Where Are All the Children?

Why young people are leaving the church, what Answers in Genesis is doing and has done to stop the outflow, and a new lab to teach observational science from a biblical worldview

by Ken Ham on May 18, 2021
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We’re losing the younger generations from the US church. The world is capturing them. You will be excited to learn what AiG is doing about this—and what comes next.

Consider these shocking statistics from the USA:

Attendance at Religious Services by Generation Attendance at Religious Services by Generation

In 2010, the Pew Research Center found millennial church attendance was down to 18%. Now, in 2018, GSS Data Explorer showed church attendance with the younger generations was down to 11.3%. And it’s much worse in the rest of the Western world.

Loss of the younger generations from the church also corresponds with the increasing secularization of the culture and moral relativism that permeates thinking. Look at these sad recent statistics from Gallup about those claiming to be LGBT:

Identify as LGBT Slide

God’s Word has much to say concerning the role of parents in training their children in the ways of the Lord. In Malachi 2:15, God reminds us that one of the primary reasons for marriage is to produce “godly offspring.” Not just offspring, but “godly offspring.”

We all need to be challenged by these words from Psalm 78:

He commanded our fathers to teach to their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God. (Psalm 78:5–7)
Much of the church and many church families have not raised up the younger generations to stand boldly and uncompromisingly on God’s Word beginning in Genesis.

Sadly, as I’ve said many times, much of the church and many church families have not raised up the younger generations to stand boldly and uncompromisingly on God’s Word beginning in Genesis. There’s been a great neglect in teaching apologetics (i.e., answers to the skeptical attacks on God’s Word in today’s world) and in teaching a truly Christian worldview so that they know what they believe and why. And this neglect (along with rampant compromise with evolutionary ideas) has greatly contributed to the generational loss from the church.

Ever since the pre-cursor of the Answers in Genesis ministry began in our home in Australia in 1977, I’ve always had an emphasis on producing resources to help parents train up children to be ready for this hostile, anti-Christian world.

So, the above statistics can make us feel depressed and disheartened. But I want to encourage you.

Recently I put together a list of what the Lord has burdened Answers in Genesis to provide to help parents in their task of raising “godly offspring.” I was actually amazed when I realized all we are doing through this ministry to impact children and teens. AiG provides many other resources as well. But look at what is provided for the younger generations:

  • Books—There are so many books we’ve produced for children and teens that I couldn’t list them all in this letter. But you can find them at our Answers in Genesis website store.
  • Answers TV—our streaming service has many programs now for children and young people including Bible lessons, nature programs (for all ages), science experiments, great music, and various teaching programs geared for different ages.
  • Answers Education Online—We now have a number of online courses for young people (and adults) in creation apologetics, science, biology, geology, astronomy, and Bible, with more to be added.
  • Study Tools—AiG has numerous curricula on a variety of subjects for young people with more on the way.
  • Educational Guides—Specially designed to teach kids, teens, and adults the content of the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum.
  • Answers Bible Curriculum—Our unique 4-year Sunday school program (over 10,000 churches have been using it) for all ages. It teaches apologetics, biblical authority, doctrine, and Christian worldview. And it’s chronological in approach. No other curriculum in the world is like it.
  • Answers Bible Curriculum Digital—We just released the ABC curriculum in a digital version which can be used independently or with the print edition (most people get both).
  • Answers Bible Curriculum Homeschool—We just released the ABC Homeschool edition for K-5.
  • Answers High School Worldview Curriculum—Under construction as an online program.
  • Attractions—AiG built the two leading Christian themed attractions in the world (the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter) for all ages. Last year we began allowing children 10 and under to enter free as part of our vision and burden to help teach the younger generations—and we continue to do so in 2021.
  • Programs at the Creation Museum—Our education department now provides a variety of programs for children and teens:
    • Discover programs—Included with Creation Museum admission, they cover a variety of subjects (science, forensics, dinosaurs, etc.).
    • Explore Days—These programs require registration and a special ticket. They consist of Explore Days (ages 11–18) and Explore Jr. (half day programs for ages 5–11), which feature hands-on science teaching through the lens of a biblical worldview.
    • Explore Camps—Day camps for ages 11–18 (including science, STEM, and forensics), as 3-Day and 5-Day Camps.
    • High School Labs—Year-long series of labs for homeschool and Christian school students.
    • Astronomy programs—Dr. Danny Faulkner presents Astronomy Live in our state-of-the-art planetarium and also holds stargazer’s nights in our onsite observatory.
  • Twelve Stones Christian Academy—A truly Christian school emphasizing Christian worldview, apologetics, and academic excellence for grades K-10.
  • Programs at the Ark Encounter—We are currently running limited Explore Days for kids. When the Answers Center lower level is completed (mid-summer), we will have up to 10 teaching rooms to run programs for children/teens as we do at the Creation Museum . . . and with even more variety.
  • Horticultural programs—Our main horticultural center is at the Ark. We are beginning to introduce programs for different age levels.
  • Live animal programs—These programs are offered daily for the public at the Ark and Creation Museum, and special programs are offered for our children’s events.
  • Kids’ concerts—Our resident artists at the Ark Encounter offer concerts for children at various times.
  • Creation College Expo—To help young people choose a college that honors God’s Word beginning in Genesis, we offer a free Creation College Expo at the Answers Center (at the Ark) each year where colleges that stand with AiG set up booths and have personnel ready to promote their college. This popular event includes free Ark admission for students.
  • Answers VBS—Our unique Vacation Bible School program (which is evangelistic, teaches apologetics, and includes science experiments) is in the top 3 of such programs in the world.
  • Answers magazine and Kids Answers magazine—Our award-winning family magazine now includes a 16-page magazine for kids and includes crafts for science experiments, fun lessons about creations, and the new Wanders in Creation series.
  • Overnights—Ages 9–17 (minimum of 30) can book an overnight stay in the Ark and/or Creation Museum and have tours, animal programs, scavenger hunts, etc.

I feel exhausted just going through that list! There’s so much more I could write. But now let me share something exciting.

Because many parents who don’t live in our area have asked for lab-intensive programs—we can now offer those programs one-week labs for high schoolers.

AiG was given the funds from a family foundation to finish the lower level of the Answers Center with flexible rooms to help provide more programs for children and teens. The Explore programs and high school labs at the Creation Museum are usually booked out, leading many parents pleading with us to have more availability for their kids. Also, because many parents who don’t live in our area have asked for lab-intensive programs—we can now offer those programs one-week labs for high schoolers. (We couldn’t accommodate such a program at the small lab at the Creation Museum.)

In the lower level of the Ark’s Answers Center, a large room was constructed for a laboratory to seat 48 students. The funds donated do not include lab equipment—but the spaces are ready for it!

Answers Center Lab Space

It will cost $500,000 to equip this lab. This money is needed for microscopes and stereoscopes, general lab equipment (glassware, dissection kits, safety ware, chemicals), a safety chemical cabinet, portable vacuum hood, lab stations for 48 students (benches and stools), cabinets for the walls, smartboard, monitors, AV, and special blue tooth devices with sensors for data analysis—a phenomenal teaching tool for the students. We already have one supporter who gave us seed money of $100,000 to encourage others to give.

The purchase of this lab equipment is vital to these important programs for children and teens at the Ark Encounter to hear the message that there is no real “science vs. the Bible” conflict. (In fact, scientists like Newton, Faraday, and Pasteur were Bible-believing Christians!)

We need to teach a biblical worldview to as many of the younger generations as we can. Parents want and need our help.

We’re so grateful for your prayers and gifts to help us complete the funding of this exciting laboratory project!

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
Ken

This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.

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