One of the fears of many Christian parents is that their children, who they raise in the church, will end up walking away from the faith. Statistics show that many of the teens who are active in youth group disappear during the college years. This is something that neither parents nor the church can ignore.
Kara Powell and Chap Clark have provided a helpful resource with their book, stickyfaith. Both Powell and Clark have experience in youth ministry and parenting. They have been researching trends for years and they present practical suggestions that have emerged from that research.
One of the things suggested is something we are trying to implement in our church, which is integrating young people into the main life of the church. Instead of segregating children and teens until they are adults, there may be ways to include them. This does not have to mean the end of Sunday school or youth group, but it may change how that looks.
Traditionally, it has been recommended that there be a child-adult ratio of five to one, that is one adult for every five children. Powell and Clark recommend flipping that ratio so that it is five adults for every one child. This does not mean that churches have to radically increase the number of formal volunteers but it does mean that relationships between adults and children need to be encouraged.
I really enjoyed stickfaith and I recommend for all Christian parents and church leaders.