In preparing to speak at a conference to parents and youth ministers about college students dropping out of church and what to do about it, I asked a question. I posted on my Facebook page what I was doing and would welcome anyone telling me why they dropped out or don't go much anymore.
I didn't get what I expected. Instead of people telling me they no longer believed or just didn't have time for church, I got something else. I heard from 20 Something's telling me they felt left out of church or unwanted. Their stories go like this, "I'm a single woman with no children....Bible studies for women are in the day time or at 5:30". Her work day isn't over at 5:30. This person is a high level medical professional with great responsibility. A young adult and college worship service and matching topics doesn't fit her needs. She has been told she should just serve more.
One young woman wrote of being married, but not having children. All of their Sunday School class members have children and the teacher talks all the time about being a mom and a dad. After a health issue, they recently returned to church after not having been since before Christmas. No one had checked on them. Their church has fellowships for young couples and since they have no children, they are asked to baby sit the children.
Another wrote of being married after college with no children and there just was no place that fit them in any of the churches they visited.
I have realized there is a another category: "20 Something's Who Feel Unwanted by the Church". They are left out in the way we organize and do church for the most part. We are so focused on those who don't want to attend, we have lost sight of those that want to, but feel there is no place for them.
Let me end on a positive note. One wrote he had stopped attending the non-evangelical church he was raised in because he did not believe what they taught. But, since then, he came to Christ and now serves as a Bi-vocational College Minister.
What about the 20 Something Left Outs?