Over the next six month we will have a handful of Family Sundays. A family Sunday will be a Sunday were we will invite everyone to come to church as a family.
Why? In his book "You Lost Me" David Kinnaman points out that when teens transition to young adults 59% (about 6 out of 10) drop out of church. They don’t intend to drop their faith or quit believing; it’s more a wandering or drifting from God. Some of you who have adult children have seen this happen. You know how heart breaking it is to watch them when they were young in our church and on fire for God. Now they have no interest at all.
One of the problems he points out in the book is how we segregate ages in the church and how that is a huge factor that contributes to youth walking away from the faith. Teens need relationships with people in the church. Boys with other men and girls with other ladies. Real connections, real relationships. They need to see other adults living the faith.
According to David Kinnaman some other reasons young Christians are leaving the church are they feel like the church is over protective; they feel they have to choose between being a Christian and engaging the culture. They feel the church is shallow, the experience of God is missing in the church. They feel the church is anti-science and not willing to look at what science is discovering. They say there is not a safe place in the church to doubt and to ask their most pressing life questions. They feel the church is exclusive that “Jesus is the way the truth and the life” is limiting; the church is not open to other faiths. And they say the church is repressive sexually, the church keeps them from living lives sexually as well as they should, meaning that the church in their mind is out of step with the sexual mores of their time.
When young people are in relationships with other adults who believe and talk about their beliefs there is an understanding as they see others live out the truth.
Some ways we can help are to make meaningful relationships with our young people. On a typical Sunday at church a family arrives on campus and as they get out of the car the kids run off to the youth center and the parents to the worship center, after dad grabs a cup of coffee. Most Sundays we don’t see the family worshiping together. I have wondered how children learn to worship if they never see their parents model worship. Not only their parents but their parent’s friends.
On family Sunday we will not have Sunday school classes for the older children. We will preach on Narrative stories which are often easier for children and teens to learn follow. Even with that said, “Big church” is something that children learn how to be involve in and how to connect. There is no better time to introduce them to big church and help them participate than now. Parents we want to help you in the process of growing your child’s faith and love for Jesus. It’s our desire to see all our teens walk with Jesus into adulthood.