At Saddleback, we are neck-deep in trying to address the issue(s) of faith abandonment, sticky faith, retention of our college graduates, helping parents disciple their children etc. The process has probably served to raise more questions in my mind than answers, which I think is a good thing. I’ve listed some of the stuff that I’ve wondered, and would LOVE to have you pick one or two and share your thoughts in the comment section:
* To what degree is temporary faith abandonmentt normal? Most of us walked away from faith for a time, regardless of the methodology of the youth group we grew up in. Scripture seems to indicate that most of the “soil” the gospel is sowed upon non-condusive.
* What do we do with students who come from non-believing households; who have parents with ZERO desire to disciple their own children?
* Have students always wandered from faith in high numbers, or is it a new issue? Maybe we are just more aware of it today? If teens have always wandered, then is it fair to attack modern youth ministry as the culprit?
* Is a little bit of inter-generational stuff good enough? Are baby steps effective?
* Should efforts look different for different age-groups? Should churches be more concerned about college-age (because clock is ticking faster) than Junior High when it comes to the issue?
* It seems like vast majority of churches have ALWAYS had quite a bit of inter-generational culture. Whether it’s serving together, teenagers attending adult worship services, etc. tons of churches have never totally segregated their youth ministry department. If this is the case, how can modern youth ministry be blamed for faith abandonment?
* Parents should be the primary disciplers of their children, but where does scripture say they should be the ONLY people investing in their child’s spiritual growth? How can we create a “village” (Sticky Faith uses the “5-adults” goal) that helps teenagers on their journey?