Is The Church Engaging Young People?

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During a recent conference, I led a solution group to discuss the challenges of youth engagement and the increasing divide between young people and the church. It was a massive experience for some of the adults in attendance as later feedback confirmed.

We wanted to understand why many young people (especially with church background) would not stay in church, don’t seem to love Jesus, won’t serve God or even be an integral part of the larger society in a positive way. You can imagine the atmosphere!

During my research, I discovered some interesting statistics from a combination of a research report “Why Are Young People Leaving The Church” and other sources on the Internet:

  • 7 in 10 young people do not feel engaged in church.
  • 22% say the church ignores real-world problems, hence making them out of touch with their personal struggles.
  • 1 in 3 youths says church is boring and unfriendly
  • 22% says the GOD experience was missing in church and they end up with significant doubts about their faith


It is undoubtedly true that young people seek identity and that is not being patronising. I have lived the experience myself. But these are staggering statistics. Not the number per se, but the implications this has on actual people, real ministries and the future of the church. The thought of that suddenly makes you realise this is more than a numbers thing! The future of the church is at stake. We are at stake!

The one single question that kept on coming back in my group (I purposely kept on refocusing discussion on it) was:
“Is the church doing enough to engage young people?”

Obviously, church ministries are diverse and adopt different approaches. But there is universality of challenge across, no matter your church or even personal background.

At the end of my group discussion, I delivered a talk to the wider 200+ participants on the realities of the challenges the church is facing and some possible solutions. But before I share what I said (in a new post), I would like to hear your views on this subject:

  • Is the church as a whole doing enough to engage young people?
  • What, in your opinion, can or should the church do (or be doing) to win young people?
  • Have you been or are you part of a ministry that successfully engages its youths? How did (do) you do it? What are your success ingredients?

I want to read from you. Your views are so crucial to me personally and to many others in the work I do. Leave a comment.

About Joseph Iregbu

I'm a writer, purpose guy, speaker and business consultant. My passion is to help people live with purpose and not waste their lives. I live in the UK with my wife, Temi and our gorgeous Isabel Juda. Let's connect on Twitter and Facebook.

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