“The ages eighteen to twenty-nine are the black hole of church attendance; this age segment is “missing in action” from most congregations” – David Kinnaman
Research of the Australian Church landscape discovered the most common age people become Christian is prior to the age of 20. The number of Anglicans and Protestants indicating they became Christian under 5 years was (23%), with proportions for the next three age groups being roughly the same: 5-9 years (16%), 10-14 years (18%) and 15-19 years (16%). These statistics underline the critical role that youth and children’s ministry and outreach play in our community.
Of great concern though is statistics also demonstrate the Australian Church is much less effective at retaining youth post 18. NCLS research indicates there’s an attendance dip of congregation members between 20-40 yrs., as well as a high drop out rate post school (33% drop out rate of Anglicans post school, 43% drop out rate of those who also left home).
E.M’s research paper on youth and children’s ministry has examined this issue proposed some strategic ways forward. This article on ‘3 Common Traits Of Youth Who Don’t Leave Church’, found some similar conclusions, and is well worth a read.