One of the most sickening experiences Christian parents undergo is the realization that your young adult kids don’t want to go to church anymore. What fear, what hurt, what guilt washes over you! Where did I go wrong? What did I fail to do? What’s wrong with them?
Age 18 is too late to start cultivating a love for worship. It starts 18 years before that. It starts with a plan for a worship life in your home—thoughtful shared meal prayers, family Bible stories around the table, singing, interactive intercessory prayer, and bedtime devotions. It starts with a joyful Sunday attitude by the parents and an intentional plan to explain worship forms to kids. It continues with involving older children in age-appropriate church activities, just like a Passover festival long ago: “Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom” (Luke 2:41,42).
Kids need God in their lives too. They need his forgiveness, guidance from his Word, a value system to armor their minds and hearts against the evil one, a listening ear for their prayers, and a high view of the worth of their lives to live up to. They need Christian friends in their lives who will reinforce, not ridicule, their faith.
Most of all they need to see how much your faith matters to you, how you talk it and live it.