Recently, I reviewed Ken Ham’s newest book, Already Compromised. It’s an excellent and provocative book in it’s own right, but (as it’s a sequel of sorts) it got me thinking back to the material in Already Gone: Why Your Kids Will Quit Church & What You Can Do To Stop It.
In that book, Ken Ham revealed the results of a disturbing study by America’s Research Group that further confirmed the youth exodus in our churches. It seems like our kids graduate from church when they graduate from high school. This study found that we’re losing two-thirds of our kids when they graduate, but we’d already lost 45% by the time they reached middle school! More importantly, this study delved into the reasons these kids quit church. It’s ironic, but middle school is when kids begin to doubt the Bible because that’s when schools start preaching millions of years of microbes-to-man evolution. I encourage you to read my review of that book for more information – or better yet, just buy it!
Even after such rattling news, it’s easy to just get back into old habits (dare I say, old ruts) and go on with life as usual. The USAmerican Church is dying, losing ground by attrition, just as Europe did before us after it swallowed millions of years of fish-to-philosopher evolution and liberal theology. There’s still hope (I firmly believe this), but our fruit is being choked out. As Jesus warned (via the Parable of the Sower), “the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and [we] become unfruitful” [Mark 4:19].
Complacency, distraction and misplaced focus are costing us the next generation! Yet our earthly adversaries know the importance of winning the hearts and minds of our youth. They regularly mischaracterize teaching our kids Biblical truth as “child abuse;” nevermind the fact that they indoctrinate children into believing they are chance products of a meaningless, directionless process of death and mutation. They’ve proven time and again that they’re dedicated, zealous and virally organized. Yet the Church sleeps on while two-thirds of our youth are converted into enemies of the faith.
And why? Because the Church of the Living God [2 Corinthians 6:16](Who does not sleep nor slumber [Psalm 121:4]) is asleep. Because the Church, described as the pillar and ground of TRUTH [1 Timothy 3:15], the Body of Christ [Romans 12:5] (Who is the way, the TRUTH, and the life [John 14:6]), who are commanded to speak the TRUTH in love [Ephesians 4:15], to be ready at all times to give a reasoned defense [apologia] for the hope that is within us to every man who asks [1 Peter 3:15], who are commanded to train up our children in the way they should go [Proverbs 22:6]… have simply abdicated their responsibility in favor or playing ‘church’ (as one would play ‘house’ or ‘cops and robbers.’) Each week we go through the form and tradition of church. We go to church and we have church.
But what about the Great Commission? You know, that bit where we go into all the world [not just to a building set aside as a safe house for our religiosity] and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever Christ has commanded…
It’s high time we awake to righteousness and stopped sinning! After all, there are some – some of them right in our pews and Sunday school classrooms – who have not the knowledge of God! Josh McDowell has long pointed out that most Christians cannot even express their faith intelligently. Why? Because we’re out of practice! We’ve been otherwise occupied, when we ought to have been about our Father’s business! If we’d been witnessing and teaching and making disciples as we ought to, as we’ve been commanded, there would never be so out of practice that we could not clearly and intelligently articulate and defend our faith! I speak this to our shame [1 Corinthians 15:34].
We are called to be doers of the Word not hearers (or talkers!) only [James 1:22]. Jesus taught us in the Parable of the Two Sons that it is not the one who says he will, but the one who actually does it who does the will of the Father [Matthew 21:28-32].
I found myself thinking on these things and, finally, I could take it no more: I called the pastor of my church and told him I’d like to take over the Sunday School. We discussed the matter and he agreed. So this Sunday will mark the third lesson I have given the kids in the K-5 class at Gateway Church (South Charleston, WV).
Over the past two weeks, we’ve introduced the kids to the truth that God is all-wise (so we we need to come to Him first in order to make wise decisions) and all-knowing (or omniscient, which He demonstrates through fulfilled Bible prophecy). This Sunday, we’ll remind them that God is also all-powerful (omnipotent), which is clearly seen in His Creation.
If you don’t have a home church (or you don’t have a home church that is giving your kids a solid Biblical foundation that will give them the tools they need to give a reasoned defense of the faith), I encourage you to come visit us at Gateway Church (270 Staunton Ave. South Charleston, South Charleston, WV). The worship service begins at 11:00 am.
-Rev. Tony Breeden