Faithlife Sermons

The Teen Ministry

The Great Commission at Home  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  32:01
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Why are teens leaving the church?

1. They don’t need it.

Our kids are smart. They picked up on the message we unwittingly taught. If church is simply a place to learn life application principles to achieve a better life in community…you don’t need a crucified Jesus for that.
Why would they get up early on a Sunday and watch a cheap knockoff of the entertainment venue they went to the night before? The middle-aged pastor trying desperately to be “relevant” to them would be a comical cliché if the effect weren’t so devastating.
As we jettisoned the gospel, our students were never hit with the full impact of the law, their sin before God and their desperate need for the atoning work of Christ. Now THAT is relevant, THAT is authentic and THAT is something the world cannot offer.
We’ve traded a historic, objective, faithful gospel based on God’s graciousness toward us for a modern, subjective, pragmatic gospel based upon achieving our goal by following life strategies. Rather than being faithful to the foolish simplicity of the gospel of the cross, we’ve set our goal on being “successful” in growing crowds with this gospel of glory.
Life Way Study
For the most part, they simply lose track of the church and stop seeing it as important to their life.

What makes them need church?

Statistically, we found four factors that were the most predictive in determining which teenagers stayed in church:

I wanted the church to help guide my decisions in everyday life (prior to 18).

My parents were still married to each other and both attended church (prior to 18).

The pastor's sermons were relevant to my life (prior to 18).

At least one adult from church made a significant investment in me personally and spiritually (between 15 and 18).

What Now?

Dropout doesn't have to be a key word. We can replace it with something far better. When teenagers see an active, practiced faith in their parents and other positive examples at church, they will stop being dropouts and start being disciples.
If your student ministry is a four-year holding tank with pizza, don't expect young adults to stick around.

1. Disciple, disciple, disciple.

If your student ministry is a four-year holding tank with pizza, don't expect young adults to stick around. If, however, they see biblical teaching as relevant and see the church as essential to their decisions, they stay.

2. Have a home with committed Christian parents.

According to the USC study I referenced earlier, 74% of married couples who were both evangelicals also had kids who were evangelical. I was raised by a single mom who loved the Lord and I'm so thankful for those who do, but parents (together) make a significant statistical impact.

3. Recognize that it takes a church to raise a committed young adult—involve other adults in the discipleship process.

This is where student pastors, volunteers, and other adults being invested in the lives of teenagers can be so important.

No, the dropout numbers are not nearly as bad as many would have you think, but there are still way too many students who fail to see the significance of the church moving forward into early adulthood. But there are things we can do to change that.
Daniel 1:8
Daniel 1:8 KJV 1900
But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.
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