Home > Brandenburg, Culture, The Ministry, Worldliness > Why Are We Losing the Kids?

Why Are We Losing the Kids?

October 11, 2009

Bobby Mitchell, pastor of Mid-Coast Baptist Church, Brunswick, Maine, sent me an email in which he and his father chronicled the reasons why churches and their Christian families are losing their children to the world.  He was asked by someone doing research for a book to give his explanation.  I thought they were bullseye at diagnosing the problem, so I asked Pastor Mitchell if we could publish it here or at my blog, What Is Truth. Here is the answer that was authored by his dad and him

1.  Many are not genuinely converted because of the watered down Gospel presentations that are so prevalent.  They are told to acknowledge a few facts, they are led in a prayer, then they are told to never doubt their experience.  Of course, over time, if they are never genuinely converted then they either continue on trying to “fit the mold” of their church, or they just walk away from it when they are able.

2.  Many are told what to do, but not taught why to do it, or what not to do, but not why. They have been told that baptism is by immersion only, that the KJV is the Word of God in English, that women should be modest, etc.  But, these things are not taught to them from the Scriptures.  They grow up just thinking that these are merely the rules of life for independent Baptists.  So, they are not really convinced, or convicted, and it is easy for them to slip into other doctrines and practices.

3.  Many grow up in homes that are plagued with inconsistency.  The standards change based on who the family is around.  The family Bible time is hit-and-miss or non-existent.  Discipline is not consistent.  There is an open or even silent disagreement with what is taught by the church concerning entertainment, dress, roles in the home, etc.  The inconsistency relates to young people that the parents are not really set on doing things the Biblical way.  They become unstable and are easy prey for the world.

4.  Many hear their parents criticize the pastor and other strong Christians in the church.  This can result in confusion.

5.  Many times when the pastor is seeing the young people really embrace the truth and Biblical living the parents become obstacles.  It seems the parents are bothered by their children surpassing them in the things of the Lord.  The parents pull them back and some even express jealousy concerning the influence the pastor has concerning their children.

6.  Many times the parents get their children wrapped up in the things of this world.  The parents are concerned about their children loving the Lord and walking in the light, but they are just as concerned with their kids playing organized sports, becoming popular, being fashionable, seeing the latest movies, making a lot of money, having the newest video game systems, acquiring every type of technology without proper accountability regarding those “toys,” etc.  Through it all the dad and mom seem to be sowing thorns that choke the seed of the Word of God.  This is especially true when the sports, fun, and such ever come before any of the aspects of New Testament ministry.

7.  Many times the young people are not really involved in the ministry of the church until they are pressed to do so in their late teens.  Too many are just observers and not participators.  All that is expected of them is to sit and be entertained instead of training and serving.  They are not taught that we exist to glorify God.  Practically, they are being taught that the ministry exists to make sure that they are having fun.  They are not taught to “buy in” to the work of the ministry.  Eventually, they realize that the world’s entertainment is better and they look for fulfillment in getting involved in worldly groups and activities.

8.  Many Christian young people are not taught to pray, study the Bible, meditate on the Word, memorize the Scriptures and appropriate them practically in real-life situations.  Real life then comes along and they don’t respond Biblically.

9.  Many times young people grow up knowing of all sorts of sin in the church that is not dealt with Scripturally.  Of course, they also see young people leaving the church and that not being dealt with Biblically.  They don’t realize how wicked this is and they have no fear of God concerning it.

10.  The bar is set too low for so many young people.  They are treated as if they are expected to be “silly teens.”  As long as they don’t do a few really bad things and as long as they do a few good things they are treated as if they are Godly.  So many of the young people in churches that I have been familiar with are good (in the commonly used sense of the word) but they are not Godly!  Good kids will eventually get devoured by the world, but truly spiritual ones will develop into mature Christians.   Too many are treated according to the worldly concept of “teenager hood.”  The Bible speaks of infants, children, young men, young women, and older men, and older women.  I think that a lack of teens understanding that they should be Godly young men and young ladies is hurting many.

11.  Many young people have heard very little of the “fear of God.”  They have a warped image of God that magnifies his love and mercy while almost completely ignoring his holiness, majesty, and wrath.  Subsequently, they walk in pride and rebellion.

12.  Too often the preaching to young people is just fluffy and light, and often-times it is just motivational speaking.  Too many young people do not grow up really learning sound doctrine and being taught through books of the Bible.  Too many preachers that are youth-focused are trying to be “cool” and “hip.”

13.  Many kids from good homes and churches graduate high school and are pushed into the Christian college environment.  Sadly, most (prayerfully, not all) of the Bible colleges are anemic in their teaching and practice.  There is almost an idolatry of fun and good times at many schools.  One college has even been heavily promoting a water park with a wave pool and a place for the young ladies to tan (as if that is so important).  When I visited that same school I was awestruck with the amount of money and time put into “fun.”  The young adults are, in a great way, withdrawn from their parents, church, and pastor.  What little time they have with godly teachers and staff is outweighed by the influence of so many worldly students in the dorm rooms and activities.  There is a mixture of doctrinal persuasions among many of the student bodies.   Their parents and pastors are compared to those of the others and often the lowest common denominator is embraced in matters of holiness.  The dating game is played.  Endless debates rage among peers.  The “pillar and ground of the truth,” the local NT church, is downplayed.

14.  The local New Testament church is treated by many parents as optional instead of vital to spiritual growth and New Testament Christianity.  The same goes for the pastor.

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  1. Perez Christina
    October 11, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    interesting

  2. October 14, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    I would say that the number one problem is that parents’ want to be their kids’ friend, rather than their parent. They want love much more than they want respect. And consequently they mostly indulge their children and their lusts from day one. The consequence is fleshly people instead of spiritual people. And fleshly people just aren’t interested in the things of the spirit.

    Maranatha!
    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  3. Bobby
    October 14, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    Don,

    I think you make a very good point. Thanks for speaking up.

  4. October 20, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    Brother Bobby, you hit the nail right on the head with your points here. I have seen this too much in many churches, as well as in the lives of the young people (whether teens themselves or young men and women working with the teens) I have come across.

    • eralynn
      March 2, 2010 at 10:44 am

      I never knew how to pray and when my daughter was born I was given a prayer and placed my hand on her head and said the words which came to me. This has been every night. She is now almost 11 and as a single mother we have had inconsistency but it has not changed her heart and knowing. She knows God is with her. It is in her, period. I had no formal education in religion of any kind, in fact quite the opposite, yet was told my whole life I spoke the word unknowingly. When I first picked up a Bible curious as to what it said, it was as if I had read it all before. Very strange for me. I was in my 30’s. Now we are being attacked by a criminal and a church in the name of the Lord. They are ruining our lives as I fight to protect my child which I was told to do by several professionals, psychiatrists, police officers and more but this church has smashed my life. My daughter has witnessed her mother breaking in front of her even though I have done my best to be strong and hide what is happening. This has taken a toll on my core beliefs and my daughter seems to have no tollerence of TV showing religion which I have never seen such behavior before in her. Gratefully she still ‘knows’ God will make everything all right.
      The family court system would be a good place to start solidifying the foundation of these children. As much as we would all like it not to be true, the statistics show the number of marriages which end in divorce. The true honorable pastors could really impact these situations if help were given to the truth in court. Perjury is no longer a concern in family court and the truth is left behind. It is an excellent platform for the church based on honesty as the Bible teaches to help these people who are being abused against all the Word stands for. I don’t know how but I just know what I am saying is true. The Bible is based on truth and the courts no longer are. From what I have seen in these courts, there is usually one who is abusing the lack of truth being expected in court and the children are the saddest victims in these cases. Usually people with the best interest of the children as their first priority, don’t end up in these ‘high conflict custody battles’ so someone is most likely taking advantage of the courts faults. From my position this is the perfect opportunity for good to show itself. I also see bad pastors injecting themselves for financial gain into the family court system with many different hats depending on their educational background. It would be so wonderful for true heart to be there to really have a soft place for these victims to land and I am sure it would be life changing in a positive way as long as it was the authentic pastor and not the psychopathic pastor. These victims need help and deserve it. I also believe it could change the course of the fraudulent pastor who currently can do so much harm since an authentic pastor would see through their corruption as others do not.
      In my mind the children would be the winners and God would be very pleased.
      Just my opinion…..

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