Only 1 in 3 people who attended church as a child still do so as young adults.
1 in 2 young adults continue to identify with the Christian tradition they were raised in.
3 out of 5 young adults who stop attending church will also drop their affiliation with any Christian tradition.
These are just a few of the facts from the Hemorrhaging Faith Survey. They are quite disturbing and depressing when we realize these are not just numbers. These statistics represent the people we work with and are investing in. These numbers can also raise lots of questions, finger pointing, and blame. However, in the end most people come to the place, ‘So now what? or ‘What should our response be?’
We decided our part was going to be to speak directly to the youth and young adults in the church today. The goal is simple. We want to help connect young people to faith practices, habits, ministries, and online content that will help them remain engaged in their faith.
The idea was to create something young people would actually read and engage with. What was created was a fully web-interactive magazine style resource that will be both in print and e-version. You can watch a video about how this works at http://davidsawler.com/?p=1496.
Before You Say Goodbye is a book in itself with eleven sections that discuss how to avoid the toxins which destroy faith, but also how to thrive in your situation, not just survive. However, there are also120 weblinks and QR codes which take youth to stories, videos, and websites that deal with the issues discussed in this resource. This is the best collection of Canadian resources for our young people ever assembled. There are testimonies, apologetic videos, and even websites to let students know what universities have Christian groups in them.
The truth is many churches, youth ministries, and some denominations are doing much better at engaging the younger generations. Instead of focusing on the negative we decided to tell the inspiring stories of youth and young adults who are doing remarkable things across the world. Things like planting churches, using the web to reach friends, and helping the poor.
We also collected the top faith questions of Canadian youth based around the Hemorrhaging faith survey. We then asked a group of youth experts to give answers and advice. The resource includes contributions from Matt Wilkinson, Ken Moser, Laura Bronson, Sean Cullen, James Penner, Andy Bannister, John Latta, Shauna Jenkins, Jonathan Grimes, Sandy Colero, Ken Castor, Danielle Carabin, Caleb Elias, Clint Houlbrook, Dale Stairs, Robb Powell, Sheldon Macleod, Adrian Thomas, Eldon Wright, Brett Ullman, Andrew Lamme, Chris Chase, Carl Nash, Paul Robertson, David Guretzki, Sid Koop, Rob Haslam, Tim Houck, Ron Powell, and more.
We are also releasing a free downloadable study guide January 31st. This will enable youth and young adult groups, families, and churches to use resource as a study.
Also as a bonus everyone who purchases a copy can receive a free e-copy of ‘Beautiful Christ’. It is a book which takes on the most common objections people have to Faith, Church, and God and uses these to present a clear picture of Jesus. The details are in the magazine.
We are trying to make this resource as affordable as possible for students and youth groups. E-versions (Available Jan 1, 2014) will be $4.99 and the print versions (Available Jan 31, 2014) will be $8.99. Also, for a limited time youth groups, ministries, and denominations can order in bulk (25 or more) for $6 a copy and we will pay for the shipping. This offer is good now and until Jan 15th. Click on the Store for more information.
I hope this will be a huge blessing to you and all those you work with.