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I am a youth leader turned pastor's wife. I served a church in West Michigan for four years and then my husband graduated seminary and we moved to Oregon. I have three kids under four and that's what keeps me busy right now. I still am involved in youth ministry but more of a suportive role and hope to do more as my little ones get a little older.

Anyway I am very, very discouraged by seeing so many high school kids (some of who I ministered to and others who my fellow youth pastors in my town ministered to) leave the church, leave the faith, or can't find their place in the church. Many of them flock to the large mega churches and then complain they can't find community and even miss some of the familarity of the CRC they grew up with. I think it is great if they start attending another church. We don't neccessarily have to keep them at our own churches (I stopped attending the same church as my parents when I was 19), but we want them to continue to grow in their faith and be active members of a church.

If I had to do it all over again in my previous church position, I would have seen if my responsibilities could have extended to the young adults. Not neccessarily putting together a program like youth group where they all come on a Sunday night. But possibly regularly meeting them on their campuses once a month or every other month to keep that connection. Or establishing mentors within the church to share that task. If that would possibly turn into a Bible Study or small group, that would be great. It would be a way to keep that connection going and support them. It seemed like some of my youth groups kids needed that support more so after they graduated high school and faced some big challenges.

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