Because rather than being set apart in a church family, they were made a part of the family. They find relevancy. They learned that Bible they were taught as children was more than a book of stories repeated over and over again. They realize that the song "Jesus Loves Me" is true. Their hearts were filled with Amazing Grace when the Gospel was shared. They learned that church was more than a building filled with pews, pianos, drums, preachers and rules. Their faith was forged in Christ and people of faith did not waver in example to them.
At some point in a young person's journey of faith, they recognize the need to pick up the baton of faith and keep running the race. They realize they are the generation that needs to bear witness to the world, to their own children. Church is not just a place to them. Church is a fellowship. A family. A purpose that reaches beyond mere socialization. They find meaning in the relationship with their fathers, mothers, and adults. They know that Jesus gives them strength, direction and hope. They find in church what the world cannot offer. They are not blinded by the world's attractions. They are rooted in Christ. That is why they stay. God keeps them and grows them and guides them. Many continue in church because of the prayers of their families, their grandmothers and grandfathers.
We cannot take for granted the power of prayer. We should not forget that the Lord will continue working in every single person. (Philippians 1:6) We adults play a huge role in young people staying in church. Why would a young adult person desire to be part of a church they were not allowed to be a a part of as a teenager? Why would a young person who is shunned or ignored as a teenager, have any desire to remain with people who do not value their presence?
The young adults I know who are active in church today are ones who were valued. They were shown how to be active in the mission for Christ as teenagers. They are ones who made a difference and believed they could make a difference in the future. They were loved, praised, encouraged and edified. Their mistakes were forgiven. Their gifts were recognized. Their hopes were not dashed. They had leaders who nurtured their faith and supported their efforts. And that is why they stayed.
[Part 4--What one young adult says.] selahV