Some say it’s an epidemic. Young people, raised in church, professing Christians are leaving the faith as young adults. I spent six years in full-time youth ministry. I can look back on the young people I encountered and see the reality of the problem. They are not statistics, they are real people. These are kids I taught, counseled, and guided. These are kids that were active in church and enthusiastic about their faith. Now, they are gone. In some cases, long gone.

This is not news. People have been sounding the alarm for years now. Youth ministers have been arguing as to what method or model will cement these kids in before they leave. Others wonder how to get them back. Some say, wait, they’ll be back…but they won’t.

There are many questions to be asked: Why are they leaving? How can we get them back? How do I share my faith with someone that already knows the answers? In his upcoming book, Generation Ex Christian, Drew Dyck explores these very questions. He has interviewed many of those who have left and shares practical answers for reaching them again.

Dyck outlines seven types of leavers. This is important, because not all leavers are the same. No one method will reach everyone. For example: apologetics will not impress someone who has adopted a postmodern worldview. Expecting the “Rebel” to come back makes assumptions with drastic consequences. There are nuances to each case and Dyck does a great job exploring those differences.

The careful reader will apply the knowledge Dyck shares to the situations they see all around them. They will begin to see the heart of the leaver and reasons they left. Then, the gospel can be shared at that point.

The reasons for leaving discussed in the chapters on the “Drifter” shed light on a different question: how can we keep them from leaving? Those who drift into Christianity as teenagers are likely to drift out. Are churches encouraging this drift by failing to provide any substance in youth ministries? I was ready to cheer when I read, “They don’t want pizza and video games. They want revolution and dynamism. They want unvarnished truth.” Churches must realize that a solid understanding of the gospel is absolutely crucial.

I recommend this book to anyone dealing with young people in church. The epidemic is real and this book has a lot of knowledge that can help solve the problem.

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