Just last week I ran across an article by the Barna group called, “Six Reasons Young Christians Leave Church.” The study claims that 59% of young Christians leave church for an extended period of time after age 15. The reasons it gives: churches are overprotective, shallow, antagonistic toward science, judgmental about sexuality, too exclusive, and unfriendly toward doubters.

I’m generally skeptical of Chicken Little prognostications about the end of Christianity, but this article interested me because of the specific reasons it gave for why young people leave church. What intrigues me, though, is the question of whether these perceptions are generally accurate or whether they are simply perceptions. In other words, are churches truly this way, or do young adults just think they are this way? And if so, why do they think churches are so bad?

I’m curious to hear your thoughts. Did you leave church as a young adult? If so, why? Have you returned to church? Finally, do these problems exist in the churches you’ve attended? 

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