by Steve Jones

This content is part of a series.

Outsiders Education (5 of 9)
Series: The Outsiders
Steve Jones
Hebrews 13:11-14

Introduction: I want you to do a little imagination exercise with me this morning. While I'm delivering this message, after the message during the song service, and after the services as people are mingling around I want you to look around at the children and teens that are here among us. Many of them will be familiar faces. They are the faces of our friends' sons and daughters. They are the friends that our children bring home after youth group. They are OUR children...the ones who have been faithfully following us to church, in some cases for years. Now, imagine that two-thirds of them, the boys and girls, the kids who are over there in Sunday School and children's church, the ones who are going on CIY trips and summer camp at Lake Aurora and sitting up here on the front row during these services - imagine that two-thirds of them have just disappeared from this church. Why? Because they are already gone.

''Already Gone'' is the title of a book by Ken Ham in which he looks at Nationwide polls and denominational reports from across America. The numbers are in and they don't look good. A mass exodus is underway. Most youth of today will not be coming to church tomorrow. While a few churches are surviving and fewer still are even thriving, the vast majority is slowly dying.

Despite strong levels of spiritual activity during the teen years, most 20-somethings disengage from active participation in the Christian faith during their young adult years - and often beyond that. Consider these findings:

- Nearly 50% of teens in the U.S. regularly attend church-related services or activities.

- More than 3/4 talk about their faith with their friends.

- Three out of five teens attend at least one youth group meeting at a church during a typical three-month period.

- One third of teenagers participate in Christian clubs at school.

That's all well and good, but do these ...

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