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May 10, 2010

That is what the church loses when children transition from children’s ministry to the youth group. The church actually sees a greater decline at this point as compared to youth group to adulthood.

Do those numbers surprise you? Be careful because you may be tempted to simply look at attendance and not believe this is true. Here is the key, the research shows that while the individual may still attend church and move into youth group, they have already made a decision that church isn’t for them.

Think about how this contrasts with our current understanding? When do we fear a child may abandon their Christian faith? College? So we send them to a Christian school hoping that will help. Numbers say there is no difference with students at state schools. Churches tend to look to hire a Youth Minister, why because we see that as the most dangerous time. Many times we are simply working to put the genie back in the bottle.

What do we use children’s ministry for? How do we approach it? More and more it would seem with entertainment. Keep the kids happy. Make it so they want to go to church. What do we do when the very thing that gets them to want to go to church doesn’t sustain them threw the tough questions of puberty and adulthood?

This to me should be the biggest wake up call for the church. How do we approach children’s ministry? What do we do to get deeper with children? Are we willing to move past they are happy and entertained?

I don’t have the answers because it is something we are wrestling with. I hope you will wrestle with it too.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. May 10, 2010 6:33 pm


    I’m really enjoying all your posts about “By The Numbers.” Very interesting.

    I have to admit, it would really make my heart go pitter pat if you’d include links to your sources. That would make it easier to reuse the info.

    Keep challenging us to think!

    Grace and peace,
    Tim Archer

  2. May 10, 2010 8:31 pm


    I apologize because I thought I had put my sources up on an earlier post.

    These come from the book Already Gone by Ken Ham and Britt Beemer. Beemer is the founder of America’s Research Group.

    Page 31 says, “Most people assumed that elementary and middle school is a fairly neutral environment where children toe the line and follow in the foosteps of their parents spirituality. Not so. I believe that over half of these kids were lost before we got them into high school!”

    Also, I was in Mardels locally last week and they had this title on clearance.

    The statments about comparing Christian vs. state universities comes from the same book.

    Sorry I didn’t do a better job on that.

  3. May 10, 2010 11:24 pm

    What, you expect us to actually read older posts? Sorry. I guess I missed that one.

    Where did you get the stat about pro players going broke? I found that stat very intriguing.

    Grace and peace,

  4. May 11, 2010 1:53 am

    March 23, 2009 Sports Illustrated. You can find it under the Vault on the website.

  5. Dustin permalink
    May 11, 2010 2:22 pm

    Wow! Great post amigo. We do tend to put more theology training in the youth side and see children’s ministry as a time to play games and have fun (which is not bad).

    This is a wake up call for me. Thanks.

  6. May 12, 2010 8:51 pm

    What a wake-up call!


  1. This Week in Children’s Ministry for 5/12/2010

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