Probably all of us know at least one young person graduating from high school this year. A Barna survey from 2011 put into statistical form what all of us in the church have realized in our own ministries. Here are the findings:
- 1/10 students who grow up in the Church leave after High School never to return.
- 4/10 students who grow up in the Church leave after High School for a season and later return most often as young adults after marriage and having children.
- 2/10 students who grow up in the Church leave after High School but not necessarily their relationship with Jesus. They leave over frustrations with the Church. (This is dangerous I might add. It will be very difficult, if not impossible to have a vibrant faith outside the context of a local church).
- That leaves just 3/10 who remain connected to the Church after High School with no “wilderness-like” experience.
These numbers scare us as parents, pastors, and church leaders.
But, it’s not just high school graduates. It can be anybody. I have known scores of people in different settings of life who just abandoned the things of God.
We are familiar with 1 Peter 5:8, which says, “Be sober-minded! Be alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour.” (CSB)
One of my life verses serves as a counterbalance to Peter’s warning. It’s found in 2 Chronicles 16:9, which says, “For the eyes of the Lord roam throughout the earth to show Himself strong for those who are wholeheartedly devoted to Him.” (CSB)
Join me in praying for this year’s group of graduates that they will have hearts surrendered to Him who is ready to show Himself strong.