By Thom Schultz
Young people are staying away from the church in growing numbers. But why?
When you pose that question to those inside the church, it seems everybody has an answer. But are their answers the actual reasons today’s younger generations are fleeing the church?
Well, no. Not according to the actual people who’ve left.
John Vitek, president of Saint Mary’s Press, conducted a study among the young who’ve walked away. He said, on the Holy Soup podcast, that the reasons mentioned by the disaffiliated young people bear little resemblance to the reasons often listed by church leaders.
And why is that? It comes down to one factor, a factor that itself is crippling the organized church today. Vitek said he saw this factor come up repeatedly in his research. Over and over, the surveyed young people said, “No one even asked me why I left.” No one cared to listen–while they were attending, or after they left.
I’ve found a similar cry in my research on the state of the church. It seems we’re a lot more eager to tell than listen. And though the world has become increasingly more interactive and relational, the church continues to emphasize one-way communication–from the person with the microphone.
To listen to more insights gained from John Vitek’s research, click here for the Holy Soup podcast:
*This article originally appeared on HolySoup.com. Visit now for similar articles and podcast.