The church in America is dying. In 2008 David Olson conducted a study on church attendance, based on population and attendance records (instead of surveys), which indicated that average weekly attendance had fallen to 20% (The American Church in Crisis, Zondervan). One only can wonder what the attendance percentage would be if the same study were to be conducted today?
According to a Pew Research Center telephone survey conducted in 2018 and 2019, “65% of American adults described themselves as Christians when asked about their religion, down 12 percentage points over the previous decade” (https://www.pewforum.org/2019/10/17/in-u-s-decline-of-christianity-continues-at-rapid-pace).
Now many churches are not meeting in person because of COVID-19 and budgets are being slashed. How many will return when churches reopen their doors is uncertain. Those who remain in our congregations are advancing in years, and young people are few. Many churches seem to have just given up.
If youths are not coming to church anymore, if they are not being exposed to the Christian faith, we need to reach out to them. We either need to go to where they are at or create a place where they are willing to come.
Rock Solid Teen Center was created based on just such a strategy. Kids come to Rock Solid for the food, fellowship, fun, tutoring, mentoring, and learning experiences. We build relationships and share Christ through our example, the written word, one-on-one sharing, videos, invitations to church and camp, and by whatever other means possible.
The Christian message is as relevant today as it was two thousand years ago. Jesus came to earth, lived a sinless life, and died for our sins, so that we can have eternal life (John 3:16). C.S. Lewis once stated, “Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance, the only thing it cannot be is moderately important.” I believe, as did Lewis, that Christianity is of infinite importance because it addresses our eternal destiny, and it is true.
Jesus said, “My Father’s house has many rooms…And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:2-3). Jesus offers eternal life to those who put their faith in him. It is as simple as that.
If you share my conviction, encourage your friends, associates and congregation to do all that you can to reach the world for Christ. Think outside the box and consider starting a Rock Solid Teen Center in your community (https://www.rocksolid.us/start-a-teen-center). Our objective is to do all that is necessary to help make a youth center become a reality for you.
Board President, Rock Solid Teen Center