An assessment of dropout rates of former youth ministry participants in conservative Southern Baptist megachurches
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The purpose of this study was to examine the claim that 70 to 90% of youth ministry graduates from conservative Southern Baptist churches leave the church after high school graduation. In order to accomplish this goal, the researcher compared current levels of church involvement among young adults with their youth ministry commitment levels to look for significant relationships between the two and to obtain a valid retention statistic. The research design for this study was essentially quantitative. Young adults who graduated high school prior to the year 2008 from twelve Southern Baptist churches were surveyed to gather data regarding their previous youth ministry commitments and current levels of church involvement. Survey data was compiled, coded, and analyzed using a series of Chi-Square tests and t-tests to determine the statistical significance between these two categories. An overall retention rate of 88% was observed for all levels of youth ministry commitment, and over 70% of the survey respondents reported that they never dropped out of church between the ages of 18 and 22. Keywords . Retention, Youth Ministry Commitment, Drop Out, Church Involvement