According to George Barna, 70% of our youth are leaving church after high school and 80% will be disengaged by the time they are age 29. According to the New York Times, only 4% of teens will be “Bible believing Christians” as adults. That would be a sharp decline compared with 35% of the current generation of baby boomers, and before that, 65% of the World War II generation. (New York Times).
Why are we losing the Millennial Generation?
The book of 1 John answers this question.
- “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” 1 John 1:6-7 (NKJV).
- “He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” 1 John 2:4 (NKJV).
- “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us” 1 John 2:19 (NKJV).
- “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 (NKJV).
We never had the Millennial Generation
The church did not lose an entire generation of kids, because we never had them. According to the book of 1 John, the ones who fall away never had salvation. I believe the number one reason our kids are leaving the church is because of the “sinner’s prayer”. We have herded this generation into our vacation bible schools, present the gospel message in a large group, then tell the kids to “repeat this prayer after me”. This is not the scriptural way to lead someone to Christ. Where is the repentance and sorrow for their sins? Do they understand that they are sinners? The “sinner’s prayer” is not in the Bible. We have baptized a generation of lost children because of our unbiblical methods of evangelism. We then wonder why they are leaving our churches.
I know that this sounds very harsh, but I was one of those VBS casualties who had said a “sinner’s prayer”. At the age of 16, I realized that I was not saved after hearing my Sunday School teacher read a very unpopular Jack Chick tract on evolution. Immediately, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart to tell me that I was lost and going to hell. I was shocked. I argued and said, “How could this be, I said the sinner’s prayer in Vacation Bible School?” At the end of a very uncomfortable church service, I walked the aisle with the preacher’s daughter, who was also saved. When I looked up from my crouched position, the entire youth group was at the altar sobbing over their sins. All of us had said a “sinner’s prayer” in VBS, but now we were truly sorrowful over our sins and soundly saved. This is one of two revival experiences that I have seen in my lifetime. All because of a Chick Tract. Yes, they are offensive, but so is the gospel message.
Please download our free prayer guide which includes prayers based from the scriptures on how to pray for our youth in America: Prayer Guide “Leaving”