I heard it in a conversation today but didn't have the chance to verify what I thought I heard. My question is really, "Was it 85%?" If it was, that's a pretty high percentage. And what does it say about the current relationship that church has with children?
If some form of connection with the church as a child is informing a faith choice as an adult then current trends suggest that within a generation, that connection will not be there for the vast majority of tomorrow's adults.
Now it may not be as significant as it first appears, given that less than 6% of the adult population attend church anyway. And what percentage of churched folk come to faith as an adult?
In other words, there's still a very big part of the population for whom a church connection or not in childhood makes absolutely no difference to them when it comes to making a choice about faith as an adult. Or is it? Is it at least a contributing factor that because they have never experienced a faith community, they never consider it the place to find answers to faith-based questions?
In the end, the statistic does at least one thing-it reminds us that those amongst us who give their time to work among children, especially the unchurched children, may be laying a foundation that will bear fruit later in life. A lesson our instant age finds hard to bear.