I came across this stat today via Outreach. It really stunned me. We have for decades decried how colleges “destroy the faith” of young people. And it IS true that we do not adequately prepare our teens for what they will face in a college classroom (or college dorm!). But look at this stat:
70% of people who discontinue going to church in America do so between ages 18 and 22. Of those who attend college, 69% of active churchgoing youth stop attending church for at least a year between ages 18 and 22. Yet 71% of active churchgoing youth who do not go to college stop attending church during the same period. Outreach 3/4/08
It is not simply college (and “godless professors”) that is the problem. We are not preparing kids who are NOT exposed to this to live a life of consistent faith either. I am also not ready to give in to the pessimists who say it is just a natural part of growing up. It doesn’t have to be that way. Maybe I am blind, but historically I don’t see 70% of the young adults in past generations stepping away from the faith in which they were reared. I am not ready to put blame on anyone/thing. I am just amazed by the statistic. It is definitely a matter for prayer.