I just finished reading the book Already Gone: Why Your Kids Will Quit Church and What You Can Do To Stop It by Ken Ham and Britt Beemer. The book is based on research done to determine why 61% of twenty-somethings who grew up in the church are now “spiritually disengaged,” meaning they are no longer actively attending church, reading their Bibles, or praying.
The research that Ken Ham and Britt Beemer conducted involved surveying 1,000 twenty-somethings. These young adults had all attended evangelical churches regularly throughout their elementary and teen years, but are now spiritually disengaged.
What these surveys showed was that many of these individuals had begun having doubts in middle school. Their doubts were never adequately addressed. Ken Ham and Britt Beemer conclude that families and churches are failing to teach children and teens basic apologetics. This lack of solid Biblical grounding and the lack of addressing the doubts youth are facing has led to this hemorrhage of young people from the faith.
Some of the doubts that these young people faced included:
- How do you know the Bible is true?
- Hasn’t science disproved the Bible?
- Isn’t the world millions of years old?
- How come there are so many different “races” of people if everyone came from the same two people?
- Dinosaurs don’t fit with the Bible; how do you explain them?
- Why is there death and suffering if God is a good God?
- Why is Jesus the “only way?”
Could it be that not just families and churches are failing the youth of Christian families? Might the Christian publishing industry also be failing these youth?
If you publish books for Christian youth (elementary children and teenagers), I encourage you to consider this information carefully. Then ask yourself: Do the books I publish make kids feel good, or do they help them understand the Christian faith in a meaningful way?