Are you a parent or grandparent that has asked the question, “How come my kid left church?” or “Why do my kids not serve the Lord anymore?” in the last 10 to 15 years? Well, let’s explain the most common reason for why that happened.
We first need to realize who our enemy is. Our enemy is the devil and his fallen angels. The Bible says, “The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but I have come to give life, and life more abundantly.” John 10:10. The thief in this passage is refereed to as the Devil. So when it comes to families, the Devil’s goal is to turn your family against one another, and to deceive you and your kids by proving there is no God (see Mark 3:25). With us knowing our enemy and his goals, let’s get started.
Highland Spring Organization found that 1 in 4 parents admit they’re too busy to spend time with their family. Now I can probably guess what you’re thinking, “Don’t throw this back at me! My spouse and I are super busy, our kids have sports, and we just don’t have the time.” Well, what does the Bible say about this?
We as Christian parents should be leading the charge in changing that statistic. Highland Spring Organization also noted that the average family has about 34 minutes a day of completely uninterrupted time together, where they can bond together without the use of any electronics. This equals to, and let’s be generous with the number, about 206 hours a year that you as parents get to speak into your kids. But how does this play into why your kids left church?
Let’s do some math before we go any further. There are around 8,700 hours in a year. When we take into account the amount of time we sleep, we’re left with 5,475 hours. This 5,475 hour number is important, so let’s continue on.
The average K-12 goer in America spends about 1,800 hours in the school system each year. That’s from the time they’re picked up on the bus, to the time they’re at school sitting and learning, to being back on the bus to be dropped off at home. While this may not seem too bad, when we compare it to the amount of family time and church time they usually get, plus the anti-God rhetoric being taught, we need to make every effort to spend more time with our kids and youth.
As mentioned earlier, the 1,800 hours includes the transportation time to school and back home. While this may not seem of importance to you, you would be shocked with what we’re about to tell you. Most students in the K-12 system in America ride a school bus. While this might seem completely fine, there’s a growing danger in this. The danger is not the tangible safety of the bus, or who your child’s bus driver is, while those things are important.
“But how!?” It’s simple… It’s on their phones. Today, most people don’t watch pornography on printed material like a magazine or poster like in the past. Most people today who watch pornography, mostly watch off their smart phones, computers, tablets, and even televisions. But you might say, “But my kid would never do this! I know them too well.” This next paragraph will give more details on this.
As technology increases at a faster rate, our kids and youth are the usually the first to jump in on this. The average person under 18 years old spends on average about 9 hours a day in front of a screen of some sort. That’s over 3,200 hours of screen time a year! While we may think they’re playing video games, watching BuzzFeed videos, or on Snapchat, they’re also consuming and sending content that you as a parent may not even know about. As parents, it’s our responsibility to know what our kids and youth are consuming because, we will have to give an account for them before God on how we raised them. (see Romans 14:12).
Guardchild.com is a research database compiled of data from the National Crime Prevention Center, The University of New Hampshire, The FBI, Cox, and more trusted resources. Below are just a few facts that is listed in one of their articles about kids and youth under 18 years old. Let’s take a look and see what they have to say.
21% of K-2 kids have access to cell phones.
71% of teen girls and 67% of teen boys who sent or have posted sexually suggestive content say they sent it to their boyfriend or girlfriend.
The largest group of Internet porn consumers is children ages 12-17.
70% of children 7 to 18 years old have accidentally encountered online pornography, often through web search while doing homework.
To read more statistics, click the link below : https://www.guardchild.com/statistics/
As we stated earlier, technology is increasing, but what’s the cost? With technology increasing comes the shortening of attention spans. Let’s think, back to when you were a kid. You could road trip across the state or nation and be content with a book, staring out the car window, or carry on a conversation with someone, while not being too easily bored. Today, our kids and youth can barely make it to school and back without being on a phone or gaming device of some sort.
How does this affect the church’s influence on your kids and youth? Well the church in America gets about 52 hours a week of Bible time, which is a very generous figure. Remember when we talked about kid’s and youth’s attention span? Well, because of this shorter attention span, the church has had to adapt their methods when it comes to kids and youth services. While the services may still be the same length as 15 years ago, the amount of Bible time / preaching they would receive has shrunk down to about 15 minutes. The reason why the amount of Bible time has shrunk, is because of their shorter attention spans. If we don’t shorten the different activities in a service, they’ll become bored within the first 10 to 15 minutes of church.
But we can’t stop there. When it comes to attending church however, the average family in America goes to church about once a month. Now if we include a mid week service or mid week event like small groups or home groups, that’s about another 15 minutes of Bible time which results in a total of 100 hours, and that’s with us being generous in that number.
So when we add all the numbers up, the world, or the spirit of lawlessness gets around 5,000 hours a year to speak into your kids and youth. You as parents with combining church together, only get 310 hours of time with them. This is a ratio of 16:1! So when we wonder why 50% of all millennials have left the church, it’s because the world spent over 15x more time with them than we did.
1. Get involved with your kid’s classes, and get to know their teachers. It’s so important that as parents we know who our kids are being taught by. Get to know who their teachers and principals are. Are they Christians or non Christians? Are they being forced to teach something that they don’t feel like they should? (See the Protecting The Family Series for more information on this.) Teach your kids and youth to pray for their teachers and principals. Teach them what the Bible says about authority.
2. Talk with your kids, and grandchildren. Ask them how they’re doing and see if they need prayer for anything. See what they might be struggling with. Perhaps they’re in a relationship with a boyfriend or girlfriend. Ask them how it’s going and inspect their relationship. Teach them the Biblical difference between right and wrong.
3. Have dinner at the table weekly. This is one of the strongest things you can do to strengthen your family. Try to aim for 3 dinners a week together. Sit down at the table for about a hour, remove all electronics, and focus on the family. Ask questions about their school and what they’re learning. See who their friends are and who they’re hanging out with. Ask them who they follow on social media (inspect it too). But most importantly, talk to them about God. Read a verse in the Bible and focus on it for the evening. Ask questions about their faith, and see if they have questions about their faith.
For more information on how to better protect and fight for your family, follow our sermons series Fight for the Family and Protecting the Family.
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