They went out from us, but they did not belong to us; for if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us. However, they went out so that it might be made clear that none of them belongs to us. (1 Jo 2:19 CSB). In response to this post which would have us believe that there are 10 top reasons kids (and one would presume adults as well) leave the Church.
But again, there’s only one reason. To be sure, there are excuses. But there’s only one reason and that reason is glaringly and profoundly simple: kids (and adults) leave the Church because at some level they were never really part in the first place. Whatever straw man they may wish to set up and whatever excuse they develop, theologically speaking, such are simply attempts to evade personal responsibility and its fruit in authentic commitment.
When a generation is raised on pizza parties and events and games and outings and trips and that’s the entire extent of their exposure to discipleship it isn’t discipleship to which they are exposed. It’s self-involvement. When young and old are treated as though they were the center of the Church and the purpose of the church and the reason for the existence of the church it is only natural that they leave as soon as something else attracts their self interested attention.
When the Church forthrightly declares that God is Lord and we, his people, are his servants, then disciples can be made; and the truth is, Jesus tells the Church to make disciples, not members or attenders.
But the real question is, what does the Church lose when it loses ‘members’ who contribute neither life, time, effort, nor love to and for ministry and instead simply only always and ever wish to be ‘ministered to’? Truth is, not much.
Let them go. When they mature they’ll return. If not, they were never really members of the body of Christ and no amount of reconstructive surgery can make them into something they aren’t any more than a leopard can change its spots.