Why youth are leaving the church survey

"The Office of His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, department of database operations, will be conducting a global survey to understand why some youth leave the church. This is the first survey of its kind conducted by the Coptic Orthodox Church. This will take place on July 27, 2015 via CopticWorld. It will be issued in multiple languages and is titled "Why are some youth leaving the church?". After distribution, the results will be received and analyzed scientifically by professors who will study different parameters such as age, geography etc... The results will be published and distributed to the clergy and the congregation.

Such a global study for youth was conducted in the past by the Barna Group (https://www.barna.org/) of the Protestant church, and by other smaller groups in the USA.

Your help is needed to encourage more of your congregation to register at CopticWorld so that more people participate in the survey making it more statistically powerful."

www.copticworld.org

Comments

  • I personally think that the youth who stay in church are the youth who were raised in church from a very young age. I believe the parents play a huge factor in this. Go to any Coptic church and you'll find that the youth who were consistent in attending liturgies, services, hymn class, Sunday School since they were elementary school are the same youth who actively serve now.

    The youth who leave church now or attend on occasions don't have that foundation. They weren't brought up taught that church is #1 and everything else in life is second. Their parents weren't consistent or probably lived differently at home. They probably didn't have good role models for parents.

    Of course there are exceptions and of course you have those youth who never attended as children, but over the years found their way home. The majority are not like that.
  • Maybe this has a lot to do with evolution, and the aggressive atheism being spread in western societies - especially in the scientific/academic fields.
  • I'm not sure which parish/city you're from TITL, but that's certainly not the case for the parish I'm from.

    In fact, it appears as though it is just the opposite... those individuals that were raised by the church were the ones who had their foot out the door first.

    In all love, I found your comment quite naive to be honest. My friends and I have all left the church, and believe it or not, we all grew up within the walls of the church, became servants and deacons, taught Sunday school, had loving parents who were better role models than we could ever be, and always believed and continue to believe that "church is #1."

    I can easily write several pages on the real reasons why youth are leaving the church, but that wouldn't be very productive...

    In my humble opinion, this survey is too little, too late.
  • BeeKay said:

    I'm not sure which parish/city you're from TITL, but that's certainly not the case for the parish I'm from.


    In fact, it appears as though it is just the opposite... those individuals that were raised by the church were the ones who had their foot out the door first.

    In all love, I found your comment quite naive to be honest. My friends and I have all left the church, and believe it or not, we all grew up within the walls of the church, became servants and deacons, taught Sunday school, had loving parents who were better role models than we could ever be, and always believed and continue to believe that "church is #1."

    I can easily write several pages on the real reasons why youth are leaving the church, but that wouldn't be very productive...

    In my humble opinion, this survey is too little, too late.
    Hi Beekay,
    Im a bit confused: are you Coptic Orthodox and "in" the Church? or are you no longer Coptic? 
    Are you "in" any church? 

    I dont understand your statement: you left the church and came back? or have you just left the church completely?? 

    And why do you think the youth are leaving the Church??

    I was raised Coptic, similar to you, I taught Sunday School. I taught evolution and how to reconcile science with Christian faith for 10 years. I taught hymns etc.. and i'm far from the Church because there is no Church near me.

    What about you? Which Church are you from?? Are you male or female?
  • The survey is NOT available for us to view yet...so how about we just wait till July 27th to know the questions they ask and then discuss them here?! 
  • I am still Coptic but no, I don't attend at any Coptic church.

    This is a lecture given by Fr. Alexander Schmemann over 50 years ago, warning the youth of the consequences of a church that does not become part of the community around them.
    http://livingorthodoxtheology.blogspot.ca/2014/11/orthodox-church-in-west.html

    This is a nice starting point.
  • As a church quickly succumbing to the temptation of Protestantism, maybe "the office of His Holiness Pope Tawadros II" can read this, and save us all a bunch of time lol

  • edited July 2015
    I agree with your points, TITL but I feel you failed to mention the other side of the exceptions. Those who have a strong foundation, and still manage to leave the church.

    I know many youth who had very strong foundations at a young age up until high school. In high school, they started getting jobs. Those jobs needed them on Sunday mornings and Saturday evenings. So their church attendance starts dwindling. Eventually, they move on to other jobs (that may not even need them on Sundays) but the habit has already been established.

    EDIT: Just realized this point was brought up above... I should read :P
  • Ok. I guess my comment will just continue to be ignored. 

    I am closing this discussion until the survey is completed and then i'll reopen for comments. 
  • edited July 2015
    As promised....this discussion is reopened since the survey was opened today for everyone to participate in. You will need to do so through copticworld.org
  • I am not a youth and I left the church, is there a survey for me? Oh, I am not Egyptian so I don't technically count lol.
  • Ioannes,


    Hey - why did you leave the Church? What happened? 


    What counts as "leaving the Church" in this survey anyway? I cannot find a Coptic Church near me so I often have to go to a Catholic Church. 
  • edited August 2015
    Ioannes said:

    I am not a youth and I left the church, is there a survey for me? Oh, I am not Egyptian so I don't technically count lol.

    Ioa, come back!!!! :(

    Zoxsasi said:

    Ioannes,



    Hey - why did you leave the Church? What happened? 


    What counts as "leaving the Church" in this survey anyway? I cannot find a Coptic Church near me so I often have to go to a Catholic Church. 
    Sasi, I think they mean if a Coptic Church was within an acceptable driving distance, but people still didn't attend.
  • Ioannes,
    You most certainly count, regardless of your ethnicity. You are a member of the body of Christ. Regardless of a survey or not, you are my brother, my father, my friend and my fellow Christian. Whatever you reasons for leaving the Church, I hope you never forget that you will always be loved and cherished. 

    The survey is also for servants who are concerned about people who leave the church. It was structured also for adults who want to respond to the survey. So you can take the survey. I pray God will use your words in this survey to not only grant you peace but also guide the Church hierarchy in dealing with the new paradigm of youth and converts in different lands. 
  • edited August 2015
    I took the survey. It was thorough but it needed a few things to still be addressed. I am a youth - early 20's, brought up in the Church and whatnot, am a Sunday School servant, youth servant etc etc. I don't go to Church as much as I used to for many, many reasons.
    1. The Community
    2. Some of the Clergy
    3. The Service
    4. People circulating weird views under the name of Orthodoxy and God.

    Reasons why I still go:
    1. God - the sacramental and prayer life
    2. The current and next generation - the service isn't all that great

    Long before I minimized my attendance at certain Churches, I unintentionally came across many people of almost all the Christian denominations (I'm talking of both adults and youth), and later did my own research, and I realized that there were a few main reasons why people left the Church.
    1. They were hurt by the people - which was the reason among many individuals (that also included seeing people who prayed to God within Church and then act as if God doesn't exist outside)
    2. They couldn't find the answers they needed when they began to think and ask questions.
    3. The Church presented a different God to them.

    This is serious. I've seen people die as Atheists because of this. Beekay is right. This survey may be too late, the damage may have already been done. Prayer and action are needed. I'm glad the Church is beginning to somehow talk to the masses of Churches and Clergy through this survey.
  • edited August 2015
    Ioa, I look up to you! Different ethnicities, at least to my little self, isn't a negative thing. It's actually great.
  • edited August 2015
    I was going to write a long response to the blog Beekay posted refuting a lot of the content in it. But I felt it may be perceived as some sort of intolerance to people who hold this view. If people want me to do so, with the understanding that it has nothing to do with intolerance, I can. I will leave it up to others to decide.

    For the time being, I want to address one comment. I think it is inappropriate to say this survey is too little, too late. Christ left 99 sheep to come after the one. One person leaving the church is too much. The Church's attempts to reach out to people should never be seen as too little, too late. It's no different than a child who leaves his parents on bad terms. I guarantee you all that every parent will come after their lost child, seeking to bring him/her back. Or if a child is abducted, does any rational person believe that the abducted child's parents is not doing enough to get their child back? We also know of stories where run away children accused and perceived their parents of not doing enough to bring them back. I would bet my life that the parents did do as much as possible, even though it appears as a trivial attempt.  Sure there are pathological parents in the world who will be too lazy to find their children. But normal, loving parents who make mistakes will kill themselves to bring their child back. The Church is no different. 

    Some parents give bad advise. Some physically and verbally abuse their children. Some abuse their children without even knowing. Everyone makes mistakes. I think it is entirely inappropriate and unfair to say that genuine attempts of even these parents to reconcile with their children are ineffective. The Church is no different. There have been times when people in the Church (NOT THE CHURCH ITSELF, as the bride of Christ, and guardian of the Truth found only in Jesus Christ) have made mistakes and sinned against the children God gave them. 

    It is not fair to say any attempts to correct past sins are too late. If this was the case, then we all, as sinners, are too late to reconcile with God. The Church learned mercy from God, the Source of Mercy. If God Himself wishes people to return and live, how can we ever say that it is too late if the Church wishes people to return and live?
  • Just a reminder for everyone to complete the survey through CopticWorld, it is being extended to 1st October.
  • I think the reason is that the church is so Egyptian not orthodox or Christian . I feel that ever since the revolution in Egypt and so many people came from there , priests started giving so much care to the Arabic speaking youth then the youth who were born and raised in America
  • @Nona

    Agreed!  I'm not opposed to giving attention to Arabic speaking youth, but it should not obscure the Church's catholicity and its mission to be spiritually Orthodox and culturally American.
Sign In or Register to comment.