Are We Losing Our Youth?

By Dennis C. Abernathy

It is alarming to see the number of young people who, when they grow older, completely desert the Lord’s church. To see young people thrill at Bible study, only to grow cold and uninterested in the work of the Lord as they grow older, is indeed tragic.

Why are so many young people leaving the faith? What is making shipwreck of their faith? What does the church need to do? What can it do? What can parents do? What do parents need to do? What is the answer? Is the answer (solution or remedy) to be found in youth rallies, youth programs with fun, frolic and gimmickry, youth retreats, etc.?

I don’t believe the faithfulness of a young person to the Lord has anything to do with youth rallies, church sponsored recreation, etc., nor do I believe such is gauged by whether or not a young person attends a large or small congregation. Faithfulness to the Lord is just not dependent on these things. I am convinced, however, that the most important thing in this regard is the young person’s immediate family.

Several congregations ran a survey and came up with the following results:

1. Where both parents are faithful to the Lord, and that includes active interest in the work of the local church, 93 percent of the kids remained faithful.

2. Where only one of the parents was faithful, that figure dropped to 73 percent.

3. In those cases where both parents attended church services only infrequently, the percentage of their children who remained faithful to the Lord dropped to 6 percent!

Shocking you say? But, is it really? We should all realize that indifference and lack of concern breeds the same. How on earth can parents expect their children to care anything about the Lord and his church, if they themselves do not care? Parents with children at home, if you are indifferent to the Lord’s cause, please wake up before it is too late. Common sense tells us that these figures do not lie. You need to be faithful to the Lord. Attend every service of the church that you possibly can. Be active and work hard, giving your very best to the Master, and then teach your children to do the same.

Some reading these words may be thinking: “But, I don’t have any children at home.” That may be true. But there is something you do have. You do have an influence on young people who regard you as a Christian. Which way do you wish to influence their young and impressionable minds?

Do you want your children, your grandchildren, your friends’ children to go to heaven? Are you concerned about so many who are being lost to the Lord? You can teach them faithfulness to the Lord by your manner of life and that will reinforce and strengthen your teaching by word of mouth. I can assure you that you will be blessed, our nation will be blessed, the church of the Lord will be blessed, and our youth will be blessed (read Heb. 10:25; Eph. 6:14; Jas. 1:22-25).

Guardian of Truth XXXII: 10, p. 303
May 19, 1988