Dr. Alex McFarland Addresses Why Young People Are Turning from God and Offers Hope for Parents in His New Book, ‘Abandoned Faith’
CHARLOTTE, N.C.—With Mother’s Day just around the corner and Father’s Day next month, there’s one thing all moms and dads have in common—worrying about their children, at all ages, is a universal parenting challenge.
From the time their kids are toddlers to the rebellious teen years, parents have various concerns about their children. But even when sons and daughters reach their 20s, parents have a new set of worries—will their millennial-aged children continue to follow God through adulthood?
Religion and culture expert, national radio host and author Dr. Alex McFarland (www.AlexMcFarland.com) addresses these concerns in his new book Abandoned Faith: Why Millennials Are Walking Away and How You Can Lead Them Home,” co-written with apologist and evangelist Jason Jimenez. In “Abandoned Faith,” McFarland explores why millennials are leaving the church, instructs how those who love millennials can bring them back, and offers the hope of Christ to parents.
“I hear from parents nearly every week—through my speaking engagements in churches, my call-in radio show, as a result of media interviews all over America, and because of my new book—who are facing tough times as they raise their millennial-aged children,” McFarland said. “They say, ‘Alex, we feel we’ve done our very best to teach our children how important it is to have a personal relationship with Jesus, but they just don’t want to hear it!’ I feel their pain through these heartfelt conversations. So many millennials are skeptics of both Jesus and the church these days. And there are many reasons why a young person may walk away from the church, including cultural influences, skepticism, a disillusionment with the church, their friends, the media, other religions and a host of other pressures.”
McFarland added that many parents desperately want to see their children stay close to God and the faith taught in their home and church, but he acknowledges that it sometimes can be difficult to stay true, especially for young people who are questioning their futures.
“Through the process of writing, researching and promoting ‘Abandoned Faith’ I’ve seen the great need to bring millennials back to Christ,” he said. “We’ve seen the hurts of both parents and their adult children and the inherent tension when they begin to drift away from each other when it comes to matters of faith.
“From speaking with hundreds of thousands of young people over the years, I have learned that if they have just a few adults who will come alongside them and encourage them to grow in their faith, there’s a much better chance they will remain in the church and rooted in Jesus long into adulthood. So one or two positive influences can make a world of difference in the faith, and life, of a young person.”
McFarland also shares a hopeful message for parents whose millennial children are turning their backs on their beliefs. No millennial can be so far from God that He cannot bring them back into the fold, he said.
“It has been said, ‘Never doubt in the dark what God has told you in the light,’” McFarland reminded parents. “When we are struggling with the life choices of the prodigal we dearly love, it is a time of emotional anguish. But we must remind ourselves of the rock-solid promises of God’s Word. God’s Word does not fail; it does not return void, and Scripture will accomplish the purpose God intends for it.
“I encourage parents with these words: Keep the faith, be fervent in prayer, be consistent in your role-modeling of Christian living,” he added. “But remember, like so much of life, it is ultimately in God’s hands. Rest assured that I hear at least two or three stories per week of prodigals who come home to Christ. And those are just the stories I do hear; there are many I don’t know about, but I know that the long seasons of rebellion are frequently concluded with a triumphant return to the Lord.”
To book Dr. Alex McFarland for interviews or receive a review copy of “Abandoned Faith,” contact Beth Harrison at 610-584-1096, ext. 104, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, or Deborah Hamilton at 215-815-7716 or 610-584-1096, ext. 102.