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Why They Stay
Dr. Steve R. Parr and Dr. Tom Crites

Why They Stay has a strong message for church strengthening and revitalization: invest in the future of the church through parents, teens and children. Deuteronomy 6 places a strong emphasis on a parent’s responsibility in disciple-making. The church should partner with parents in responding to this admonition. Parr and Crites, through their research, reveal the practices of parents and churches that result in the next generation staying connected to the community of faith.

Fifteen critical issues are revealed that have direct impact on an individual staying connected to the church. The majority of those factors relate to parenting and the child’s experience of discipleship during the formative years. Parr and Crites’ take-away for a church: “Attention should be given to improving marriages and parenting, to providing a healthy church environment, to providing a more effective discipleship experience for children, teens, and younger adults, and to maintaining a connection that helps older teens navigate their post high school years” (156).

The reader will discover wisdom and counsel that will help in the forming of strategic steps that will create lifelong followers. The statistical discoveries will be of great value in leading the church to assess or reassess its role in making disciples that will disciple their families for the generations ahead. In the brief time that this book has been available, church leaders have already been using this great resource in their revitalization efforts.


State Missionary Daniel Edmonds may be contacted at 1-800-264-1225, ext. 285, or (334) 613-2285, dedmonds@alsbom.org.

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