Recently, there’s a lot of talk within youth ministry (and churches in general) about a mass exodus of young adults (i.e. those ages 18-30 years), how does the church respond and how do we meet from losing them. There are a ton of books, blogs, articles and countless opinions about what to do.

Grant it, some of the issues do relate to what are mistakes churches (generally speaking) have made. To be corporately self-aware and ensure we rectify those issues is healthy and needed; we have been obstacles for some people who turned away from God. However, let’s not assume that by rectifying whatever the issues are, the church will retain all young adults who grew up within their walls.

Whether we like to admit it or not, Jesus’ audience retention wasn’t great. True, many people followed him around, were interested, maybe even seen as obsessive about what he could do. However, from those huge crowds, only some actually internalized what is really meant to be a disciple. Jesus even told people point-blank that not everyone would be willing to follow whole-heartedly (Matthew 7:13-14).

Whether we like it or not, there will be people who will choose never to step foot in the door of a church. There are those who will outrightly reject listening to anything Jesus has to say to them. Even for those who began the journey with Christ, don’t assume that they will automatically continue for the rest of their life. The fact is, people may choose a different path while going towards the narrow gate. We cannot determine who those individuals are. We also shouldn’t assume that just people there will be people who decide against Jesus that it alleviates our responsibility to bring the message of Christ by in word and in deed with compassion, love, grace and high accountability. But let’s not assume that if we come up with a “magic formula” that people will stay committed to Jesus.

Even Jesus knew that not everyone would be seriously committed to following him at all costs. Why should we be surprised if that happens?