About the Children’s Department: We Must Act Now

The past few years have had their challenges, but these challenges have given us the opportunity to open our eyes and see the truth which has been before us – more and more families are experiencing significant change as their grown children and grandchildren are walking away from faith. 

This has been happening for quite some time – Barna had studies on this in the early 2000’s, but a more recent study on Gen Z (which I refer to often – you will find it at this link) show us how this generation is walking away from their faith to atheism at double the rate of any previous generation. This study was run in 2018 – before covid, so now as we look at where we are three years into dealing with covid, with the war in the Middle East, as our eyes are being opened to racism as never before, and experiencing unprecedented political upheaval with the rise of Nationalism, and so many Christians who follow cults like Q-anon, the damage to the “reputation” and testimony of Christians has been severe, we are seeing even more of our grown children and grandchildren walking away from their faith (check this link for a video clip from Barna about the increasing number of believers who are and will walk away from their faith.)

So, what do we do? Is it too late? Are we helpless to stop this exodus? Is there anything which will turn this tide? I don’t believe it is too late. But, I do believe we must act, and we must act now because if we do not, even more of the ones we love will walk away from their faith. Please take a minute to consider the following possibilities –

  • Families need to be strengthened. Just like Nehemiah needed to strengthen the walls of Jerusalem, families need to be strengthened. We must ask our churches to focus upon families. Parents and grandparents need to know how to hand down confident faith. They need to know what resources are available to help them do this. They need to know how to lay a firm foundation for the children they love which not only teaches what they believe, but why they are able to believe it, so they have a confident faith. (Check out Anchored to help you do this.)
  • Parents and grandparents need support – especially if someone they love has walked away from faith. Barna’s studies show 22% of Christian young people are claiming to no longer be Christians. Barna calls them the “prodigals” (see this link) and they expect this number to increase over the coming decade. Who is there for parents and grandparents to turn to for help when this happens to someone they love? The church must be there to support and help them.
  • Churches need to get their act together. They must engage children AND teach apologetics. They must connect with children – it is NOT okay to let children slip through the “cracks”. They must build relationships with the children and commit to equip parents and grandparents to hand down confident faith. 
  • Christians must stop with the politics. When did it become, “too politically charged” to speak the truth in our churches? Why do so many church leaders refuse to ask their church members to get a covid shot, wear a mask, and call out those who follow extremist groups? Our grown children and grandchildren are watching – and what they see is turning them away from the church and their faith. This must stop.
  • We need to ask publishers for resources to help parents, grandparents, and the church teach apologetics. Along with teaching children and teens what we believe, we must teach them why they are able to believe it. If we do not, we run the risk of them reaching a point where they stop believing because they do not know any solid reasons why they should continue to believe. (Check out Anchored curriculum supplement at this link – you are able to use it to teach apologetics with whatever curriculum you are using.)

Please take these points to heart and share them with the parents, grandparents, and church leaders you know. We must make changes – if we do not, we will continue to have the children we love grow and walk away from their faith.

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