"O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar." Psalm 139:1-2 (NIV)
This is going to be an unusual post. I have mulled this thought over and over again during the last few years because I see such a huge trend in my generation of people my age leaving the faith of their childhoods or adolescent years for good. I have been in touch with people that I grew up with in Congo off and on over the years, most of them missionary kids like myself. The majority of those I have remained in contact with have been disillusioned with their life experiences growing up as children of parents in full-time ministry. This has translated into many discarding their faith to look for answers outside the church. When talking to them, I have gotten a sense that there are deep hurts and wounds that continue to fester from experiences that happened long ago.
The statistics are staggering. Well over 50% of high school graduates walk out the door of their churches and never return. Why? I wanted to open this post up for dialogue hoping for insight into why this might be true in your life or in the life of someone you know. My questions for everyone are the following:
Have you or anyone you know ever felt like God was your competition for your parents' time and attention, particularly if your parents were in full-time ministry?
How has that affected your own spiritual walk? (e.g. I do not attend church, The God of my parents is not part of my life, I don't really believe in what I used to...)
If you could pinpoint several experiences that made you decide to walk away from the faith or that continue to cause great hurt/confusion in your life in this area, what would they be?
If you have been able to work through these issues and have come back to the faith, what allowed you to do that?
I understand the sensitive nature of people's responses. I will keep all responses confidential. If you do not feel comfortable enough sharing your responses as a comment, please email me privately at: email@example.com.
Thanks so much!