Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/2/2014 (2 years 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 (2 years 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.

---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for DECEMBER 2016
Universal:
End to Child-Soldiers: That the scandal of child-soldiers may be eliminated the world over.
Evangelization: Europe: That the peoples of Europe may rediscover the beauty, goodness, and truth of the Gospel which gives joy and hope to life.



Comments


More Marriage & Family

The Church isn't enough! Pope Francis explains what newly wed and engaged couples REALLY need Watch

Image of Pope Francis has a special message for couples looking to marry.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

While most imagine white wedding dresses, beautiful flowers, a blushing bride and an ecstatic groom, Pope Francis gets to the nitty gritty. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - During his annual speech at the Holy See on Saturday, Pope Francis expressed his views on ... continue reading


Divine intervention? More sexual education? U.S. abortion rates declining - but why? Watch

Image of National abortion rates are down across the United States.

By Matt Hadro (CNA/EWTN News)

A reported drop in the United States abortion rate by the Guttmacher Institute is good news to pro-life leaders, who nevertheless acknowledge that optimism should be tempered. Washington D.C. (CNA/EWTN News) - "The news that there may be fewer abortions taking place in ... continue reading


Our Bishops Invite YOU to Make a Digital Pilgrimage: 9 Days for Life Watch

Image of

By USCCB Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities

Have you made a pilgrimage lately? Maybe you've been blessed enough to take what many of us consider a traditional pilgrimage: travelling to a destination like Lourdes, Fatima, or even a special cathedral here in the United States. But a pilgrimage is about more than ... continue reading


Ask DMU: How To Make Resolutions Stick Watch

Image of

By William T. McKenna, M.S

Question: I always seem to have trouble following through with my New Year's resolutions. Why is that? And what can I do to succeed this year? Response:Every year many of us find ourselves in your shoes. From losing weight, to reading more, to cutting back on fast ... continue reading


Desperate, hopeless mother-to-be receives miracle after praying novena to St. Joseph and St. Gerard Watch

Image of Baby Ascher continues to defy the odds after his mother refused to abort him (Travis Dew/Jennifer Snowden).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Jennifer Snowden, a cast member of Bravo's reality show "Southern Charm," has opened up about her faith, her son and her refusal to give under her doctor's pressure to abort the tiniest love of her life. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - During a routine scan, ... continue reading


Amazing 7-year-old hero rescues babysitter's family from blazing inferno Watch

Image of DeShawn saved five lives that night (Facebook).

By Monique Crawford (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A 7-year-old boy woke in the middle of the night. What he did next saved give people's lives. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - DeShawn Labarriere was dropped off at his babysitter's home around 10:30 p.m. Friday night.Brittany Labarriere, DeShawn's mother, told WREG ... continue reading


Hopeless 108-year-old woman rescued by COMPLETE STRANGERS in beautiful, touching act of kindness Watch

Image of Carrie Lou Rausch was in need of help - so complete strangers came to her aid (Susan Hatfield).

By Monique Crawford (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Carrie Lou Rausch is a very grateful 108-year-old woman after her community rallied together to save her life. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - For the last three years, Rausch has been living at the nursing home Sunrise on the Scioto in Columbus, Ohio.She lived in ... continue reading


Heartbeat Protection Act 2017 will change child murder laws forever Watch

Image of Lawmakers push to put an end to abortions.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) introduced a bill on Thursday, prohibiting abortions after a heartbeat is detected. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - King released a statement Tuesday to announce the bill, in which he explained: "Since Roe v. Wade was unconstitutionally ... continue reading


Pope Francis warns women against using abortions to save their figure Watch

Image of Pope Francis calls out women who abort to save their figure.

By Elise Harris (CNA/EWTN News)

On Wednesday Pope Francis issued strong words against worshiping idols, cautioning against the false hope that beauty, wealth and power can give, but which lead a person to trust in empty promises rather than in the Lord. Vatican City, Italy (CNA/EWTN News) - "It's ... continue reading


Saints Louis Martin and Saint Zelie Guerin honored with special project Watch

Image of Saints Louis Martin and Saint Zelie Guerin.

By (CNA/EWTN News)

A project to end the drug scourge in Uruguay has drawn inspiration from the recently canonized parents of the "Little Flower" Saint Therese of Lisieux. Montevideo, Uruguay (CNA/EWTN News) - Saint Louis Martin and Saint Zelie Guerin, whom Pope Francis canonized in ... continue reading


All Marriage & Family News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Hebrews 10:1-10
1 So, since the Law contains no more than a reflection of the good things ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 40:2, 4, 7-8, 10, 11
2 He pulled me up from the seething chasm, from the mud of the mire. He ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 3:31-35
31 Now his mother and his brothers arrived and, standing outside, sent in ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for January 24th, 2017 Image

St. Francis de Sales
January 24: St. Francis de Sales was born to a noble family ... Read More