November 20, 2019 Q & A

Children Leaving the Church


Why do so many children in the OPC leave the church? Why are so many ignorant of true faith and understanding? Some are very faithful but so many are not.


Dear brother,

Thank you for your question about children leaving the OPC. As you are well aware, this is not a problem for the OPC alone but for every evangelical church.

It is also a problem that is seen in every generation. How often among the patriarchs and kings of Israel did this happen! The New Testament records primarily the founding of the various churches, but the early Fathers speak of having to deal with the same issue.

The answer is always the same: God's covenantal promises are not magical nor genetic. There is an abundance of children in each generation that in turn call on the Name of the Lord, but there are also those who do not.

On the other hand, recent studies show that we (in the OPC) have a lower percentage of offspring who leave than do most other denominations. The numbers are particularly outstanding among the families of those parents who were most active in the church's life.

There is no easy or pleasant answer. But I will say that it is a great joy to a pastor's heart (speaking personally) to welcome back those who have been brought to repentance and life.

Yours in Christ's service,



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