O Me of Little Faith

O Me of Little Faith

College Students and Church Attendance

Take a group of 100 young adults, under the age of 30. Put them in a room, and ask them how they feel about Church. The Church. Church with a capital-C. Here’s what you’ll learn:

46 of these young adults are generally annoyed by Christians. (I can relate.)

67 of these young adults think Church is filled with hypocrites. (They’re right. All humans — and therefore all Christians — are pretty much hypocrites.)

77 of these young adults think Christianity is more about organized religion than a life lived loving God and loving people. (Again, I’m not sure I’d argue much with that.)


90 of them would argue that they can have a satisfying relationship with God outside of regular church attendance. (Wait: I’m not as on-board with this one.)

What all this means is that a lot of college students and 20somethings are making the decision to either leave or avoid the church — even if they remain Christians, and even if they grew up attending church. Dan Kimball’s book They Like Jesus But Not the Church explored this phenomenon a couple years ago, and a new book called Lost and Found, by Ed Stetzer, Richie Stanley, and Jason Hayes takes another look at it (the stats above come from Lost and Found).


Why bring this up? Because I’m writing an article about the topic for a magazine for college students, and I want to tell some stories. I need to talk to current and recent college students who read the stats above and think, “That’s me.” If you are in college (or are a recent graduate) and you have purposefully disconnected from the Church, I want to talk to you — especially if you still maintain a connection to Christianity.

I know this fits some of you regular readers. Tell your story in the comments, or shoot me an email.

And even if you’re not a college student, I’d love to hear your story. Leave a comment and let’s discuss.

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posted June 2, 2009 at 2:06 pm

I’m a first year at a UC and have not attended church since I have gone off to college. It’s not that I don’t care for church, it just that I seem to have been too lazy to go out and find one that fits me. Back home, I have a very good relationship with my church, and that is one of the things I look forward to when I go home, being able to see everyone and be in that environment again. What I have been doing is reading my bible every night before I go to bed, and set aside some time to talk to God everyday. This has worked for me, and I have grown in Christ this year with that alone, but I do believe that the church adds community and support, which is something that you can’t necessary get by yourself.

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posted June 3, 2009 at 4:53 pm

Jason, hey! Well I graduate college in '06. So the story of church is interesting. I got into it in high school, and went off to college, got involved with Campus Crusade, found a church that I loved…then graduated. I'm back home now..and I only go randomly (and I mean very randomly). I have my own annoyances and such with the church and haven't really been able to find one locally that I feel comfortable at, to be honest. I now attend a small group study among some friends and of course we rant and rave about our own feelings on God, life and everything that we can come across..but we're all just fed up with the Church and the justifications and non-understanding that we all see. the Church should be about community, caring and relationship with one another..somewhere along the line, a lot of people lost sight of that.

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posted August 3, 2009 at 4:33 pm

Way late on commenting on this (Have you written the article yet? Is it online somewhere?)I've recently moved out of my parents' house and begun living on my own. I kept going to church for a while with my parents, but they have since moved to a church that's close to where they live, but much further from me. I've kept fairly regularly attending the same church we went to before, but I'm not entirely keen to the way some things are run (especially worship).I'm a little in the same boat with Anthony and Destiny in that I have a small group I attend regularly (and has been wonderful), and I've been a little lazy/hesitant to start looking for a new church that might fit me better.

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