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I recently read a report that as many as 70% of our youth who have grown up in the faith will walk away from that faith after high school.

I ask this question because I run a Christian youth center. Every night we end the day with a devotional. I always try to add some apologetic's to the message so they can defend their faith but am wondering what else I should do to help keep them in the faith.

Why are they leaving?

What is the church doing wrong if anything?

Is this just part of the great falling away?

I'll post the website for those who are interested. 

http://www.fjoutreach.webs.com

Blessings and thanks for your feedback and answers.

Gary

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Gary,

Awesome answer!

Lord Bless,

LT

Yes, Gary! It's now about the sanctifying power of God, abiding in Him, resting in Him, doing His will and not our own, bearing good fruit. It's about Jesus and Him living His life in and through us. Ephesians 2:8–10 says it this way: “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

Awesome reply Gary.

WE do spend time talking about the personal relationship and many of our staff are good at sharing their relationship with the kids. After reading Tims post it may be wise of us to spend more time on how that relationship will carry them through the tough times.

You're making disciples.
Gary,
I was thinking that one of the things you might encourage in those to whom you minister is something that I see in the life of Christ and that is for us to have a few deep relationships versus only many superficial ones. As someone was recently sharing with me, Jesus had various people around Him starting with the 12, but out of the 12, there were an "inner 3" and beyond that circle, Jesus had many other disciples but the 12 were often taken aside for various reasons and then at times only the inner 3, who actually witnessed His transfiguration one day among other experiences that the rest didn't share. In the world, youth are taught to have many relationships but there's no possible way for many relationships to be deep and lasting. We need a few others to fall in alongside us and help us in our journey, the way the 3 helped Jesus. Just a thought ...

I like it. Sound like a good devotional for this weekend. Thanks sis.

It's something I'm being convicted of by Holy Spirit because I've never had any relationships of depth with anyone my whole life. I've only had many superficial relationships, except for once, in my early twenties, when I was engaged to be married which only lasted about 14 months, and then what I have with my husband, whom I met later on, in 1995, but even he says I won't let anyone love me or get close. But I was reading something recently, saying we were created for relationship. This speaks to Tim's post, too, and aloneness. As I look at how Jesus treated others during His ministry, I also see that He sent the disciples out in pairs. Loneliness and being alone is tough. Jesus even had the inner 3 with Him at Gethsemane. I know it looks like they failed Him by falling asleep but perhaps just having them there with Him was comfort.

IMO, from the churches I have been too, the youth leave because mayb they think they are too old now for the youth camps and the youth dramas... ect. If their age becomes past the youth groups age they may think the adult groups are too boring. They get in so much church activity that Jesus is on the bottom of the list. I agree with what LT says abiut finding religion and not Jesus.

Hmmm, I think you have touched on something confused. Maybe a young adult fellowship and Bible study would help.

Could it be that the "church" might be offering much of the same of the world & not offering what the world doesn't have?

I think that confused hit the nail on the head.

I remember my own child in his youth group going excitedly to church...was it to learn about the Lord?  No, I remember thinking, as long as he was in that group he would be okay...he wasn't.  They had video games, pool, black lights, a basketball court, pizza, everything a kid could want every single youth group meeting.  This is how they drew them, not with the light of Christ, but with the light of the worldly things.  They played some "rap gospel" music in the background, then took about 30 minutes to talk about Jesus in a non-compromising way, a way that wouldn't offend anyone there.  They hit their emotions hard too...I remember my son, when picking him up, he said that he had accepted Christ into his heart, he was emotional and melancholy.  I remember this night, because I was so thankful to God for saving him.  It lasted a total of 12 hours.  

I believe that the church is not giving the youth the tools that they need to get through this life, especially in this day and age, when the very mention of Jesus is met with resistance and punishment.  BUT it's not all about the church either....mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers have fallen short of teaching the youth about God.  This includes me, I ache for those years that I didn't know God and able to teach my children about Him....then now, I do and although they listen, it's more with respect than desire.  This hurts me greatly, but I know through prayer and trust in the Lord God Almighty, He can make a way for them.  I remain expectant...

I'm sorry if I sound a little thorny, I am.  I think Jesus would be cleaning a lot of temples these days.

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