"Churches in many ways have actually added to the problem. They promote the idea of the Church as a full-service entertainment and activity center, where you take children away from their parents and put them in a different peer culture. Now it's a Church peer culture. What happens when they grow out of that? What steps can the Church take to do better"
- Focus on expository preaching, and teach how to think biblically. The puplit has to take the responsibility. In far too many Churches there is just no expository preaching (teaching that expounds on a particular text of Scripture). There isn't the robust biblical preaching that sets forth the Word of God and then explains how the people of God must think differently in order to be faithful to that Word.
- Show the seriousness of Church, including personal accountability. The local Church must be a robust gospel people. It must be a warm fellowship of believers...who are really living out holiness and faithfulness to Christ, and being mutually accountable for that.
- Give answers about current issues. We're not giving kids adequate information on some very crucial issues. Look at the questions that the average teenager is facing, "Why aren't you physically intimate with your girlfriend?" "Why don't you believe in evoloution?" "Why don't you accept this worldview?" "Why don't you accept this lifestyle?" If we aren't giving them intellectual material, intellectual knowledge, substance, and confidence, we shouldn't be suprised when they go with the flow.
- Explain how the gospel in unfolding through real history. The Christian faith, the Christian claim, the gospel, is first of all a master narrative-a true story-about life, about God's purpose to bring glory to Himself. It has four major movements: Creation, Fall, Redemption, Consummation. The only was to understand the great story of the gospel is to begin with the fact that God is the Creator and He is the Lord of all. If we don't anchor our children in that story, if they think that Christianity is merely a bunch of stuff to believe, if they don't find their identity in that-in which they say-"Yes, that's my story. This is where I am"-then they are going to fall away.
What are parents doing wrong?
We've got to start treating young people as a mission field, not just assuming that mere nuture will lead them into Christian discipleship and into Christian faith.
Parents need to take the responsibility here. The one thing we know from the entirety of the Scripture is that parents have the non-negotiable responsibility to train, educate, to confront them with the biblical truth, to ground them in Scripture.
We also have, on the part of many Christian parents, a buy-in to a new secualar understanding of parenthood. We are letting our children make big decisions far too early. A teenager making a decision about whether he or she is going to participate in Church activities or be at Church...is making a decision that should be made for him or her".