The Common Good

Reversing the Trend of Teens Leaving the Church: Using Climate Change to Reengage Our Youth

Date: June 11, 2013

This year hundreds of evangelical Christians from across the country gathered in Washington, D.C. to worship, pray, and advocate for immigration reform. This advocacy effort was organized by a diverse coalition of evangelical pastors called the Evangelical Immigration Table, as part of an effort to unite evangelicals around immigration solutions based on Biblical values.

In addition to moving our country closer to fair and humane immigration laws, the effort has also strengthened the bonds between evangelicals and the broader Hispanic community, which represents the fastest growing demographic within today's church.

But while the number of Hispanic evangelicals is growing, the number of young evangelicals continues to shrink.

A five-year study by the Barna Group, a leading research organization focused on faith and culture, found that three in five young Christians leave the church after reaching the age of 15. As a result, over the past five years the percent of young evangelicals fell 4 points to a mere 13 percent, while the percent of young agnostics/athiests grew by the same amount to 35 percent.