Why Are Kids Leaving the Church? Is it their Parents’ Fault or the Church’s Fault?
Did your parents ever say to you, “It’s not nice to point”? You may have heard, “Every time you point at someone, there are three fingers pointing back at you.” It seems that this is the case with the Church today. We are pointing our fingers at parents and thinking they are the cause of their child’s spiritual departure from the Church.
It is true that they are the number one influence in their child’s life. They are there 24/7 with their child, and they have the time to make this their priority. Unfortunately, most parents’ priorities are messed up, and they put their child’s education and activities above church and their child’s faith. That can never be good.
What They Didn’t Teach Me in Seminary
I recently shared during a seminary childhood education class about how God is working powerfully in the lives of children. I shared about how the Holy Spirit gifts them and uses them in powerful ways. I even showed them videos of children ministering and teaching.
A student walked up after the class and said, “I just cannot believe this. I have three education degrees, and I don’t believe that kids can do these kinds of things.” I told her, “I am sorry to hear that, but remember God can do what He wants in the life of a child.”
BEFORE YOU THROW IN THE TOWEL
As you may know, children’s ministry can be a lot of fun and very challenging at the same time. What happens all too often is a few voices turn the whole ship. You already know who I am talking about. Those complaining voices seem to always get their way.
Let me explain what I mean. You see, in the ministry God calls you to, He gives you a vision. That vision might require you to step completely out of what is normal and go in a totally new direction. When you do that, you will seriously rock the boat for a lot of folks. You will likely hear, “We have never done it that way!”
If you are like me, you have searched high and low for the best curriculum you could find for teaching children in the different churches where you have served. I found myself looking for a resource that was developmentally appropriate for each age group.
I quickly learned if the cover looked fantastic it did not mean that the curriculum was fantastic. Many times, the nicer-looking covers resulted in the shallowest materials. In all my efforts, I discovered that most resources are developmental- and education-based. How do I know? Because we divide up our church into age groups and teach in a classroom setting, just like the school system.
Discipleship is not knowledge-based; it is relationship-based.
We can have all of the knowledge about God but have no relationship.
Jesus came to Earth to restore our relationship with God through His death on the cross.
At the point of salvation, the believer in Christ—including children—moves from sinner to saint.