Consider these statistics that author and parent Natasha Crain notes in her article, “What Your Kids Need for a Confident Faith”:
61% of kids who were involved in church as recently as their teenage years become spiritually disengaged by their 20s—not actively praying, reading the Bible or attending church.This finding, based on the extensive surveys of researcher George Barna, is the alarm that has sent pastors, youth leaders, and young adult ministries desperately searching for answers. Multiple independent groups have since conducted their own studies and have identified the same trend—with some estimates of those turning away from Christianity as high as 88 percent. Why is this happening? Having studied the various survey results in depth, I think it’s fair to summarize the collective problem in one sentence: A lack of robust spiritual training has resulted in a featherweight faith for many of today’s young adults, and that faith is being blown away by attacks from our secular culture.
Young people are turning away from faith because they’ve accepted the popular claims that Christianity is irrational, antiscience, intolerant, and based on an irrelevant ancient book. These claims have compelling answers from a Christian worldview, but young people aren’t leaving home equipped with those answers…Most kids growing up in Christian homes aren’t receiving anything remotely resembling the spiritual training they need to have a lasting faith.
What can Christian parents and the church do to foster a more robust spiritual training?
A new Sunday school year is upon us, and ministry leaders and volunteers are busy planning, preparing, and setting classroom schedules. There are so many options for classroom time: hands-on activities, crafts, games, birthday celebrations, singing and worship, prayer, missions focus, Bible memory work, time to simply hang out, etc. These all can be good and compelling activities. But what should ultimately provide the “measure” by which all of our classroom activities are assessed and then incorporated…or not incorporated into our limited classroom time? ... More
Not far from our home is a vast national soccer complex where children and youth from all around the country—and even the world—play and compete. I often drive by and am amazed to see hundreds of parents sitting there sweltering in 90-plus degree, humid temperatures to watch their children play. That takes some kind of devotion from both parents and their kids! (Not to mention the investment of time and money.)
Sports is just one example of things families are “devoted” to…a list could go on and on, including academic achievement, music, travel, hobbies, etc. But parents, what do you want your family to be devoted to more than anything else? What alone will bring your children ultimate satisfaction and indestructible joy?
The startup of fall Sunday school and midweek classes is just around the corner. Children’s ministry leaders and thousands of volunteers are gearing up. Hopefully, every church is inspiring, equipping, and training these volunteers for the critical kingdom work of proclaiming the majestic and glorious deeds of the Lord to the next generations so that they might hope in God through Christ.
If you’re using Truth78 curricula, you will want to start by taking advantage of our free Core Training Series, designed to help inspire, equip, and train volunteers for a variety of specific and age-assigned roles.
Five years ago, I never could have imagined this scenario: My young grandchildren going to an extended family gathering, which included a “transgender” woman (a biological woman who identifies as a man) who also happens to be “engaged” to a woman. Whatever happened to this basic truth,
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. – Genesis 1:27
I can still remember cringing when I heard this announcement from the pulpit one Sunday morning long ago:
We need more workers for children’s Sunday school. If you’re interested, there is a table in the hallway where you can sign up to help.
Does that kind of recruitment pitch sound at all familiar? I hope not. Needless to say, I don’t think that particular announcement got anyone excited to give up their Sunday mornings in order to serve in children’s Sunday school.