Note to pastors and youth ministers who choose to live in denial: the following stats do not apply to you, only to other churches and other youth groups that are not as spiritual, strategic, relevant, cool, committed or emerging as you are.
The American church loses 70% of its 18 and 22 year olds. That’s scary. Think about your youth group, the teens in your church and in your family – by the time they are 22 years old – 70% will no longer go to church.
There’s a lot of talk about reaching the “un-churched” – but what about the “de-churched” who walked away from the church of their parents? Thousands of young people used to go attend church, but not any more. Why?
According to research in a soon to be released book by Thom Rainer (the Simple Church dude), here are the top 10 reasons young Americans quit church.
10. I was only going to church to please others.
9. I want to spend more time with my friends.
8. I disagreed with the church’s stance on political or social issues.
7. I didn’t feel connected with the people in my church.
6. I became too busy.
5. I moved too far away.
4. My work responsibilities prevented me from attending.
3. I started college and stopped church.
2. Church members seemed too judgmental or hypocritical.
1. I simply wanted a break from church.
The #1 reason young people quit church is tragic – “I wanted a break from church.”
But why? I think maybe #2 causes #1.