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This is a topic that’s discussed in consistories/councils, by congregations, Synods, and pretty much anywhere there are church-going folks or church leaders hanging out.  I don’t expect to solve the challenge in a short blog, but I think youth leaders might have a different perspective than many in the church.

First of all, is it a challenge?  I think it is, though I also believe many college-age young people find other churches to attend.  So they aren’t in our churches, but they are in church.  I have a son in college and when he’s home, he now attends a church plant that reaches a far younger audience.  I’d love to see these twenty-somethings stay in our church, but if they are actively involved in other churches, that’s pretty cool too.

But there are many who walk away from active church involvement as well.  I wonder if youth leaders want to speculate on why this is.  I hear some talk about looking for ways to keep this group involved in church.  I would suggest that if you haven’t figured out how to get them and keep them involved when they were younger, it’s a little late to start once they graduate from high school.

Involving members of all ages in the work of the church is critical to keeping member s of all ages.

So if readers believe we are losing too many youth in our congregations, what do we do about it? How does middle school and high school discipleship fit in to this equation…or doesn’t it? Is involvement a key?



Alot of it has to do with geographics, demigraphics, building solid relationships and staying connected with what their passions are.....and they change every 5 years. Geogrphics you can't choose; young adults going away to college these days are going to be practical and find the best job in the best location (that means just about anywhere these days). Demigraphics you can't choose either; if the economy is bad, young people are not going to stay or come back to work. A lot of time thi is tied in with the responsibliity of raising a family in the present or the near future. Relationships play a small part. If you've built a grea repore they may come back to continue and nurture that friendship; but that could be negative also, if that's not the best choice for their future. Those who are staying around, coming back for positive've got to develop their passions; whatever, they may be. One HUGE statistics, nowadays, is that today's generation is super service oriented. They are looking desperately to be useful in service projects. If the CRC (or any church) fails to realize this and doesn't incorporate it in some way, while they are still in high school, they will not nurture that desire and the youth will leave in droves to attend a church that is service-minded. I always have to be creative, because they are kids and need to be doing something different, but even Youth Unlimited could do a better job of coming up with resources of service projects that are fun and challenges their competency. (See Winter Equip and see what we did with our Fall Scavenger Hunt in PEI)....these are the kids of things we have to be prepared to do at least once a month!!!

For a good resource, read "the orphaned generation" by Scott Wilcher. (Subtitle, "The Father's heart for connecting youth and young adults to your church)

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