Hemorrhaging Faith: Why & When Canadian Young Adults Are Leaving, Staying & Returning to the Church

01 September 2012

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A Canadian report hears from youth and suggests ways to reverse the trend.

  • Only one in three Canadian young adults who attended church weekly as a child still do so today.
  • Of the young adults who no longer attend church, half have also stopped identifying themselves with the Christian tradition in which they were raised.
  • There are four primary toxins that keep young people from engaging with the church: Hypocrisy, judgement, exclusivity, failure.

The study was commissioned by the EFC Youth and Young Adult Ministry Roundtable, and sponsors included The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, The Great Commission Foundation, Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship, Youth for Christ and Stronger Together Grants.

Related Articles

Faith Today articles responding to the groundbreaking Canadian youth study Hemorrhaging Faith. Listed from oldest to most recent.

Why They’re Leaving. An insightful new report from The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada and several partner groups examines why and when Canadian young adults are leaving, staying and returning to church. By Karen Stiller (Sep/Oct 2012).

How Your Church Can Become More Intergenerational. A major study called Hemorrhaging Faith, introduced by Faith Today last fall, has got the Canadian Church talking. To continue the discussion about how youth are walking out the church door and what to do about it, Faith Today is launching a practical new series Youth and Your Church. By Karen Stiller. (Mar/Apr 2013)

Churches Pick Up the Hemorrhaging Faith Challenge. By Robert White (Mar/Apr 2013)

Encouraging Youth to Experience God. Young adults say “experiencing God” is key to whether or not they keep attending church. What does it meant to experience God? What can the Church do about it? By Karen Stiller (May/June 2013)

Keeping Our Youth in the Faith. An Ontario pastor shares how the Hemorrhaging Faith report confirms his understanding of how churches can best minister to youth. By Kai Mark (Jul/Aug 2013)

Local Church Solutions That Enliven Youth. Youth ministry rarely rises in importance until we notice that youth are leaving our churches.  By Dave Overholt (Nov/Dec 2013)

Hemorrhaging Faith: How a Generation Leaving the Church Is Actually Propelling it Forward. By Matt Wilkinson (Mar/Apr 2014)

Hemorrhaging Faith Continues Impact at Briercrest. Engage 2014, a conference hosted in March by Briercrest College and Seminary in Caronport, Sask., continued to examine the conclusions of Hemorrhaging Faith. By Robert White (Jul/Aug 2014)

Youth on the Mountaintop. Can we improve our youth rallies for stronger impact? By Kevin Flatt And David Haskell (Nov/Dec 2015)

Out of High School, Out of Church? (Sep/Oct 2016)

Help your kids embrace the faith. Trading in picture-perfect faith for authentic experience with Jesus. By Rebecca Gregoire Lindenbach (May/Jun 2017)