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The statistics concerning the mass exodus of young people from religion are startling: more and more young adults are walking away from organized religions with each passing year.
While there isn’t one single cause for this phenomenon, there are a multitude of factors influencing it, ranging from modern technologies to spiritual disconnection.
Today, we’ll explore 12 major forces driving the widespread absence of faith among today’s youth and consider how different generations view religion in our increasingly secularized world.
It’s time to gain insight into why so many millennials have chosen to move beyond religious dogma and embrace a spirituality that speaks directly to their ever-evolving lives.
#1. Churches Are Overreaching/Overprotective
Some youth feel like churches are way too involved in the lives of the youth.
This includes telling them what they can and can’t watch, informing their parents about specific things they overhear, and beyond.
When taking this type of action, it can drive many youths away rather than toward the church.
#2. Antagonistic Toward Certain Areas of Life
Having certain beliefs is to be expected by church-goers, but some youths have found that churches near them are very antagonistic toward certain topics.
One such issue youths who have left the church use is churches that are anti-science.
That can result in a toxic environment where youth don’t feel heard and don’t want to deal with the constant back-and-forth arguments.
#3. Simple Lack of Interest
Many youths find church to be boring and offer little in the form of entertainment.
While there are some entertaining churches, there generally aren’t enough to keep a youth’s attention.
#4. Too Busy With Work and School
Many modern youths are too busy for the strict attendance requirements of some churches.
Whether it’s just attending school and taking care of schoolwork or pursuing a real job and juggling extracurriculars on the side, there’s not a lot of time for church for those working toward their future.
#5. Only Attended to Appease Parents
Many parents are very strict with their children about church attendance.
While this can be a positive for the parents, it makes attending church a chore for the children.
As they grow up and get more freedom, they’re less likely to want to attend church as they only did it to appease their parents and avoid potential punishment.
#6. Lack of Youth Resources
Some churches may only have primary church services, and that’s all.
When a church lacks bible study sessions, youth gatherings, and other events and clubs that most youth tend to join, they may lose interest and leave altogether.
#7. No Connection With Other Youth
Of course, a lack of youth programs isn’t always the problem.
In some cases, individual youth aren’t able to connect with their peers, making the whole experience feel isolating.
This is why some youths might not be able to stay interested in available church youth programs and in the church in general.
#8. Cultural/Language Barriers
Youths want to belong to a church community they can relate to and one where they feel invited.
This can be significantly harder when there are cultural or language barriers that make fitting in and feeling like a part of the church near impossible.
#9. Christianity Is Too Exclusive
Christianity, like most all religions, is confident in itself.
Generally, this is something that most of its followers adhere to.
But those coming in late might not like that exclusivity as they explore life, religion, and spirituality, wanting something more open and inclusive.
#10. Needed a Break
Youths don’t always leave the church entirely.
For those who are finding themselves or may want a different experience, a break from the church is just that: a break.
#11. Life Developments
Some youths have to leave the church through no fault of their own.
A few common life developments that lead to youths leaving the church completely or partially include going to college, moving far away from the church they previously attended, or even falling ill and not wanting to return.
#12. Churches Preaching Against Their Values or Beliefs
It’s not uncommon for there to be a division among youths and the churches they may previously have gone to or wish to go to.
Not everyone agrees with what every church preaches, and those churches that preach political, social, and theological ideas that don’t align with youths are naturally going to see a decrease in church attendance.
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Jon Dulin is the passionate leader of Unfinished Success, a personal development website that inspires people to take control of their own lives and reach their full potential. His commitment to helping others achieve greatness shines through in everything he does. He’s an unstoppable force with lots of wisdom, creativity, and enthusiasm – all focused on helping others build a better future. Jon enjoys writing articles about productivity, goal setting, self-development, and mindset. He also uses quotes and affirmations to help motivate and inspire himself. You can learn more about him on his About page.