Youth Retention: Can We Return to the Glory Days?


Becoming Bridge Builders

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Take a journey with me back into time.  Now for some of you, this trip will take a lot longer.  Think back to the day after your high school graduation.  Once all the parties had ended, you and your classmates then began the process of discovery.  Questions abounded about the next chapter in our lives.?

Why Did You Abandon Me?

For some who had already made a decision as to which college, if any, was selected, their arrangements for that transition were in full swing.  For others, life would be filled with uncertainty and desert wanderings.  At some point, many of us, over time, would find our way, discover our path, and settle into a career.  Many would start a family and build a new community.  But those years after high school where difficult.  The post-high school years were filled with much change and loss.  There were lost friends, loss of community, and loss to some degree of innocence.   It was a shock to the system to leave the relative safety of high school to find yourself thrust into the world now labeled as a young adult.

Imagine that same feeling but after eighth-grade.  You have finished your spiritual journey, or so it seems.  Youth experience a sense of loss after confirmation.  When I asked some people who work with youth, what is the most significant challenge they face in youth ministry.  Here are some of their responses.

  • “The biggest challenge I think we…

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