Sounding the alarm

Our daughter, an Anglican minister, recently shared some sobering facts at a church conference on youth and family ministry.

As others have noted, many Christian youth are abandoning the church when they leave home.  In fact, it is worse in Canada where some stop attending when they are in high school.

Why?  Christian leaders have offered a variety of reasons ranging from the pressures of a busy life to the influence of an affluent and anti-Christian culture.

Another reason is that Christians in North America and Europe have largely stopped believing that God acts supernaturally today the way he did at the time of Jesus.  So, why would their children consider Christianity anything more than a moral code?

Still another reason is that many men no longer lead by faith example in the home.  It is important to have a father in the home who leads the family in reading the Bible and prayer.

Years ago, I was appalled by the results of a survey of adults in a previous church we attended which showed that few men read the Bible or prayed regularly.  This was a church with a good teaching ministry and active small groups.

Should we despair?  Is the church doomed in North America and Europe?

Only if there are no more men and women of faith on those continents.

There is hope as long as there are believers like Joshua who say: “As for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)

The Bible is filled with stories of dry and desperate times in Israel followed by revival.  The early church began with a few believers who turned the Roman Empire upside down.  The Methodist revival in England in the 1700s came at a time of deep sin and corruption in the church and society.

If we look at the world through our own eyes, we will despair.  If we look at it through God’s eyes, we will see opportunity.

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