Church Dropouts

The Most Pivotal Age to Keep Young Adults in Church

"After their sweet sixteenth birthday 73% of eventual church dropouts attend regularly, compared to 79% of those who stayed in church. By 17, the divide grows (64% of dropouts are attending versus 78% on non-dropouts). At 18, less than half of those who drop out are regularly attending (48%)" - Lifeway

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Engaging #Exvangelical: Three Tips for Church Leaders

By Jacob Bier

In recent years there have been growing fears within evangelical churches concerning the decline of young adult church attendance. Simply put, churches are continuing to see the younger generations walk away from the faith.

A number of social media movements such as #Exvangelical, #ChurchToo, and #EmptyThePews have drawn further attention to this phenomenon. These trends have given way to the proliferation of so-called deconversion stories on blogs and podcasts. In a deconversion story, people air their grievances with their former Christian tradition before detailing their journey into an alternative, and usually more secular, version. Common reasons given by #Exvangelicals for leaving their church include Biblical literalism, matters of social justice, and anti-LGBTQ stances.

Lest anyone think that these deconversion stories are coming from random people on Twitter, many public Christian figures have spoken of their own deconversions, including Jen Hatmaker (teacher and author of many women’s books), Joshua Harris (former pastor and author of I Kissed Dating Goodbye), and Jonathan Steingard (lead singer of the Christian rock band Hawk Nelson). These stories have made an impact beyond evangelical circles, even reaching the pages of prominent news outlets like The New Yorker and Christianity Today.

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3 Common Traits of Youth Who Don’t Leave the Church

"'What do we do about our kids?' The group of parents sat together in my office, wiping their eyes....they weren’t talking about 16-year-olds drinking and partying. They were talking about youth church attendance. Each had a story to tell about a 'good Christian' child, raised in their home and in our church, who had walked away from the faith during the college years." - Church Leaders

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Millennials Are Staying in Church if They Went as Children–Unless They Marry Outside the Faith

"The problem with Millennials dropping their church affiliation began with their parents, with most drop-outs being seldom taken to church as children. And, yet, there is one factor that contributes to dropping out of church even on the part of young adults whose parents took them to church:  Marrying outside the faith." - Gene Veith

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“Young adults want authenticity, which is why, according to a recent poll, 67% of millennials said they’d prefer a ‘classic’ church over a ‘trendy’ one.”

"Traditional churches tend to hold onto their attendance numbers better than most. Young adults in search of a moral foundation want theological consistency, and they’re drifting toward churches that can offer both." - Washington Examiner

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