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Importance of Older Adults in The Lives of Young People

“Kids don’t want adults in their lives.” How many times have you heard something like that expressed in the church? It can make people think that what young people in the church need are youth groups for building relationships with one another. But a recent Barna study called “Faith for Exiles” found that young people who grew up in the church and are still committed to core Christian beliefs and practices are far more likely to have had:

  • Meaningful relationships with adults in the church than those who are no longer Christian (77% compared to 27%)
  • Feel connected to those older than them (65% compared to 20%)
  • Admire the faith of their parents (72% compared to 16%)

And don’t look to pastors to do all the work. Four in ten resilient disciples were mentored as young people by an adult other than their pastor or church staff. Amongst those that have left the church, less than one in ten had the same experience.


David Kinnaman & Mark Matlock, Faith for Exiles: 5 Ways for a New Generation to Follow Jesus in Digital Babylon, (Baker Books, 2019), pps. 113, 133, 140, 165.

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