The evangelical church in North America is facing a crisis in its failure to retain young people.
Research has shown that young people are dropping out of the church and they are not only
leaving but also failing to return once they are older. This crisis did not appear in a vacuum; it
is the result of the church’s movement towards a style of programming that has created a
division between evangelism and discipleship. This style of programme not only seeks to
reach those outside of the church at the expense of those youth in the church but also creates a
dichotomy between who we are (our identity) and what we do (our mission). The church must
seek to remove this dichotomy between identity and mission and utilise strategies that work
with our identity rather than against it.
INTRADISCIPLINARY AND/OR INTERDISCIPLINARY IMPLICATIONS : This article is an interaction between
practical theology and pastoral practice in Christian ministry. The crisis of youth leaving
evangelical churches in North America is because of the dichotomy between mission and
identity. Once this dichotomy is erased, mission will be a natural outworking of identity in