Already Gone

Someone passed me an article from the Gospel Coalition this week. Amidst all the hoopla concerning the statistics about students leaving the church, the article talks about the students who remain with the thought being that we should learn from them. This type of thinking can help us develop (better) best practices when it comes to discipling the next generation.

I for one cringe a little when I see the statistics that say roughly 50-80 percent of teens who are engaged in their faith leave the church when they go to college. I’m certainly concerned about the people that the statistics represent, but I also feel that the statistics are misleading which can lead us to draw faulty conclusions. They imply that some magical transformation takes place the day the students step foot on a college campus that forces the student to lay down a once thriving connection to their heavenly Father.

I for one, agree with Ken Ham and Britt Beemer that the students in those stats are Already Gone. For example, my experience tells me that most youth groups are predominately composed of students under the age of sixteen. Why is that? My best guess is that is they find better ways to entertain themselves as they get that magical drivers license. We can’t out entertain the world, and we’ve been trying to do that in youth ministry for the better part of twenty years if not more.

Instead of targeting the masses, why don’t we teach the full Gospel, a Gospel of sacrifice and obedience? As students are converted, we equip them to study the Word, share their faith, and fight for purity among a crooked and perverse generation. Why don’t we mentor, develop, and send out young leaders? And as mentioned in the blog last week, why don’t we renew the vision to disciple our own sons and daughters and watch God do His work among this generation?


Ritchie Johnson
Director, Transform Student Ministries

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