Barna, who founded the Barna Research Group, is a born again Christian and
has been warning the evangelical community for years about the dichotomies of
their teachings. For example, it was the Barna Group who many years ago
pointed out that the evangelicals had the highest divorce rate at 34% of any religious
sect while atheists and agnostics had the lowest divorce rate at 20% yet they
continue to proclaim "family values." These young people are
seeing what others have seen for decades which is that many of the tenets of the
evangelicals are nowhere to be found in the Gospels.
Teens Leave Churches Seen As Judgmental, Unfriendly
According To New Book 'You Lost Me'
Posted: 10/9/11 08:30 AM ET
By Adelle M. Banks
Religion News Service
(RNS) Why do young Christians leave the church?
New research by the Barna Group finds they view churches as judgmental,
overprotective, exclusive and unfriendly towards doubters. They also consider
congregations antagonistic to science and say their Christian experience has
The findings, the result of a five-year study, are featured in "You Lost
Me: Why Young Christians are Leaving Church and Rethinking Faith," a new
book by Barna president David Kinnaman. The project included a study of 1,296
young adults who were current or former churchgoers.
Researchers found that almost three out of five young Christians (59 percent)
leave church life either permanently or for an extended period of time after age
One in four 18- to 29-year-olds said "Christians demonize everything
outside of the church." One in three said "Church is boring."
Clashes between church expectations and youths' experience of sexuality have
driven some away. One in six young Christians said they "have made mistakes
and feel judged in church because of them." And 40 percent of 18- to
29-year-old Catholics said their church's doctrine on sexuality and birth
control is "out of date."
Kinnaman called the problem of young dropouts from church "particularly
urgent" since many churches are used to "traditional" young
adults who leave home, get educated, find a job and start a family before age
"Churches are not prepared to handle the 'new normal,"' said
Kinnaman. "However, the world for young adults is changing in significant
ways, such as their remarkable access to the world and worldviews via
technology, their alienation from various institutions, and their skepticism
toward external sources of authority, including Christianity and the