Why do 13 percent of Gen Z kids say they are atheists?
Why do 37 percent of Gen Z kids say you can’t know for sure if God is real?
Why do 58 percent of Gen Z kids say there is more than one way to God?
Why did 78 percent of nones (those who claim no religion) grow up in church?
Why do so many kids get to college and walk away from the faith?
All of this points to one burning question that they church must face.
Why does the next generation not know that Christianity is true?
Which leads to the answer that the church must face.
The next generation doesn’t know Christianity is true because we haven’t been showing them that Christianity is true.
Gen Z may not always know how to verbalize it or even have the courage to say it. But internally, they desperately want you to show them evidence that what you are telling them about Christianity is true.
46 percent of Gen Z kids say they need factual evidence to support their beliefs.
49 percent of Gen Z kids say the church seems to reject much of what science tells us about the world.
27 percent of Gen Z kids say the church is not a safe place to express doubts.
24 percent of Gen Z kids say the teaching they are exposed to is shallow.
If the church wants to reach the next generation…if the church wants to stop the exodus of kids walking away from the faith…if the church wants to see kids have a faith that can withstand the reasoning of agnostics and atheists…then we must show them the factual foundation that the faith is built upon.
The Bible is very clear about this.
But in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you. –I Peter 3:15
We cannot leave kids spiritually defenseless and then just hope they will grow up to follow Jesus.
Teaching kids to be “kind to each other” is a good thing, but it won’t equip kids to know why they believe Jesus is the Son of God.
Teaching kids to “be responsible” is a good thing, but it won’t equip kids to be able to articulate the proof of Jesus’ resurrection.
Teaching kids to “be fair with others” is a noble undertaking, but it won’t equip them to answer questions like “How can a fair God allow innocent children to starve?”
Helping kids memorize the books of the Bible is great, but it won’t equip them to defend why they believe those books are true.
Showing kids the 10 commandments is important, but it won’t equip them to defend why they believe there is a God who gave us the 10 commandments.
I’m afraid, in many cases, we are spending the little time we have on Sundays teaching kids general character traits that they already hear at school and other places like the boy scouts. Character traits that are not going to sustain their faith when it is attacked. “Treating your neighbor right” is not going to sustain a child’s faith one day when he or she is hearing a professor say that it’s ludicrous to believe God created the world based on scientific evidence.
Yes, it’s important to teach kids things like the fruits of the Spirit. But we must also help them put on the “whole armor” of God, so they can withstand the attacks of the enemy. If we don’t give them the shield of faith…a solid, grounded, doctrine-infused faith…how will they withstand the attacks?
Couple shallow teaching and the church attendance patterns of today’s families and the result is Gen Z having a very weak faith that tumbles when questioned at a deeper level.
I hear something blowing in the wind. It’s the words “It’s the parent’s job to teach their children these things.” Yes…that is true. But it is also the church’s job to teach children how to be able to do I Peter 3:15. In fact, it’s the church’s job to teach parents how to teach their children to be able to live out 1 Peter 3:15.