Exiting the Church (Part 1): The Stats and Problem

Exit Sign

This week, we are going to look the theme of students and the church.  In a 2006 book titled The Last Christian Generation, Josh McDowell stated that:

“94% of ‘Christian’ students are leaving the church after high school never to return.”

This is an alarming statistic that should change the way that we think about church, student ministry, and parenting.  If this statistic is even slightly accurate, a graduating class of 20 students would have only 2 remaining in church after their freshman year of college.   There is a mass exit of students from the church that we must be honest about and be willing to explore.  This week, we are going to explore three reasons students are leaving the church and how you as a parent can help be a part of the solution.  The reasons are:

  • Students never embraced the Gospel and relied on the faith of their parents instead of having their own personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
  • Students did not have a gospel worldview, and their faith fell apart when it was questioned in college.
  • Students never saw a faith modeled that impacted real life.

My hope and prayer is that this week we will see the importance of passing faith on to our students in a way that is gospel-centered, grounded in truth, and lived out in real life.


BenMinister of Students
Ben Birdsong

Ben Birdsong was called as our Student Minister in September 2013 after serving with students for four and a half years at First Baptist Church of Pelham.  Ben is married to Liz.  He loves Starbucks, reading, movies, music, and spending time with family and friends.  Ben has a great desire to see students grow in their faith in Christ and to see God use them to make an impact for Him on their campuses and in their communities.  Ben was ordained and licensed into the ministry from the Church at Brook Hills in July 2009.  He holds bachelor’s degrees in marketing and human resource management from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a master’s degree in divinity from Samford University’s Beeson Divinity School.  Ben is currently a Doctor of Ministry student with a focus in Ministry to Emerging Generations at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary just outside of Boston, Massachusetts.