Picture three kids who grew up in the ’80s and ’90s. Theirparentstookthemto church regularly as kids, but now they are adults.
Only one of them still regularly attends church. One of them rarely
goes. One of them has renounced
Four years ago, when these numbers
were first released in Hemorrhaging
Faith, a report on Christianity in Canada, I was jolted to attention. I knew
many were joining the ranks of the
“nones and dones” – those who had
no religious affiliation and those who
were done with church – but I didn’t
realize the magnitude of the exodus. I
thought of my own two children. How
could I help them beat the statistic that
only one of them would cling to their
faith as an adult?
The researchers issued a clarion call:
“[We] passionately challenge you to
the core of your being to do whatever
it might take to help younger generations discover [the] life-giving way.”
That challenge did go to my core.
At Compassion Canada, we not only
advocate for the needs of children and
the Church in the developing world,
but we also come alongside the
Church in Canada to respond to its
mission as the light in this world.
As we prayed through how we could
respond to the challenge, a few things
stood out from the research:
• The less people believe that the
church makes a difference, the
more likely they are to reject faith.
• Young people are passionate about
social justice and want their faith
to be tangible.
• Young adults aren’t being challenged to use their gifts and be involved in mission.
Young people want to be empowered to serve the broken people in
this world, and we knew that at
Compassion we were uniquely positioned to equip churches to do just
this. Along with Fuller Youth Institute, we developed True Story, a free
youth group curriculum that brings
youth deep into God’s story of sin,
brokenness, poverty and redemption
and asks the question, “What does
God want us to do about it?” Our
prayer is that teens will be both drawn
closer into relationship with Jesus
while also realizing the part He wants
them to play in this world. We are
already seeing this happen.
Nate Arena, youth pastor of Tillson-
burg Alliance Church in Tillsonburg,
Ont., used the series with his students
and says, “It makes students under-
stand that the Scriptures aren’t just a
collection of many stories, they’re one
big story of how God is redeeming the
world. And that really it’s their story
. . . It causes students to understand
the depths of the gospel.”
That is our heart – that young people
would understand the depths of the
gospel. That students would under-
stand God not only wants to redeem
them, but wants to redeem this world.
That teens would experience how God
can use their skills and gifts to serve
Him in helping those in the most need.
We would like to challenge you, just
as the Hemorrhaging Faith researchers
challenged us. What is your church
doing to help teens’ faith become
lasting and tangible? How are you
helping them connect with a greater
purpose in their lives?
A MESSAGE FROM COMPASSION CANADA
If you want to learn more about how
your church can draw youth close to Christ
– and empower them to embrace God’s
mission in their lives – go to
or email us at advocacy@Compassion.ca.
One in every three youth
is abandoning Christianity
By Allison Alley,
Youth at West London Alliance Church in London, Ont., discussing Compassion’s new youth
curriculum True Story: What God Wants Us to Do About Poverty.