This past week I was interviewed for a radio program that goes out to pastors around the country. We discussed how so many of our youth are leaving the church soon after graduating from high school. The program hosts asked me what I thought were some of the causes for this large exodus from the church. When I shared with them that this is the result of our children receiving a secular education over the past several decades, the moderators asked me why pastors weren’t speaking out about the dangers of secular education. Here is part of our discussion.
We have all heard sayings like the following.
Our children are the future!
Children are 1/3 of the population and all of our future!
Today’s children are tomorrow’s leaders!
Even though these statements are commonly repeated when today’s adults talk about the next generation, the truth of the matter is that studies show that between, 60-85% of young people in the church today will leave the church within two years of high school graduation. When we ask ourselves why are we in this condition, we must realize that this didn’t happen overnight. It is the result of a slow and steady slide to becoming a totally secular society. This has taken place by a secular educational system changing how the populace thinks.
We can never underestimate the power of one’s mind. Consider what the Bible has to say about the power of the mind. Proverbs 23:7 says that as one thinks in his heart, so is he. Paul writes in Romans 12:2 that we should not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. In 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 we find these words. The weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but are divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
There is no question about it. How and what a person thinks will eventually determine how he lives. I learned a little saying years ago that has proven to be quite true. It goes like this.
Sow a Thought, reap an Act. Sow an Act, reap a Habit. Sow an Habit, reap a Character. Sow a Character, reap a Destiny!
Because of decades of secular education, we have become a totally secular society. Through this educational system God has been declared dead and, if not dead, He has been made to be totally irrelevant to everyday life. The secularization of society is intricately linked to the mass exodus from the church by our youth. I am convinced that how we have educated our children and youth has played a huge role in bringing us to our current crisis condition. Even now, the vast majority of Christians continue to provide their children with a secular education.
If we are going to turn this dangerous situation around, we must give our attention to changing the way our children and youth think. We have to train them up in the Lord and instill within them a biblical worldview. However, it won’t be easy. While I was attending the annual board meeting for Renwanation we were given some alarming statistics. A children’s pastor from a church in Minnesota reported that only 19% of evangelicals possess a biblical worldview. What was even more disturbing was learning that less than 1% of millennials have a biblical worldview. It is impossible to give our children something that we don’t possess ourselves.
In the forward of my book, Kingdom Education, Josh McDowell wrote:
The ideal way to help our kids not only reject the postmodern worldview but also embrace deepened Christian convictions is to align church, home and school into a unified whole that arms our children with the truth and protects them from distortions.
I wholeheartedly agree with McDowell’s statement. The problem is how can we do this if the church, home and school are not equipped themselves with a biblical worldview. This is where we need to give major attention. Parents, pastors, church leaders and Christian educators must renew their minds and be equipped with a biblical worldview if they are going to have the ability to change the way their children think and act. We can’t wait. We must act now. Where do we start? It starts with you and me – we must renew our minds before we can teach others to do so. The question remains, What worldview will we pass down to the next generation?