Church leaders look to end youth exodus

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Ringwood, Victoria

Adventist youth leaders from across Australia recently gathered at Australian Union Conference (AUC) headquarters in Melbourne to discuss the ever-increasing problem of young adults walking away from the Christian faith.

It will be exciting to see what happens as we move forward as a church united on keeping the youth of our church from walking away.

According to a study by David Kinnaman (Barna Research) called You Lost Me, 85 per cent of 18 to 25-year-old Christians in western societies are leaving the church.

“While we don’t believe the statistics are this high in the Adventist Church,” says AUC Youth Ministries director Pastor Jeff Parker, “we do know that whatever the percentage is it is way too high.”

During the two-day meeting, youth leaders highlighted a number of areas they want to focus on over the next two years to help keep young adults in church.

The strategy includes a renewed emphasis on local church youth ministry, increased support for the Adventist Students Association, and the re-establishment of the Institute of Youth Ministry (IYM) for pastors around Australia.
 

Australia’s Adventist youth leaders.

Conference presidents voted unanimously to support the new initiatives. They also presented to the AUC Executive Committee a proposal for a National Youth Summit to take place in 2015.

The summit will serve as a platform for church leaders to engage directly with young adults in Australia.

“It will be exciting to see what happens as we move forward as a church united on keeping the youth of our church from walking away,” said Pastor Parker.