Posted by: everynation | July 23, 2008

Top 10 Reasons People Quit Church

by Steve Murrell

Note to pastors and youth ministers who choose to live in denial:
the following stats do not apply to YOU and YOUR church, only to other churches and other youth groups that are not as spiritual, strategic, relevant, cool, committed or emerging as you are.

The American church loses 70% of its 18 and 22 year olds. SEVENTY PER CENT! That’s scary. Think about your youth group – the teens in your church and in your family – by the time they are 22 years old – 70% will no longer go to church.

There’s a lot of talk about reaching the “un-churched” – but what about the “de-churched” who walked away from the church of their parents? Thousands of young people used to go attend church, but not any more. Why?

According to research in a soon to be released book by Thom S Rainer (the Simple Church dude) and Sam Rainer III (son of Simple Church dude), here are the top 10 reasons young Americans quit church.

10. I was only going to church to please others.

9 I want to spend more time with my friends.

8. I disagreed with the church’s stance on political or social issues.

7. I didn’t feel connected with the people in my church.

6. I became too busy.

5. I moved too far away.

4. My work responsibilities prevented me from attending.

3. I started college and stopped church.

2. Church members seemed too judgmental or hypocritical.

1. I simply wanted a break from church.

The #1 reason young Americans quit church is tragic – “I wanted a break from church.” But why do they want a break? I think maybe #2 causes #1.

Did you ever dropout? Why?
Why did you go back?
What about other nations, why do non-Americans dropout?

Steve Murrell is a missionary, pastor, and the author of “The Reluctant Leader” and “The Accidental Missionary.”


  1. Great blog ps. Steve, real food for thought!
    It’s a combination of things. In Sydney, a lot of young people want to ‘hang out’, they want to be with their friends ‘doing their own thing’. Some want to serve God in their own way different from what the church wants from them. Others can’t just face up with what people will say to them for skipping church couple of weeks or months. The list continues.

  2. […] has to say regarding their lives.  I remember a blog post of Pastor Steve sometime last year about the top 10 reasons people quit church and out of this list there were a number of reasons that dealt with […]

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