The Church Failed Jon Steingard, and It’s Failing Your Kids Too

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The Church Failed Jon Steingard, and It’s Failing Your Kids Too

Maybe we need to take a look at our youth programs, the messages we send from the pulpit, and the way we conduct common church functions.
(Credit: Karl Fredrickson, Unsplash)

Last month, Jon Steingard, lead vocalist for the Christian rock band Hawk Nelson, revealed that he no longer believes in God. His revelation is the latest in a long line of well-known individuals who have publicly walked away from the Christian faith. Not to mention the even longer line of those raised in the Church who, according to statistics, cease attending church or abandon their faith as young adults.

Steingard wrote a lengthy Instagram post describing how he came to his decision after years of doubt and unanswered questions (or questions answered insufficiently). I can identify with much of his experience, being raised in a Christian home with an evangelist-pastor for a father and grandparents who were pastors as well. I was homeschooled, went to a church-school, and graduated from a Christian college. Until relatively recently, most of the people I knew shared similar beliefs in God, the Bible, and faith in Christ.

However, I was no stranger to the nightmare stories of young people raised in Christian homes going off to college and becoming unbelievers under the influence of liberal atheist professors. I heard the statistics about Millennials losing their faith and turning their backs on everything they were raised to believe. At times, I wondered if I would end up like them. So far, I haven’t. But Steingard’s post got me thinking about why.

To be fair, it isn’t just young people (Millennials and Gen-Zers) who are having this issue. Steingard, while technically still a Millennial, is a decade older than me. Josh Harris (of I Kissed Dating Goodbye fame) and Marty Sampson (formerly of Hillsong), who openly walked away from Christianity (one further than the other) last year, are in their forties.

This article was first published in Interfaith Now on Medium. Click here to read in full.