Top Ten List: How to Help Your Child Permanently Leave the Church
Between 75% and 94% of children from Christian homes are leaving the church shortly after they graduate from high school. 99.5% of young adults between the age of 18 and 23 do not have a biblical worldview. What are the top ways that parents can keep this trend going?
We admit this is a rather negative and cynical list, and in some cases extreme. But believe it or not, this is the way that some children from church-going families are being raised.
The good news is that Jesus showed us how to do the very opposite of this top ten list!
10. Don’t develop a relationship with your children. Spend very little time with them. Take jobs that require travel and start hobbies and activities that allow you to take a break from your family. When you are with your children, stay busy with watching television, social networking… anything that keeps you from interacting with them. Don’t listen to your children or talk with them. Let your children solve their bothersome issues with their peers. Or half-listen to your children while you are doing other things. Whatever you do, don’t make eye contact.
9. Send your children to be taught and trained by unbelievers. Don’t bother to correct errors that are being taught to your children. Assume that the trained professionals will teach safe, non-threatening curriculum that is required by the school system.
8. Make sure your child is taught relativism, macro evolution and unbiblical lifestyles as normal. After all, children need to make their own choices. It is normal to believe that we are all here by random chance. What did God have to do with that? Don’t be concerned with any promotion of promiscuous (safe) sex between members of the same sex or opposite sex.
7. Don’t teach your children scripture and biblical principles. Don’t worry about obeying scripture to teach to your children the Bible. Allow clergy to do the job once or twice per week. After all, you are not a trained expert. Let the experts do their job! Just be sure your children make a profession of faith.
6. Immerse your children in popular television, movies, social networking and music. Don’t limit or monitor what your children engage in. Make sure they have their own television, cell phone, computer and boom box. Occult? No problem. Alternative lifestyles? Whatever. Take your children to see all the popular movies and make sure you listen to all the popular music. Get all the cable channels and let them watch it as much as possible!
5. Normalize promiscuous sex and violence with your children. Buy your son popular video games that include sex and violence. Allow your son to kill as many bad guys as he wants to, and what’s the harm with a little fantasy sex? Encourage your daughter to watch television and movies with lots of teen romance and sex. Buy her romance novels. Children need to have fun and take out their frustrations with media; after all it’s only “pretend.”
4. Allow your children to go alone wherever they want and with whomever they want. Don’t keep your children under your protection and don’t monitor what they are doing. Make sure your children are with unbelievers all day long so they can be “salt and light.” Forget about the fact that Jesus was always with His adult disciples when they were “salt and light.” The fact that He sent them out in twos with other Christian adults for protection is irrelevant. Your children should be able to choose their own friends; they will be a positive influence.
3. Make sure your children go off to the best secular college and sow their wild oats. You want to make sure your children can make lots of money so don’t worry about what your teens are being taught. Co-ed dorms are acceptable; your teens need to sow their wild oats. Just make sure no one gets pregnant, and make sure they keep their grades up.
2. Rather than involving your family in a ministry, be a spectator at church. Drop your children off at all the entertaining programs. Don’t worry about ministering to others in need; that’s the job of the pastors and ministers.
1. Don’t enthusiastically discuss the Lord with your family. Also don’t pray with and for your children. When you talk with your children, teach them about things that almost everyone is really interested in; sports, television, movie stars, athletes, movies, secular music, buying new things, and having fun. Help your children to see that thinking about God is for Sunday mornings; the rest of the week is for doing what really matters.
In doing the above, you will have ensured that your children have been fully discipled by the world (80 to 100 hours per week), and the minimal time that they have spent at church (1 to 5 hours per week) will make little difference. As statistics show, they will likely join the crowd of those permanently departing the church.
Alan Melton is the founder of Disciple Like Jesus ministry and co-author of "Disciple Like Jesus For Parents." The ministry encourages parents and grandparents to disciple their children in the same manner that Jesus made disciples. His articles have been featured in numerous publications, and he speaks at churches, associations and conferences. Alan has served the Lord as a church planter, pastor-elder, deacon chairman and business owner. He led Evangelism Explosion and FAITH evangelism training ministries for 10 years and juvenile delinquent ministries for 16 years. Married to Donna since 1977, he has two children, Jennifer and Ryan.