Is the Church Irrelevant for Today’s Society?

church2.jpgIn a recent editorial in the Baptist Standard Marv Knox reflects on the trend of young adults leaving the church after high school. According to one recent study the majority of young adults between the ages of 18-30 dropout of church after high school. About 20% of those surveyed felt that they are no longer “connected” with the church. For them the church had become irrelevant to their lives. Traditional church no longer meets their needs. They had grown up in the church but somehow along the way failed to develop a relevant faith. To them church was about rituals and tradition. The thought that maybe church and Christianity has become irrelevant entered my head.

First, I believe that Christianity is not irrelevant. The message of the gospel is timeless and for all generations. My evangelism professor Dr. Fish taught that we must change our methods to reach our audience but never the message.

Many of the traditions, rituals and other trappings of church are rooted in cultural not the scripture. To reach any culture it becomes necessary to make the gospel relevant to them. The style of music, how we dress for worship and even the place where we worship are a product of culture.

A study done by the Baylor University School of Social Work concluded that teens who were actively involved in ministry had a stronger faith than those who did not. These teens were more likely to remain involved in church after high school graduation. Why? Through involvement in ministry and personal Bible study they had internalized their faith. It was their faith, not something their parents made them do or believe.

Christianity is a relationship not a religion. Like any relationship it requires work and time. By work, I mean that we must become active participants, not just sit in the pews on Sunday and except someone to feed us.


  1. Thank you again, and I passed this on. I loved your articles, and of course they are totally agreed with by me… I am sure you have “My Utmost for His Highest” Oswald Chambers, but today his devotion was Faith or Experience? and it was awesome. We need to focus entirely on Christ and place our faith firmly in Jesus Christ–as he say not a “prayer meeting” Jesus, or a “book” jesus, and I will add not a “church” Jesus but the NT Jesus , who is God Incarnate and who can present us faultess before the thone of god, inexpressibly pure, absolutely rightious, and profoundly justified….

    Thank you for sharing… Annette

  2. Sounds as if the 18-30 yr. olds, were still in need of the milk of the word and not ready for the meat. I agree that you need to become involved and study, I have been studying most of my life, including the bible, and still love to do so. For the first time in many years, I am taking a break from the study, just having a short reading, no in depth for awhile. Tired!
    It seems that the more I read, the more I find that I didn’t see before. Amazing what! !


  3. Excellent writing. I totally agree that while faith is not by works, individuals must be involved in ministry and take an active role in sharing our faith as teenagers, if we are to continue as adults.

  4. I couldn’t have agreed with D’Ann any more. In order for our church to remain relevant to our members it has to be Christ-centered and be willing to adapt and change direction as needed to reach out and have an impact on our community. The Northwest is the most unchurched area of the country. We are not only vastly outnumbered, but ridicule of Christians and scoffing are the norm in the Seattle region. You might want to checkout our website, and click on the different faces to find out more about our church. The center picture is of 2 smiling small boys that are two of our grandsons.


  5. I believe that the youth that are more involved with ministry, end up being stronger. I also see a flip side. They need to be strong spiritually in order to be effective and long lasting in ministry (see 1 tim.3:6). Also, I strongly believe people are dying away, including the youth, because of a lack of God’s power and blessing! Good article and good links!

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