Where Have All the Children Gone??

I sat in church recently- a church I have attended from the time I was a girl- and I looked around and wondered “Where are all the people who were in my age-group coming up?”

I can count the number of us that remain in church on one hand….

And so I ask “Where did the church go wrong?”

And I am not asking  about some abstract notion of “church” in which we look at pastors, elders, church leaders.

No! I am asking about where did the church

– made up of the parents of these same children…

– made up of friends of these same children…

-made up of loved ones of these same children…

– made up of spiritual fathers and mothers of these same children…

Where did this church go wrong?

I look back at the myriad of programs, camps, youth groups, social events, hikes, that the church had and still those children who were my peers are still missing.

And I wonder. Did we give them what they needed  which was the un-clouded, straight, pure gospel? Or did we give them the watered down, hypocritical, works based, better than you because I don’t do certain things, or live a certain place gospel?

And we know this is not the gospel, but rather “another gospel, which is not another” but rather lies. Straight from the father of lies himself, which is designed to block out the light of  Christ from lost souls.

Is this what happened in this church that I grew up in?

And as I look at my children I ask myself “Am I doing just this with my own children? Am I reaching out to other children, showing them the true gospel which leads to salvation?”

How can I if I have not found it? How can I show them something that I do not know?

How can I reflect to them a light that does not shine on me?

And now I wonder if the reason that there are so few persons from my age-group in this church, is because parents, loved ones, friends, mothers and fathers in church were not themselves converted, but just playing church?

And now I sit here, burdened with the thought that there is a generation under me and how will it turn out? Will this generation, in which my children will grow up suffer the same fate?

I pray to God that He comes in and reigns in my life always, that I can have His gospel and share it with everyone, and that my children will know the Lord because they see Him in me!

LEt them see


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8 Responses to Where Have All the Children Gone??

  1. Elisabeth says:

    Oh… tough question. We have moved to a different state and attend a very tiny, but very *real* church. It’s quite a change from what I had growing up… the watered down gospel you mentioned. I can’t think really of anyone else I grew up with who is still active in the faith… I am with you… we need to do better with the next generation! I bookmarked your site… so glad I found you through The Life of Faith link party!

    • Yes we need to definitely do better with this generation. And just like the so g says, “may all who come behind us find us faithful” so that we leave the right example for them to follow.

  2. Charlotte says:

    I know a lot of churches are losing their young people. It is sad in some cases, but in others it might be a good thing. If they are switching to churches that have not “watered down” the gospel. I’m glad our church, Scottsdale Bible Church is active and growing in every age group. I read somewhere that there is a trend now away from contemporary churches back to more traditional churches. I thought that was interesting. I guess these things go in cycles.
    Thanks for sharing on Spiritual Sundays.

    • It is nice if they are going to other churches but sadly, many have left The Lord all together. We have to keep after God’s children and show them true Christianity so that they will not walk away from Him.

  3. Rebeca Jones says:

    “How can I reflect to them a light that does not shine on me?” This strikes me because, although I do know Jesus personally, there are times when I allow the pollution of the world or just the busyness of life to cloud my mind so that His light cannot reflect. Nicely said.

    • Yes, it is so easy for us to get so bogged down by life that we are busy running around living life and in doing this we forget all about God. We set our goals, we striving to accomplish things in this life, but it is all us and none of God….oh the cares of this life, how they block out God’s view from us so many times!

  4. Thanks so much for linking to Sunday Stillness. Good reflection. I did not understand who Jesus was until my 50s because I attended “watered-down churches”. When I met some friends who really knew Jesus they took me under their wings, and even though it was the same denomination this one preached Jesus – and my Bible study knew Jesus. What a difference! A changed life. Now I try to be filled with the Spirit so my family will see the “real Jesus”.
    Janis http://www.janiscox.com

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