Sunday, December 04, 2011

New Study Sheds Light on Church Dropouts

A new study released two weeks ago by the Barna Group shows that the loss of faith or rejection of church that many young people experience, is not taking place for the reasons that we often assume. The research, which coincides with the release of You Lost Me: Why Young Christians are Leaving Church…and Rethinking Faith, uncovered what the author describes as five myths and realities about today’s young dropouts. For example, the first myth that is highlighted is that “Most people lose their faith when they leave high school.” But according to the researchers, “there are three distinct patterns of loss: prodigals, nomads, and exiles.” They explain that:
  • One out of nine young people (prodigals) who grow up in Christian homes lose their faith in Christianity.
  • Four out of ten young Christians (nomads) wander away from the institutional church, but still call themselves Christians. They have become “lost” to church participation.
  • Two out of ten young Christians (exiles) feel lost between the "church culture" and the society they feel called to influence.
  • About three out of ten young people who grow up with a Christian background stay faithful to church and to faith throughout their transitions from the teen years through their twenties.
  • For the full report go to

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