Where Have All the Young People Gone?

By Greg Groves

We, as Christians, need to make sure that we show concern and caring about our fellow Christians. We need to get to know one another.

The above question is a hard one to ask because it requires us to look at ourselves and see if we are doing something wrong. We have to find the reason why once faithful young people are turning away from the Lord’s church in greater and greater numbers.

So, why are the young people leaving? Is it because they are not taught the way they should live? In some cases that is true, you can look at the lives of the parents and see that spiritual things were not first in their lives and hence it is not first in the lives of their children. If this is the case, both parents and children need to remember that we are to seek the kingdom of God first (Matt. 6:33). No matter what others are doing around us, we are to follow Christ.

However, that is not always the case. There are children who turn away from the truth even though their parents have never faltered once. What is the cause for them turning away? An unloving environment has been the cause of some turning away. They feel as if their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ couldn’t care less about them. Sadly, the only time some Christians are caring is after someone has left the church. We, as Christians, need to make sure that we show concern and caring about our fellow Christians. We need to get to know one another. Remember, we are commanded to “rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep” (Rom. 12:15). We can’t do that if we don’t know one another.

In 1 Timothy 4:12, Paul told Timothy, “Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” I am not so far removed from being a young person that I can’t remember the feeling of someone despising my youth, making me feel as if my ideas were the dumbest thing they had ever heard in their life. Older Christians can get so set in their ways that they will not move an inch. I am not talking about doctrinal issues. I am the first to be unmoved when someone wants to go against the word of God. What I am speaking of are matters of opinion, where we have choices. I have all but been told that I should keep my mouth shut because I was a “babe in

Christ. ”I have heard people use the term “Young Christian” with such a tone you would think they were saying the worst two words ever spoken. All Christians should show respect to other Christians, no matter what age they are or how long they have been Christians.

These are by no means all the reasons why young people leave the church. However, they are some of the top reasons I have heard from those who have left.

Each member of the Lord’s church need to take a long, hard look at himself and see if he is the person that is trying to keep the young people in the church or is he one who is running them off.