Rethinking Teen Ministry: A New Strategy for Keeping Teenagers in Church and in the Faith
Christian churches are struggling to keep teenagers in church and connected to Jesus Christ. In churches around the country, some seventy percent (70%) of young Christians will either be inactive church members or fall away from the faith entirely before graduating from high school or college. Churches have tried solving this problem by using teen groups, Bible studies and rallies for high schoolers, and social events at church. But these traditional methods of ministering to teens have not stopped the bleeding. In fact, these forms of teen ministry may actually be contributing to the problem. A different model for teen ministry is needed. Rather than taking teens out of their homes to minister to them, why not make the home a place where faith is nurtured? Instead of relying on pastors and youth leaders to turn teenagers into mature Christian adults, why not equip and empower parents, whom God wants to be the primary educators of children, to fulfill that high calling at home? In other words, the way to keep teenagers in church is to change the paradigm for teen ministry from a model that is church-based and home-supported to a model that is home-based and church-supported.