In a recent Breakpoint commentary, Eric Metaxas reflected on David Kinnaman’s book You Lost Me, about young people leaving the church. I can’t speak for the book, since I haven’t read it, but this part of Metaxas’ commentary stood out:
Many dropouts still believe the tenets of Christianity. What they need from the Church is a renewed effort at disciple-making, an effort that meets them where they are; lets them express their questions, ideas, and doubts; and encourages them to grow in Christ.
And what do we do about those younger teens who haven’t yet reached that point where so many drop out? Kinnaman says that we adults need to form one-on-one relationships with them, instead of trying to mass-produce young believers. He writes, “I think we are constantly building, tearing down, and rebuilding our youth and young adult development regimens based on the fallacy that more is better…We need new ways of measuring success.”
So, he suggests, one metric of success might be to connect young people to older people — mentoring relationships. Kinnaman says, “These relationships would not be solely focused on spiritual growth, but should integrate the pursuit of faith with the whole life.”