In 2006, a study by the Barna Group revealed that most twenty-somethings disengage from active participation in the Christian faith during their adult years. This is true even for those who have displayed strong levels of spiritual activity as a teenager.
In addition, statistics demonstrate that this pattern of disengagement is continuing through adulthood, creating somewhat of a missing generation in our churches today. Traditionally, once children are conceived, there is a parental impulse to raise children back in the church. However, even this impulse is losing steam. New research points out that just one-third of twenty-somethings who are parents regularly take their children to church, compared with two-fifths of parents in their thirties and half of parents who are 40 years old or more.
What about drop outs in your church?
In our church, we have noticed that children are still attending the worship services and children’s ministries. However, the children are being brought to church by their grandparents, as opposed to their own parents. That generation in the middle is largely disengaged.
This missing generation has been on my heart of late and I’m at a loss for what to do about it.
- What does your church do to reach these twenty and thirty-somethings that are not connected to a community of believers?
- Do you have any suggestions of types of whole family ministry that would re-engage this generation?