includes many who spent their teenage years as active members of their church youth group. The sharpest drop occurs between the ages of 17-19.

Sunday was a vivid picture of that reality.

Fast forward twelve years. Where will the three five-year-olds be on a particular Sunday morning in May, 2022?

What will make the difference?

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