Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/2/2014 (11 months 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 (11 months 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 May 2015
Universal:
That, rejecting the culture of indifference, we may care for our neighbours who suffer, especially the sick and the poor.
Evangelization: That Mary's intercession may help Christians in secularized cultures be ready to proclaim Jesus.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Marriage & Family

'It felt like a car was backing over me' Real life mothers share stories on the pain of childbirth Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Due to the romanticizing of giving birth as part of the rosy life of a woman, a blogger decided to ask some mothers for their personal takes. Using different names for anonymity, most of the responding mothers gave horrific descriptions on the pain endured, far from ... continue reading


What about the First Amendment? School prohibits student from including popular Bible verse in project Watch

Image of For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Sixth-grader Mackenzie Fraiser initially planned to include the famous Bible verse John 3:16 as an inspirational quote for her school PowerPoint presentation. However, she was discouraged after in an earlier assignment about self-esteem, the same teacher has now ... continue reading


Have dogs always been man's best friend? Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Forty thousand years ago, ancient man and the ancestors of modern, domesticated dogs shared the same space, contrary to what scientists initially believed. Based on earlier studies of the canine genome, today's dogs have evolved from their wilder and hostile ancestors, ... continue reading


How an amazing service dog forever changed his young owner's life Watch

Image of Service dogs make life much easier for those who suffer from diseases such as cerebral palsy or blindness.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A service dog has become a little miracle to his 11-year-old owner who is blind and suffers from daily seizure attacks. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The dog, named Flint, was given as a gift to little Alyssa, who began suffering from her condition when she was ... continue reading


Are you an attentive parent? Smartphone distraction can be dangerous Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Cellphones have become most parents' and child caregivers' source of guilt for the lack of attention they give to their kids while at playgrounds, according to a study completed by researchers from the University of Washington. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) ... continue reading


Director reveals why his new movie will shatter societal stereotypes on Down syndrome Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Purposely casting an actor who has Down syndrome to portray the lead in his upcoming movie, director Chris Dowling believes the film will shatter all outdated stereotypes society has against people with the condition. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - His new ... continue reading


School bus bully surprised with small gift that changed everything Watch

Image of An upset father prayed for help in solving his children's [not pictured] bullying problem.

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Texas father and his wife plans to work with school administration to fix the growing problem of bullying on the school bus, after learning how his own kid was harassed. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - However, the steps taken were not as effective as ... continue reading


How one woman's vision led to a special prayer box Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Angela Tomiye has been praying for strangers' after they leave their messages for God inside the prayer box she placed on top of Koko Head, a Hawaiian hill. The prayer notes people leave will be read and prayed for by an assembly of friends she organizes each week. ... continue reading


Through the 'hands of God': Brain dead teen unexpectedly awoke from coma, now a high school graduate Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Taylor Hale, then 14, was declared brain dead and pulled out of her life support after suffering from a severe head injury due to an accident she had in September 2011. Devastated, her parents were suggested by the doctors to donate her organs and prepare her funeral, ... continue reading


Parents lie about religion to get kids into good schools Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Parents have resorted into faking their religion and their addresses because of the tough competition from the growing numbers of applicants trying to get into certain good schools. A poll revealed that parents will do certain things to secure their kid's slots in ... 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, Acts 28:16-20, 30-31
16 On our arrival in Rome Paul was allowed to stay in ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 11:4, 5, 7
4 Yahweh in his holy temple! Yahweh, his throne is in ... Read More

Gospel, John 21:20-25
20 Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 23rd, 2015 Image

St. John Baptist Rossi
May 23: This holy priest was born in 1698 at the village of Voltaggio in ... 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