Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/2/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The formula for keeping teens in the faith.

As we move into June, we would like to introduce a new theme to our readers for the month. This June is "Heartbeat of the Family" month at Catholic Online. We'd like to open our month talking about teens dropping out of church.

Teens who find the faith practical are most likely to return to it should they stray.

Teens who find the faith practical are most likely to return to it should they stray.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/2/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Marriage & Family

Keywords: teens, church, dropout, faith


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to Lifeway Research, about 70 percent of teens drop out of church after they turn 18. It's a shocking statistic, and it may be better or worse depending on the church community, but it's shocking nonetheless.

Most of these teens will return, but a good number stay away forever, snapped up by atheists and agnostics and the evangelizers of other faiths. Atheism seems to be the fastest growing segment, after simple indifference. Many young adults simply stop caring about church and spend their time without prayer and without attending services.

Let us pray for the integrity of the Christian Family.

The good news is that of those that leave, about two-thirds eventually return, which is a distinct majority.

The statistics gathered by Lifeway Research are specific to evangelical churches, but they're unlikely to be much different compared to other mainstream religious denominations such as Catholicism.

Of course, the great question is why. Why are teens leaving their churches in droves as soon as they get old enough to choose for themselves?

Kids report dropping out because the faith loses relevance as they get older. They feel that their religious preparation does not prepare them for the "real world" where they are confronted by secular and liberal influences.

People are most likely to lose their faith when they are exposed to the caustic extremes of the secular world. Yet, this initiation is important because kids turn into adults at this time and need to learn how to fend for themselves in a world awash with anti-religious influences.

As demonstrated, about two-thirds of the dropouts eventually return. A little maturity, coming home, and some grounding with reality helps. Most helpful, they said the support of parents and their faith community brought them back to church.

Teenagers who stay in church report that before the age of 18 the church guided their everyday decision making, their parents were married and involved in the church community, the sermons were relevant to real world issues, and "at least one adult from church made a significant investment in me personally and spiritually."

Kids don't want to disappoint their parents and pastors and leave churches, but once they are away from the structure of home and exposed to secular influences, it is normal for them to wander. Who isn't fascinated by the novel and the new?

It is the level of support and guidance they enjoy, both in their teenage years and afterwards that determines which prodigal sons return and which ones continue to wander.

Kids have to see teaching as relevant to the world they experience. The faith has to be made practical to them. Pizza in a meeting hall isn't enough. Teens have to know how to use biblical teaching to guide their decisions every day, and they must practice this calculus. This must be instilled in youth. By adulthood, it is almost too late.

Both parents should be committed to the teen's development as well as to their own faith. And the church community should be healthy, not caustic or abusive. Compassion as opposed to combat, should be the message. Churches that demonstrate compassion instead of constantly fighting against the tide of secularism actually do both at the same time, however many churches devolve into political infighting and involvement in secular controversies when all that really matters is relentlessly ministering to the needs of others.

Parents for whom the faith is a practical part of their everyday life, are most likely to succeed in raising Christian children. Even if those children take a hiatus during early adulthood, keeping the faith as parents is critical for enticing them to return.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More Marriage & Family

3 wonderful ways to become irresistible to your husband Watch

Image of

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Marriage is holy. However, both man and woman must work out some differences and bridge the distance they may begin experiencing. Having God alongside them to guide their actions and thoughts over the relationship is the first and foremost necessity for all good ... continue reading


CHOOSE LIFE: Real-life stories of people facing abortion but choosing life Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A remarkable and heart-warming story caught the attention of many around the world recently, as the "Humans of New York" project featured another unique glimpse inside the lives of people from New York. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - More than 720,000 ... continue reading


Parents shocked to hear 3-month-old baby mutter these three words Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A baby's first words will always be precious and memorable to the parents, especially when the child learns to say "I love you" back to them. Parents of a 3-month-old boy were pleasantly surprised as the baby seemingly said those three words. The adorable moment ... continue reading


Surrogate mothers forced into practice by husbands, boyfriends Watch

Image of Women from a poor demographic have become an increasing interest in the multi-billion dollar surrogate industry, with most mothers being forced or coerced into volunteering as a surrogate.

By Elise Harris, CNA/EWTN News

Women from a poor demographic have become an increasing interest in the multi-billion dollar surrogate industry, with most mothers being forced or coerced into volunteering as a surrogate. Washington D.C. (CNA/EWTN News) - "Surrogacy depends in many cases on the ... continue reading


'God is ready!' Letter from young girl to her grandfather touches the entire family as the man passes away Watch

Image of (WDAM)

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Children never fail to bring hope in the purest form. A Mississippi man died peacefully a night after he received a heartfelt note from his young granddaughter.  The 7-year-old girl said, through the note, that God is waiting for him and He is ready. MUNTINLUPA, ... continue reading


Medical chimps abandoned in the jungles of Liberia, left to starve and die Watch

Image of Abandoned chimps at the jungles of Liberia

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Sixty-six chimpanzees were left in the deep jungles of Liberia after being used for medical experiments. Animal charities are seeking desperate help to save these animals. MUNTINLUPA CITY, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - The animals were used on the controversial virus ... continue reading


A step in the right direction: Number of sexually active teenagers in America drops

Image of

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that Americans teenagers are less sexually active. Through a new survey, the research team found out that the decline is greater among teenage boys, compared to data from  1988. Young adults who opted to become ... continue reading


3 things women need from their husbands now Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

When a man and woman decide to tie the knot, they both have expectations for the relationship. These eventually become needs to be fulfilled by each other in order to live with the sanctified union in peace and harmony. Men have certain needs from their wives, which ... continue reading


Former POW, Jessica Lynch shares what life is like 12 years after rescue from Iraqi captivity Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Although many expect Jessica Lynch to be perfectly fine now, she explains that she still battles with the emotional and physical trauma from her captivity during the Iraqi War twelve years ago. Lynch was just 19 when she was abducted by Iraqi troops and assaulted after ... continue reading


Gay man sues Bible publishers for 'emotional stress' over manipulated 'homosexuality is a sin' verses Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A gay man filed a $70 million lawsuit against Bible publishers claiming their alleged translations of the Bible brought him "emotional distress." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to Bradley LaShawn Fowler, the man fighting with Bible publishers, the ... continue reading


All Marriage & Family News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Exodus 40:16-21, 34-38
16 Moses did this; he did exactly as Yahweh had ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 84:3, 4, 5-6, 8, 11
3 Even the sparrow has found a home, the swallow a ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:47-53
47 'Again, the kingdom of Heaven is like a dragnet ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 30th, 2015 Image

St. Peter Chrysologus
July 30: St. Peter Chrysologus, Bishop and Doctor of the Church ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter