Currently I’m teaching a youth Sunday school class at my church. I’ve been a member of this church for about 5 years, my oldest son was in the class, and my youngest just moved up; but I noticed a disturbing trend coming out of this class: after 5 years I noticed that the number of seniors who graduated out, were not coming back or staying involved in church. A few have moved to other churches, but their attendance is so sparse that you probably wouldn’t know they were there.
I’ve been in church most of my life, a believer for almost 30 years, so I’ve noticed some things that most people probably don’t pay attention to. I notice when young people are disinterested, I notice when people are looking for the exit, and I noticed that these kids ran for the door and left the church behind. Most people say it’s because of the “outdated” morals that are pushed on them, or the “antiquated” music, or a half-dozen other things that just don’t make sense. What I have noticed is the material that I studied as a student, which was deep and loaded with truth, has been replaced with material similar to that I used in nursery. I recently surveyed the student books, and the average word count per lesson was about two hundred words. I also did a word count of a lesson I kept from my student days: a nearly two thousand, deep, rich, theologically intense essay.
So, I have to ask: what are we teaching our kids today?
Just to clarify the state of biblical illiteracy, I warned my class that I would be giving them a test at some point. I just gave the test last week, a five question, multiple choice, basic bible trivia: a question about the disciples of Jesus, a question about David, a question about the 12 tribes of Israel, and two questions about material we went over in class. Out of 8 kids, 2 didn’t get any right, 5 got one right, and one got 2 right, she won a prize. But it speaks to the problem, and warns as to how short a time I have to even attempt to fix it. We wonder why people are leaving, I don’t think it is because things are outdated or antiquated, I think it is because we simply aren’t teaching the Bible.