You would be mistaken if you thought the word above was a typo. The word is a new word for ex-evangelical. It is a word that describes someone who has deconstructed their faith and has left Christianity. Deconstructionism or exvangelicalism is a serious trend that is happening with students across America. Yet this is probably the first time you have heard about it or either of those words. The reason for this is because it happens after our students and children leave home.
The number you need to know is 40%
40% of high school seniors, who are involved in their church’s student ministry, leave the church and never come back. We don’t notice this trend because they are at college. And the truth is, we, as a global church, don’t do a great job of checking in on students after they leave for college. This is a sad reality, one that keeps me up at night. One that God has burdened my heart to break for.
It starts with mission
Venture is all about fostering a lifelong relationship between students and God. This means at Venture we don’t focus on teaching middle schoolers how to be the best Christian middle schoolers, or high schoolers how to be the best Christian high schoolers. We focus on how to equip saints. We understand they have a long journey ahead, and we need to prepare them for it.
We need parents to be the main “disciplers” of their students. We need churches to partner better with parents so they feel equipped to do that. We need student ministries to focus on the journey ahead, and not just the present. The list could go on and on. The truth is this, how we break past the 40% is with community. We need you. We need your prayers. We need some of you to help be small group leaders in Venture. We will need some of you to check in on a student who’s away at college. But we will need more of you to have hearts that break for students who are leaving the faith. At that point, we will feel moved to do something that might just make a difference.
If you want to dig deeper into understanding deconstruction better, a great resource would be Before You Lose Your Faith, by Ivan Mesa.