Many parents and church leaders wonder how to most effectively cultivate durable faith in the lives of young people. A five-year project headed by the Barna Group explores the opportunities and challenges of faith development among teens and young adults within a rapidly shifting culture. The findings of the research are included in a new book titled You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church and Rethinking Church.
The research project was comprised of eight national studies, including interviews with teenagers, young adults, parents, youth pastors and senior pastors. The study of young adults focused on those who were regular churchgoers Christian church during their teen years and explored their reasons for disconnection from church life after age 15.
No single reason dominated the break-up between church and young adults. Instead, a variety of reasons emerged. Overall, the research uncovered six significant themes why nearly three out of every five young Christians (59 percent) disconnect either permanently or for an extended period of time from church life after age 15.