iStock_000006547671MediumBored TeenVery interesting article in which the writer reveals interviews with those in Atheist Societies in universities. Among his surprising observations:

1. The had attended church.
2. The mission and message were vague.
3. Their churches gave superficial answers to life’s difficult questions.
4. They expressed their respect for ministers who took the Bible seriously.
5. Ages 14-17 were decisive.
6. The decision to embrace atheism was often an emotional one.
7. The Internet focused heavily into their conversion to atheism.

He ends with this observation:

Perhaps the most surprising aspect of this whole study was the lasting impression many of these discussions made upon us. That these students were, above all else, idealists who longed for authenticity, and having failed to find it in their churches, they settled for a non-belief that, while less grand in its promises, felt more genuine and attainable. I again quote Michael: “Christianity is something that if you really believed it, it would change your life and you would want to change [the lives] of others. I haven’t seen too much of that.”

Read the whole thing.

As parents, it is essential that we engage with the hearts of our children, that we shepherd them through questions, that we live with authenticity and passion, and that we walk them through church disagreements. Besides the influence of the parents, one obvious theme is also the influence of the church. Choose your church very carefully.