Statistics That Will Break Your Heart (Hopefully)

I took Statstics for Psychology in College many moons ago and hated it. But one thing I did learn is that 56% of all statistics are made up….get it? I just made that up? Get it? I crack myself up.

I did take statistics however, and I do wish some of the REAL statistics I am going to share with you in this post were as funny as my joke–because you know my joke was NOT HILARIOUS. I only pray that as I align them all and explain the importance of our task at hand, you will not just read this, comment or like, but you will actually allow the reality of our world to sink into the depths of your heart and move you to action. Lord, break our hearts for what breaks yours…

[In the state of Florida]

There are approximately 4.1 million kids under the age of 18! This is 4.1 million kids who need to hear the Gospel.

37.5% kids were born to moms between the ages of 15 and 19. And 90% of those teen moms were unwed. And for almost 20% of those 15 to 19 year olds, that was their 2nd or even 3rd child. This is 38% of kids who are wounded and struggling to understand a grown up world without the chance to grow up.

38% of children in Florida live in a single parent household. This is 38% of kids who have no idea what family is suppose to be–how God designed it.

76,000 kids ages 10-17 are part of the juvenile justice system. After taking out the data for kids 0-9 and doing a few back flips and clicks, we are left with a rather large number of kids who break the law and are being shuffled through our system.

Thankfully, God made kids with open hearts, receptive to Him, desiring a relationship with Him. In fact, in the book of Matthew Jesus encourages us to be like children in our faith and our relationship with Him. Without fear, or questions–just trusting.

This is probably why 43% of all Christians come to faith in Christ before turning 13–and 64% make their commitment before turning 18.

So why is this?

Why are kids the ones most likely to come to Christ YET are living out lives that are filled with hurt and disconnection?

Why are kids suffering through the tragedy of not having a family, or starting their own families when they aren’t even old enough to rent a car? Why are kids alone? Confused? Traumatized?

Here is MY answer:

Churches are failing the next generations. We are too concerned with big stage designs and fun programming. We want ministry on Sunday to be fun before it is real. We don’t want to take the time to build relationships because we want to grow numbers. We are often times more concerned with the lighting in the worship center than we are with the child who’s dad just moved out.

Is raising and growing and loving our kids into a relationship with Christ important? YES! But more so, raising and growing and loving ALL kids into a relationship with Christ is of the utmost importance. We must talk with them, hug them, cry with them, hold their hands, pray with them and for them. We must do more!

I believe the condition of our generations breaks God’s heart. In Isaiah 53:3 it describes Jesus as “a Man of sorrows…acquainted with grief.” I believe that He is very much grieving over every lost, hurting child in this world.

It is up to you and to me to change that. We must care–we must love–we must share the Hope
of Christ. It is the ONLY answer.

Thoughts?

*Annie E. Casey Kids Count
*George Barna Research

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4 thoughts on “Statistics That Will Break Your Heart (Hopefully)

  1. Thanks for sharing the eye-opening and thought-provoking stats which represent real lives, unique stories. We all personally know some of these kids behind these numbers, and that is where thought-provoking needs to turn into action-inspiring. My heart was broken recently upon hearing the situation of a girl at our children’s school. With God’s help, I pray our family can show love and even bring hope to her. Thanks for your ministry Tiffany!

      1. The deep life-changing ministry is in the daily/weekly interaction and authentic relationships we develop with people (little ones or big ones) outside of our one hour programs. I see you leading and modeling that, and I’m thankful. If kids feel loved and listened to, they’ll come to just about anything where you are because they belong to community:

        “30 hour famine? sure. Rake leaves for the elderly? sure. Do dishes at the spaghetti dinner fundraiser? sure. Bowling, lame movies, cheesy games? I don’t care what we’re doing I just want to be with people who care and accept me.”

        Maybe I’m too quick to dismiss the big fantastic fun programs (because we DO all want to have fun also!!). But this has been my own experience at least as a teen and as a youth worker. My youth leaders were amazing, and God used them to save and change my life. Now we have that opportunity to love kids and their parents in the same way.

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