exodus or exile? young adults & church defection
Many of them are part of a local church community and relish that experience.
Many are part of a local church community but feel far less of an attachment.
Many have simply given up on church altogether.
The number of young people in this third group always surprises me. Wherever I go, all across Australia, I meet them. These are young people who love Jesus and are very often passionate about the kingdom of God, but who have decided for whatever reason to cut their ties with the church, at least in its most prominent form.
Many authors have written about this phenomenon. Many pastors have mourned over it. Many church communities have aged because of it.
There is no simple answer as to why this phenomenon is ongoing, and I am not arrogant enough to think I can give such an answer in 300 words. Nonetheless this issue is worth reflecting on.
Is this widespread young adult church defection an exodus, or an exile? That is to say, is it a form of God’s liberation, or the result of rebellion?
What are the failures of the Church? What are the faults of young people?
This is something I may well reflect on in subsequent posts, but I hope that people can offer some wise thoughts of their own as we try to understand the Church in this young century.