Walking Away from the Faith, Part 5: Biblical Sexuality

Rick Mattson Church 4 Comments

This will be an impossible post. To say something about the increasingly complex subject of sexuality in a short blog is, perhaps, foolish. Here is my attempt: Young Christians such as Mary in my prior post who have friends that identify as queer, or who are queer themselves, often leave the church with a sense of having been betrayed. Most …

Walking Away from the Faith, Part 4: The Queer Exit

Rick Mattson Church 0 Comments

In the old days, sex education for young people in the church focused on boundaries: how far one could go with a partner without actually sinning. These days, things are more complicated, to say the least. Consider Mary, a 17-year old Christian high school student. Her friend group at school includes a mix of Christians, quasi-Christians, agnostics, atheists and one …

Walking Away from the Faith, Part 3: Suggestions from the Pros

Rick Mattson Church 0 Comments

I have the arduous privilege of working in the arena of higher education where young people regularly come and go from the church. Mostly go, actually (they leave). Of a plethora of studies and literature out there about the millennial “exodus” from the church, here are three articles that may be of interest: Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) Pew Research …

Walking Away from the Faith, Part 2: Angry at “The Church”

Rick Mattson Church 2 Comments

Prior post: misunderstanding the “perfection” of God leads to disappointment Research institutions such as Barna Group and Lifeway (as summarized in CT) tell us that the church dropout rate for young people age 16-24 is more than half. Some young adults return to the church later on, when they start families. Some never return at all. Those of us in campus …

Church Drop-outs: Why They Leave the Church, Part 6

Rick Mattson Church, Uncategorized 2 Comments

When my daughter Kelli was in middle school she and her friends often choreographed dance routines — some rather elaborate — to their favorite tunes. A few hours of tumbling and thumping on the upstairs floors of our home would eventually lead to a big dance performance, which my wife and I took in eagerly with much applause. It occurred …

Church Drop-outs: Why They Leave the Church, Part 5

Rick Mattson Church, Uncategorized 0 Comments

My basic point in this series of posts is that when students grow into their “true selves” in Christ, they are likely to remain steadfast in the faith. But when spiritual engagement and church life feel artificial, boring, obligatory or moralistic, there’s a good chance young people will check out (or just drift away). They will look to discover their …

Church Drop-outs: Why They Leave the Church, Part 4

Rick Mattson Church, Uncategorized 0 Comments

How can we keep young people in the church? Seems to me this is not precisely the right question. The better question is how we can help young people love God and grow into their “true selves.” A happy by-product will be their faithfulness to the church. Here’s a start: Teach kids to engage in productive faith.In his two books Culture …

Church Drop-outs: Why They Leave the Church, Part 2

Rick Mattson Church, Uncategorized 6 Comments

Imagine a 16-year old named Caleb who grew up in the church but within a couple of years will leave, perhaps permanently. Caleb is fascinated by the world of cars, racing and engines, and wants to go into auto mechanics. At church Caleb experiences worship, community, Bible teaching. All good things. He learns about morality, God’s love, salvation, prayer. He’s …