So we have an epidemic on our hands. Students on a wholesale level are leaving church and I'll be honest it's heart breaking. I have read several things on why people think this is happening...many of those thoughts are very accurate, but in saying that I wanted to add my thoughts on why I think students are leaving the church.
1. There has been a massive push on entertainment over actual substance
We live in an entertainment based culture, and the church is no different, parents want their kids to enjoy church...which is not a bad thing, but I think we have put such a high priority on the enjoyment of church that we've missed the mark when it comes to the real reason we are at church. There is a mission at hand, and it's not for little Johnny to be entertained. Now can there be moments of fun and entertainment? You bet! But the main foundation of the church is to equip Christians to go into the world and make disciples, and sadly that's not what is happening.
2. Sports has more importance and weight to it than church membership. This goes back to the first thing we talked about. Entertainment. We love it. Sports is one of the biggest things on the planet that is worshiped. We have 'churches' (AKA stadiums) that are filled to capacity every week where people worship a ball for hours at a time. While most people just can't seem to get themselves to corporate worship on Sunday's for an hour. Many say things like 'We just don't have time.' We have students that dedicate themselves to sports teams so much that everything else is pushed to the back burner especially things like church, Bible study, and prayer. Sports should never overrule your commitment to the things of God. Take a few mintes and listen to these tyhoughts from David Platt and and Matt Chandler on this topic.
3. Parents do not find church to be important. I know so many parents that don't go church, but they ship their kids off on a bus on Sunday's or Wednesday's to 'get a break.' This is the typical 'Do as I say, not what I do' mentality. This is a horrible thing to do. If you don't go to church, read your Bible or pray but expect your children to do so you're in for a horrible reality they properly won't.
Most of the time your children will place importance on what you as a parent place importance on.
One of the biggest reasons we have 70 plus percent of students walking away from church is because their parents were never really that interested in church to start with. Parents you are the key to starting your child on their spiritual journey.
I honestly think that if we changed these three things we'd see less drop out and more missionaries. We'd see less church dysfunction and more church unity. We'd see the divorce rates drop and marriage become so strong that the gates of hell itself could not break them down.
I think that if we took this verse and actually applied it in our daily lives things would be totally different.
I appeal to you therefore, brothers,[a] by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.[b] 2 Do not be conformed to this world,[c] but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.[d]