Thinking Out Loud

September 15, 2012

Why They’re Leaving The Church: A Canadian Study

“When it comes to the faith commitment of parents, it is hugely important that children observe their faith as a lifestyle throughout the week if it is to make a statement about its vibrancy and authenticity.  ~John Wilkinson, Canadian youth ministry specialist

“The most effective faith instruction takes place organically.” ~Hemorrhaging Faith

This month’s cover story at Canada’s national evangelical magazine Faith Today is titled Why They’re Leaving, and appears in connection with the release of a study titled Hemorrhaging Faith which was co-sponsored by EFC (publisher of Faith Today), InterVarsity and others and compiled by James Penner Associates. The study is in ‘pre-print’ stage and is available for $15 CDN as a .pdf download.

The website notes:

  • Only one in three Canadian young adults who attended church weekly as a child still do so today.
  • Of the young adults who no longer attend church, half have also stopped identifying themselves with the Christian tradition in which they were raised.
  • There are four primary toxins that keep young people from engaging with the church: Hypocrisy, judgement, exclusivity, failure.

The Faith Today article, in a sidebar, notes four categories of youth:

  • Engagers (church is good) 23%
  • Fence Sitters (want church on their terms) 36%
  • Wanderers (church is not for me) 26%
  • Rejecters (church is bad) 15%

For more, I guess you’ll have to buy the report or at least read the article (first link above).

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