The Rainers tell us in the introduction to the book that 70 percent of students from age 16 to 22 will drop out of church. When we see this statistic, it may lead us to believe that these same students are just waiting until they are old enough to make their own decisions so they can rid themselves of the religion of their parents.
Not true, say the Rainers. In fact, according to their research, most students in high school do not plan to leave the church (even though 70% will). 80 percent of high school students have no plans to leave their church once they graduate. This means that only 20 percent are waiting for the right opportunity to leave. Church dropouts are not angry at the church or walking away from their religion.
What is the problem? According to the authors of Essential Church?, it is because this age group does not see how church is essential to them because we have failed to show them that they are essential to the church.
How can this be? Churches that fail to allow its members (of all ages) to be involved in the ministries of the church, promote a mindset that “you are not needed” here.
How well does your church do at getting people from all age groups involved? Is your church essential to you? Do you think it is essential to those age 16-22?