October 23, 2012 by eric echols
We’ve all heard the statistics that anywhere from 60-80% of students drop out of church within 2 years after graduating from high school. The question we have to ask ourselves is, HOW do we put an end to this trend in the local church?
I believe the #1 way to keep students from dropping out of the local church is to get them involved in the local church.
When I was growing up, youth ministry was often times lecture based and spectator driven. Much of the programming was designed to provide ministry FOR students, not to get students involved IN ministry.
Serving now…being active now…is a huge part of making their faith real & personal.
I have discovered that the fastest way to a students heart is through their hands. It’s not that teaching, small groups, and Bible studies aren’t effective…but it’s serving that ignites a passion in the hearts of students. Serving is what moves their faith from the pages of Scripture and makes it real.
This is why it’s vital that we do our best to give the next generation an opportunity to serve in our church community, local community and global community. If we don’t, they will miss a vital piece in their spiritual growth that moves truth from their head to their heart.
When students serve like Jesus on the outside, they become more like Him on the inside.
By not providing opportunities for students to engage in ministry while they are in high school we rob them of the most life changing opportunity we have as followers of Jesus…being a part of God’s bigger story.
When students move from observers to participants in ministry, they begin to own their faith. Faith moves from their head to their heart…through their hands.
Students that are already serving in the local church in high school are more likely to continue serving in the local church when they get out of high school.
If we want to keep students from dropping out of our churches after high school, we have to transition away from spectator based programming and instill in our students a heart for serving.
We pass the baton of faith to the next generation by equipping students to make a difference in their world…TODAY!