About a year ago, the awesome folks at Fuller Youth Institute put out this fantastic resource called Sticky Faith. Doing solid research about the faith of graduating seniors from high school, FYI has pulled together some practical wisdom on how to foster a spirituality and faith that lasts beyond the teen years and into emerging adulthood.
You've probably heard the (likely made up) stat that 90% of graduating seniors fall away from their faith in Christ. First off, I'm not even sure what "falling away" means. The Sticky Faith research suggests it's more like 40-50% undergo a faith crisis. That's certainly a more hopeful number, but still alarming when viewed in the context of real relationships and stories. The thought that half of the new college freshman won't stick with their faith in Christ is saddening.
I've already incorporated some of the Sticky Faith practices in my own high school ministry. For instance, meaningful conversations and service opportunities are far more conducive to a maturing faith than large entertainment-oriented events or games. Our team realized that the best moments in our mid-week program weren't even part of the program; the conversations that happened before and after our games and worship and videos and teaching were better at fostering faith with students. So we've stopped doing games in our high school program and incorporated mingle time. Now there's programmed space meant entirely for meaningful conversation. We've also begun offering two short-term missions opportunities in the summer months instead of one.
I've got an extra copy of Sticky Faith: Youth Worker Edition, and I'd like to get rid of it before I move to Canada. So I'm offering it to you, the faithful blog reader!
Here's how you can win a free copy of Sticky Faith:
1. Write a comment that includes your NAME and EMAIL ADDRESS telling me one reason your own faith has stuck. What has kept you following Jesus in the long-term? What were the people or practices that made your faith last? Share the story in a comment on this post (not just on Facebook).
2. Post your comment by 12:00 PM PST, Friday, August 31. One comment will be chosen at random as the fortunate winner.
3. Share this blog post on Twitter or Facebook. You gotta spread the love of Sticky Faith in order to officially enter to win. You can click the FB share button above, or Tweet it. (I don't have Twitter myself).
I'll announce a winner the afternoon of Aug 31 on this post and contact them via email.
Buy the parent version of Sticky Faith here.
Buy the youth worker edition here.