Last week the Sylvania Schools mailed their annual report. As in past years, the cost per child in this district is $10,000 per year. That is a lot of money. But we keep reelecting the same people to the school board and approving levies. People in this country seem to value secular schooling.
This week someone forwarded to me a report from Focus on the Family about children leaving the faith. The statistics, while not encouraging, are not nearly as bad as some would lead you to think.
The statistics show that the overwhelming majority of those who leave the church never really had a faith to lose. The majority of the young adults leaving the church come from homes where going to worship once per week was a habit, but there was little in the way of commitment to Christ on a daily basis. Where the Bible was not studied at home, where Bible school opportunities were neglected, where commitment to participating in the total work of the church was lacking, the likelihood of leaving the church was high. Some dedicated Christian parents lose their kids, of course. But 89% of the loss comes from homes where the parents are lukewarm in their participation.
Many years ago a brother and sister asked me to talk to their teenage son. The son was being led astray by the teaching of a well known cult, and the parents wanted me to set him straight. I did not succeed and I am not surprised. That family would come in at the last minute for worship on Sunday morning. That was the only time they were to be seen at the church building. They never came to class, rarely participated in any service activity, and I am quite certain that they never studied the Bible at home.
Frankly, we have our values all messed up. We pay $10,000 per year to train people how to earn mammon and by-pass opportunities to feed on the bread of life. With values like that, no wonder churches are struggling, no wonder this country is broke.