Faith Shaper1

Current statistics overwhelmingly tell us that the present generation of young people are walking away from church and or their faith in early adolescent years. “50,000 young people a year are leaving the Christian faith and deciding that they have no religion.” (Philip Hughes, Christian Research Australia)

David Goodwin in his thesis Lost In Transition states “There is no doubt that pre and early adolescence is a time when many children drop out of church. What makes the situation worse is that many children, who do stay in church during their high school years . . . are possibly only there because parents insist they attend church, or their social life is linked with the church youth group.”P.7

Making lifelong disciples of children and youth is a key priority of our church. We believe that it is time to have the important discussions on what formational experiences they need. In partnership with the Interdenominational National conversation here2stay South Pacific Division and Australian Conferences Children’s Ministries have put together 7 Essential Experiences that will shape this faith that stays. We want this faith to be deep, and it needs to be strong and active.

This is not a program. It doesn’t sit with one department. It doesn’t sit with one age group. ‘Faith Shaper’ is a set of experiences from birth to eighteen years that should determine how all Departments do ministry.  We are asking that everyone – church, home and school, to study the experiences and put in place strategies that ensure they happen well. In his Valuegenesis research, Dr Barry Gane found that “There is an increasing probability that young people will develop high Christian commitment, and high loyalty to the Church if they have the benefits of effective homes, effective churches and effective Adventist schools.”

It is time to work together for the faith of our present and future generations of children and young people. We have a problem, and we have a solution. We believe that collaboratively we CAN achieve this. We can reverse the flow. We CAN produce lifelong disciples for Jesus. Click here to view the Faith Shaper Information Booklet.