New Book Titled ‘Within Reach’ by Ben Trueblood Provides Insight for Student Ministry

Today’s high school graduate is faced with an abundance of choices. Go to college or enter the workforce? Dorm life, apartment life or mom and dad’s basement? But no decision may be as important as whether to continue attending church.

A study from LifeWay Research and LifeWay Students, released today (Jan. l5), reveals that two out of three young adults who attend a Protestant church for at least a year in high school will stop attending church regularly for at least a year between ages 18-22.

“Within Reach: The Power of Small Changes in Keeping Students Connected,” a new book by Ben Trueblood, explores the research and the differences between young people who dropped out of church and those who stayed.

“One of the first things that jumped out at us was the decline in the percentage of dropouts from a decade earlier,” said Trueblood, LifeWay’s director of student ministry. In 2007, LifeWay Research found 70 percent of teens who were active in church during their high school years dropped out of the church during their college years, compared to 66 percent in 2017.

“While 66 percent is still a significant share of teens dropping out of church, we didn’t want to overlook the slight decrease,” he said.

Trueblood also noted another data point that jumped out from the research. Of the 66 percent who left the church during their college years, 71 percent didn’t intend on doing so.

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Source: Baptist Press