"Kids are spending a very small amount of time in church activities, and many of those activities have very little theological, biblical, or spiritual content. As a result, we have a generation of young people who believe that there is a God, but they don’t have any particular god in mind.
We should be exhorting each other, helping each other, equipping each other. Christian young people should be drawn into the church, but not in a way that isolates them with other young people."
Some excellent points - and practical encouragement for parents - here.
A few further thoughts/clarifications:
- I just want to say that it's not the church's responsibility to train the children - that falls squarely on the shoulders of the parents. The church, however, is a valuable partner in reinforcing the teaching that the children receive at home. And realistically, there are going to be times that a child does not want to talk with their parents, and a pastor, youth leader, etc. can help bridge that gap when necessary... we're all one body! (Romans 12:4-10)
- Furthermore, every moment spent inside a church shouldn't be devoted to deep study. God created us as social beings, and fellowship with the believers is essential. Simply talking with someone, learning about their struggles and sharing some encouragement, is one expression of God's love. And doing that in the "safe" environment of the church is one way to establish a strong foundation in Christ - we just have to make sure that we are also comfortable getting out into the world to share the message, too.