Religion and Culture Expert Alex McFarland Explores Why
Millennials Leave the Church and How to Bring Them Back; Top
Christian Leaders Provide Positive Feedback on New Book
CHARLOTTE, N.C.—There’s no doubt that millennials are walking away from their faith. A Pew Research Center study found that more than a third of this young generation say they do not identify with a religion, along with about a quarter of all Americans who call themselves “nones” when it comes to their religious affiliations.
But the real question is “why.” Why is this generation born between 1980 and 2000 leaving their beliefs behind in droves?
Religion and culture expert, national radio host and author Dr. Alex McFarland (www.AlexMcFarland.com) explores this crucial question in his new book, “Abandoned Faith: Why Millennials Are Walking Away and How You Can Lead Them Home,” co-authored with apologist and evangelist Jason Jimenez.
Millennials now out-number Baby Boomers as the world’s largest generation. And they have surpassed Generation Xers as the most significant portion of the workforce. This generation is a force with which to be reckoned. Spurred by these numbers and other hard-hitting facts, McFarland and Jimenez interview top Christian leaders who work with millennials and families. Their research and conversations shed new light on what Christian parents must do to reach their young adult children. “Abandoned Faith” also offers a strong voice of hope for parents, church leaders and others who serve and love the millennial generation.
“Over decades in ministry, I have spoken to tens of thousands of young people, and have talked to them about their doubts, insecurities and disillusions with religion,” McFarland said. “There are many reasons why young people may walk away from the church—mistrust, skepticism, rebellion, pressure or just turning from what they might see as the status quo of organized religion. But I would venture to say that many walk away because they are faced with situations where they are either asked or demanded to defend their beliefs, and they just don’t know how.”
Millennials constitute a group of more than 80 million individuals who are technologically astute, ethnically diverse, and culturally and vibrantly engaged. Yet they face high unemployment and massive debt. These characteristics, coupled with the fact that they comprise the largest number of religiously unaffiliated Americans, should be concerning to every parent, grandparent, pastor and potential employer.
“Many millennials grew up in an environment where their parents hovered, their teachers laid out all the details so critical thinking was discouraged, and they were given sports trophies for participation,” McFarland continued. “So when the pressure is on to tell others why they not only believe in Jesus, but trust in Him, they choose to leave faith behind because they don’t know all the answers. Regardless of why they shun their beliefs, the real tragedy is that many millennials are heading into life without Christ. And we must find a way to bring them back into the fold. That’s why our new book, ‘Abandoned Faith,’ is so important for anyone who loves a millennial.”
Several Christian leaders have positive feedback for “Abandoned Faith,” including:
- “As someone whose life work is to strengthen the faith of millennials, I see this book as a caring guide chock-full of practical advice. As a dad of millennials, I see it as a well-timed life preserver in the swelling waves of a cultural storm.”—Dr. Jeff Myers, President of Summit Ministries and author of “Understanding the Culture”
- “If you’re like me, you’re aware of the problem: young Christians often walk away from the Church in their high-school and college years. Jason Jimenez and Alex McFarland have written ‘Abandoned Faith’ in an effort to do something about it. They’ve been working with millennials for years, and they’ve written a resource to help the Church appreciate the challenge, understand the nature of those who are leaving, and begin to consider an effective response. ‘Abandoned Faith’ is an important book. It will help you understand what is at stake and what you can do about it.”—J. Warner Wallace, cold-case detective, adjunct professor of apologetics at Biola University, and author of “Cold-Case Christianity,” “Cold-Case Christianity for Kids” and “God’s Crime Scene”
“Abandoned Faith” is available for pre-order now at AlexMcFarland.com, with an official release date from Tyndale Publishing and Focus on the Family of March 1 (in stores March 7).
McFarland’s blog at www.AlexMcFarland.com features posts such as “The Stress-Free Way to Know God’s Will,” “5 Strategies for Reaching Skeptics,” “Pitch These 9 Fallacies Before Making Moral Choices” and “Don’t Let Our Kids Be Eaten by Lions.” Read more here.
Also serving as Director for Christian Worldview and Apologetics at North Greenville University (www.ngu.edu) in Greenville, S.C., McFarland is the author of “Stand Strong America,” “The God You Thought You Knew: Exposing the 10 Biggest Myths About Christianity,” “10 Questions Every Christian Must Answer,” “10 Issues that Divide Christians,” “10 Answers for Skeptics” and the “Stand” series of devotions for teens. McFarland is an expert in the field of apologetics—the practice of defending the Christian faith in a world where faith in Christ is plummeting at alarming rates.
McFarland has spent years working with young people and takes their questions to heart. He has preached in more than 1,300 churches and has been featured at conferences such as the Billy Graham School of Evangelism, Focus on the Family’s “Big Dig” and California’s “Spirit West Coast,” sharing the platform with Chuck Colson, Eric Metaxas, Josh McDowell and others.
Part evangelist, part apologist, part educator and part broadcaster, McFarland focuses on communicating the message of salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ. He co-hosts the daily, live radio program “Exploring the Word” on American Family Radio’s Talk Network, heard on more than 125 stations across the country, and the weekly television show “Viral Truth,” airing on the National Religious Broadcasters Network, which he co-hosts with Jimenez.
For more information on Dr. Alex McFarland, visit www.AlexMcFarland.com or follow him on Facebook or on Twitter @AlexMcFarland.
To book Dr. Alex McFarland for interviews, 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.