Here is another post borrowed from Steve Murrell's blog on a similar theme as yesterday's post …

This list is similar, but a bit different. Over 90% of drop outs happen during a “life change” season. Many of the top 10 “life change” moments that fueled the drop out seem mundane. But, when a person is in the process of fazing out of church, almost anything can become the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back.

Here are the top 10 “life changes” that cause young people to quit church:

10. Lost touch with my church-going friends 9. Family responsibilities preventing me from attending 8. Made life decision not accepted by the church 7. School responsibilities preventing me from attending 6. Spending more time with friends outside of church 5. Became too busy, but still wanted to attend 4. Moved too far away from church 3. Change in work schedule 2. Moved to college 1. Simply wanted a break from church

Source: soon-to-be released book by Thom Rainer and Sam Rainer called “Essential Church”

Some reflection questions …

1. What life change experienced caused you to withdraw from church? OR

2. Why did you stay in church even through life change seasons?

For another article by Mark Sayers on why Young Adults leave church, click here.

7 thoughts on “Top 10 Life Changes that Cause Young People to Drop Out of Church

  1. Hi. I left church as i was sexually abused by my pastor and then sent away from all my friends and told to hush and that everything would be ok. it has made me angry and unforgiving and life will never be the same. it took my life away and i am not about to trust again. i am sure not everyone is like this but it was a very bad experience that took me away. my life is happier now with friends and people who care. but it took me 5 years to regain my life as i was at a very young age when this happened. I am now afraid of church cmmunity and people who sometimes calim to love and i believe are sinceere but when the going gets tough it gets all covered up and the sheep get hurt and banished away.

  2. Hi Jen, my heart goes out to you with compassion. I’m truly sorry that you had this terrible experience with a pastor. Please do not judge God or His Church by what happened with one person! It would be a shame if you missed out on the good things that God has in store for you. Eternity is a long time to spend without Christ’s love and end up in eternal darkness. We serve a God who is gracious and kind to forgive a truly repentant heart. Jesus loves you! God is a God of the second chances and is able to restore you if you let Him. Keep trusting God and He will turn all things around for good. As Jesus said to the woman caught in adultery, “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.” He did not say go and don’t fellowship no more with other believers. Did He? Remember that none of us are perfect and we need to forgive in order to be forgiven. Forgiveness frees us.

  3. Hi Jen. I’m so sorry to hear about your story and the pain you’ve experienced. What happened to you was wrong and it should not have happened. What a responsibility church leaders have to represent Jesus well. Unfortunately, you experienced the very opposite of the heart of God for you, which is one of genuine love and care. I can only pray that somehow you will find healing and be able to move forward. Maybe God will even use your painful experience somewhere in your future to be of help to others. I heard someone say that sometimes ‘our mess becomes our message’.

  4. i know you all mean well and thank you for your comments. i’m still too hurt to welcome thoughts of forgiveness and healing. one day i know i will be free of this but at the moment the mess far outweighs the message. maybe one day….
    the blog is good though and i have been reading it faithfully as i have not gone to church for 5 years or so.

  5. I just could not understand why people leave the Church or I should say backslide. They receive the Word every week during service and the presence of God fill them. They know there is a God because they get touch by Him and experience His love but still they choose to backslide and is so sad.

  6. I’ve found that a big lifestyle change makes it easier for people to make the move away from the church, before I left also I’d seen people gradually fall away until something big happened in their life and they finally pulled away completely. The people I spoke with about it kinda felt the same way I did, when you pulled away you realised that you just didn’t miss it, especially all the drama churches seem to bring which included people with power having affairs including a youth minister, other bad actions by people in power, attention grabbers who prey on the caring nature of people in church services, church politics and the general failure to make real changes. I myself found that the sermons no matter where I went were stale and just rewordings of ones I heard months before, songs that lacked creativity and originality, seeing so many hypocritical elements within the churches and their members and I don’t know where to start with the bible.
    I found that I can do good things with my life and help others and it is just as rewarding as if I were doing it to do good for god and earning my place in heaven.
    To answer the question it was reasons 9,4,3 and 1 that helped me realise that I was doing better outside of the church and I could still do as many good things without doing it in the name of god, I could do it because I wanted to help.
    I hope that answers the question, to sum it up from my experience the event just gives the person enough of a reason to finally leave, what i’ve seen the churches do is wear people down to help them leave should they have a change and have a chance to leave.

  7. I am 7th Generation Christian. Our family went to church every week, BUT in the secrecy of our home my father would lose his temper and belt my Mum, even raped her. It was on/off relationship within home and affairs outside. I grew up full of shame, shy and withdrawn. I went to church but inwardly hated myself. I had an incurable disease for 16 years and worked my guts out in church. Was healed when I released in church the shame and embarrassment I had hidden inside – I released the emotions. Went through Spiritual abuse, which I describe as having your heart ripped out, but because it comes from those who represent God, it felt like it was God who ripped my heart out. I could feel the life draining away from inside me. Later I learned that my spirit was crushed. But then I found loving, caring people in counsellors, home group leaders, and an international prayer ministry group. I met the Jesus who I had heard about in church, and he brought, and still does bring healing layer by layer, And now God uses me to bring healing to other broken and wounded people. Jesus is so beautiful as I watch him do gentle miracles in hurting people. To those who have been wounded in church and by Christians, I stand in the gap and apologise to you on behalf of those who have hurt, wounded, betrayed and crushed you. May Jesus show you who He is, His love, His grace and healing. Bless You.

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