Already Gone: Why Your Kids Will Quit Church and What You Can Do To Stop It
MUST Read - Parents need to know their role
Ken Ham and Britt Beemer have written a fantastic book explaining why your children will stop going to church. Ã¢ÂÂTwo-thirds of the children in your churchÃ¢ÂÂ¦will leave.Ã¢ÂÂ
We are facing an epidemic in America Ã¢ÂÂ it has already wiped out churches in Europe. Many churches in the UK have been turned into businesses or bars. I, myself have actually gone to a night club (many years ago)Ã¢ÂÂ¦that had been a church in Denver Colorado.
It is already happening!
Already Gone is a fantastic book that explains through well-researched statistics why children are leaving the church, their concerns about the church and more information you truly can not begin to imagine.
The research boils down to a few simple facts (in my opinion).
Parents are not raising their children for the Lord
Children are being raised by Public school officials and Sunday School Teachers
No one is teaching children the truth about the Bible
Children are not learning a Biblical Worldview and how to apply it to their lives
Why Does it Matter If We Believe the Book of Genesis
Ã¢ÂÂBecause we are teaching evolution and theistic evolution, are have unlocked a door that drives people away from the truth of GodÃ¢ÂÂs word. My husband and I are perfect examples of this. We believed in God and ChristÃ¢ÂÂ¦.even though we may not have been fully involved in a church that taught the truth about GodÃ¢ÂÂs salvation. BUT, once we began learning about evolution, we believed the Bible was some made up storyÃ¢ÂÂ¦something to help you Ã¢ÂÂbehaveÃ¢ÂÂ well. It impacted my husband more than me (heÃ¢ÂÂll tell you thatÃ¢ÂÂ¦itÃ¢ÂÂs his words)Ã¢ÂÂ¦.and while he may have, I still had doubts. The more I have read about Creation, the more I have truly spent time with God and His word, the MORE I see and know the truth of his love, grace and mercyÃ¢ÂÂ¦and the truth that He did create this beautiful worldÃ¢ÂÂ¦.and I love the way Ken Ham states this:
The door weÃ¢ÂÂve unlocked is the door to undermine biblical authority. We are really saying, Ã¢ÂÂWe want you to take GodÃ¢ÂÂs Word as written according to literature and language in certain places Ã¢ÂÂ but not here at the beginning in Genesis.Ã¢ÂÂ What we have actually done is made man the authority over GodÃ¢ÂÂs Word. We have taught our children that they can take what they learn at school and can reinterpret the BibleÃ¢ÂÂs clear teaching in Genesis to supposedly fit this into the bible. By staying silent and not defending Genesis, we are Ã¢ÂÂteachingÃ¢ÂÂ our children that we donÃ¢ÂÂt have to take GodÃ¢ÂÂs Word as written, and man can reinterpret GodÃ¢ÂÂs Word according to what the majority in the culture might believe.
Scripture teaches that if there is sin or compromise in one generation and it is not dealt with, it is usually observed to occur to a much greater extend in the next generation and so on. (pg 103-104)Ã¢ÂÂ
Intrigued? Good - time to buy the book and read it...
October 19, 2012
Did you quit church? Many have...this reveals why!
Do you go to church?
If not, have you ever gone to church in the past?
If that is the case, when and why did you stop?
There is an epidemic today of people who grew up in church but over the years have stopped going. Maybe you are one of them; maybe you know some of them. Either way, there is a reason for this epidemic and it needs to be uncovered and addressed head-on before it spreads to the point of no return.
In Already Gone: Why your kids will quit church and what you can do to stop it, Ken Ham and Britt Beemer along with Todd Hillard scientifically research this issue and share not only the results but also dig deep into how to get to the heart of it and stop it.
Ken Ham and Britt Beemer also later teamed up for research, writing, and planning in Already Compromised, which I have reviewed as well. Please check out that review when you get a chance.
The Introduction to Already Gone briefly highlights the fact that Europe has overall become a land of abandoned and repurposed church buildings. Throughout the rest of the book we are reminded of how close America is to doing the same.
But the church isn't a building, right?
It is the Body of Christ...the people of Christ...right?
Yes, this is very true. (See Colossians 1:24 & Ephesians 5:29-30) But the place where that body congregates to learn, grow, fellowship together and encourage one another is suffering from a severe, quickly progressing epidemic. As Ham states regarding his and his family's move from Australia to America to be missionaries to America:
"The Bible calls the Church the 'Body of Christ.' Today, over 25 years after our move, the statistics prove that His body is bleeding profusely. The next generation of believers is draining from the churches, and it causes me great personal and professional concern. I've sat in the grand, but vacant churches of Europe. I know where this is headed. Where Europe is today spiritually, America will be tomorrow---and for the same reasons, if the Church does not recognize where the foundational problem lies and address it."
Ham enlisted Britt Beemer of America's Research Group to create, facilitate, and analyze a qualified study that would help to unearth the problem(s). To discover who was leaving, why they were, and what could be done to reverse the trend, the study focused on those who said they had attended church very frequently growing up but rarely if ever do now.
Is that YOU? Do you know that person?
Let me just say...you may think you know the answers to the why's and when's and who's, but I think you will be surprised to read what the statistical research unveiled. Such as:
- Many begin to leave as early as elementary and middle school (not just later in college).
- Sunday School is actually currently more harmful than helpful, not for lack of good intention...you really need to read the book for the in-depth explanation of that!
- Music style and amount is NOT the main reason they leave, nor what they say they miss most (and these were people from age 20-30 answering the surveys)---legalism, hypocrisy, self-righteousness, and boredom were highly scored as reasons but poor music was very low.
- They miss worshiping God and they miss the pastor's teaching more than most other reasons given (again, including music).
- Many of them are still firm believers in God and His Word and most say that they don't attend because church is not relevant to them in that they do not feel closer to God there nor is it practical to them.
Those are just some of the results...the tip of the iceberg, really. You need to read this book to glean so much more from it. Excellent research with VERY practical application offered from it. I identified with much of what the results revealed.
Yes, I am one of those who left the church and came back!
Again, you may be, too...or at the very least you most likely know someone who is.
Ultimately, all in all, Ham and Beemer uncovered that, "Central to this study was the issue of belief. You simply can't explain the behavior without understanding the beliefs behind the behaviors. 'Belief' is invisible." but through intense, well-developed and executed studies like this one, belief and lack-thereof becomes tangible. At least it did for me.
Ham and Beemer help us recognize that we need to do a better job as parents, pastors, and believers in God to help people of all ages realize that "The Bible is not some 'pie in the sky' philosophical book. It's a real book that is really connected to the real world...God's Word stands by itself and doesn't need defending---that is true---but, practically, in this culture we are talking about answering the skeptical questions to uphold the Word and proclaim why we can believe in the Bible's life-giving historical and scientific authority."
According to Ham and Beemer, "We don't need a remodel; we need a complete renovation. We don't need a Band-Aid; we need radical surgery. It's time for a revolution; it's time for a new Reformation in the Church---to call the Church back to the authority of the Word of God, beginning in Genesis."
So, are you intrigued?
Are you uneasy because of the statement that
"your kids will quit church"?
Please don't let my review be the last you read of the study and revelations of this book, Already Gone.
September 23, 2012
"It shook me up!"
So said my husband after he read this book...and I have to agree with him!
ALREADY GONE by Ken Ham & Britt Beemer is summarized by "why your kids will quit church and what you can do to stop it". There are scores of survey results throughout the book which give credence to the authors' observations, suggestions and mandates. Nay, there are warnings if we as parents, pastors and teachers don't heed the truths laid out within its chapters! The need to "defend the Word" and "live the Word", which includes teaching a young-earth Creation as well as Biblical authority, are the over-riding premises of this powerful little book.
"Already Gone" will go down in our personal history as one of the top five books that have ever impacted us. My husband said that it shook him up! My prayer is that it will shake up millions more as they take the time to read it, hopefully soon while there is still hope for our children. At least some of them for, sadly, many of them are "already gone".
June 13, 2012
MUST READ for every Parent and Youth Worker
Reading the book, Already Gone, is like getting punched in the gut by Mike Tyson. Nauseating! Generations of children have been dwelt a severe blow by the enemy of their souls. And parents, pastors, and churches alike have sat back and watched children as theyÃ¢ÂÂve been pummeled by the world and the temptations of Satan. Authors, Ken Hamm of Answers in Genesis and Britt Beemer of America's Research Group surveyed 1,000 young adults (20-29) who grew up in conservatively sound bible believing churches, who have left the church. The survey findings are not only shocking, but they also run contrary to popular belief on why children are leaving the church.
The survey found those children who are more actively involved in church actually leave the church at higher rates than those who just attended Sunday morning service. In the chapter labeled Sunday School Syndrome the authors make this startling claim: Ã¢ÂÂSunday School is actually more likely to be detrimental to the spiritual and moral health of our children.Ã¢ÂÂ (38). Contrary to popular belief, it would seem from the research children who are more active in church seem to leave the church at higher rates. Why is this? The authors proceed to offer their thesis on why this is happening, coming to the conclusion that major Ã¢ÂÂrenovationÃ¢ÂÂ needs to take place in the Sunday school/children-youth program structure.
Another startling find is most children are Ã¢ÂÂdepartingÃ¢ÂÂ the faith at a much earlier age than most parents and churches realize. The preconceived notion by most is the church is losing their children during their time in college. But the survey results paint a much different picture than our preconceived notions. Of the 60% of children (after 18) who will leave the faith either permanently or for a season of their lives, only 10% of those left their faith during their time in college. An astounding 40% had their first doubts in Middle school and 44% in High school. We are loosing our children much earlier than we thought.
The authors do a wonderful job connecting the dots of the survey results. When the dots are connected, an interesting picture is formed. We are generally losing our children because most of them have serious doubts about the authority of scripture. When a child begins to question the infallibility and sufficiency of the Word, they begin to question and ultimately leave behind their faith. As Ken Hamm put it, Ã¢ÂÂOur foundation is the Word of God. We need to defend the Word of God as one of our top priorities as Christians. If we are to give a strategic and effective response to the wave of souls who are leaving the church, these issues must be addressed.Ã¢ÂÂ (107)
My generation was surveyed and highlighted in this book. And being part of this generation who is witnessing first hand many leaving the church as unprecedented rates, I implore parents and pastors alike to read this book. Already Gone not only gives us reliable data to chew on, but also tons of biblical resources to help parents and churches train their children up on the foundation of GodÃ¢ÂÂs Word. This too, is a must read for every youth worker and childrenÃ¢ÂÂs church volunteer. IÃ¢ÂÂll leave you with this thought: One day, every one of our children are going to stand before Christ and give an account for their lives, without us by their side. Prepare them for that day, I beg you.
I thank New Leaf Publishing Group for providing me a review copy of the book, and I heartily recommend Already Gone.
November 5, 2011