Matt Marino Chimes in—What Should the Right Approach be to 21st Century Parish Ministry?

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Today...the church may look healthy on the outside, but it has swallowed the fatal pills. The evidence is stacking up: the church is dying and, for the most part, we are refusing the diagnosis.

What evidence? Take a gander at these two shocking items:

1. 20-30 year olds attend church at 1/2 the rate of their parents and ¼ the rate of their grandparents. Think about the implication for those of us in youth ministry: Thousands of us have invested our lives in reproducing faith in the next generation and the group we were tasked with reaching left the church when they left us.

2. 61% of churched high school students graduate and never go back! (Time Magazine, 2009) Even worse: 78% to 88% of those in youth programs today will leave church, most to never return. (Lifeway, 2010) Please read those last two statistics again. Ask yourself why attending a church with nothing seems to be more effective at retaining youth than our youth programs.

We look at our youth group now and we feel good. But the youth group of today is the church of tomorrow, and study after study after study suggests that what we are building for the future is…

…empty churches.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedYouth Ministry* Culture-WatchPsychologyReligion & CultureTeens / YouthYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spending* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyEcclesiologyPastoral Theology

Posted September 25, 2012 at 4:26 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Revcant wrote:

Although this is old news, it is important to keep circulating it.  Children who stay in the church come from households where both parents are active, the Scriptures are read, prayers are prayed together, the parents live out the gospel, including asking forgiveness when they mess up with each other and their children.  My daughter, now in college, has yet to miss a Sunday at church and has become active at her new parish.  Always a work of grace and faith.

September 26, 8:50 am | [comment link]
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