Let's now look at two more of Piatt's reasons why young adults leave church.
There's No Natural Bridge to Church. This one's practical and commonsensical: Basically, there's not enough outreach on college campuses, and what little there is can be a guy with a bullhorn. That said, Piatt develops this point in a way that is remarkably selfish: "I could have used support in how to deal with my own finances for the first time. I could have used a built-in network of friends. I would have loved a care package, an invitation for free pizza at the local restaurant or help with my laundry." And Rick Warren -- seriously -- offered potty training courses at his church. Here again, it escapes Piatt that serious discipleship is not about What He Wants. Here's news for him: Christians in the Sudan could use some food, not money. The could use the community support of a worldwide church in their struggle to survive. They've never seen a pizza and their "laundry" is a stagnant pond that cows have pooped in.
This is not to say that the church has not failed Piatt and others in terms of community support. However, all of this is the result of the individualism that Piatt himself also covets. When the emphasis is on self-satisfaction, self-realization, and self-esteem, we shouldn't be surprised when "self" is left by itself.
We're Distracted. Here, too, the shadow of the selfish hangs heavy; Piatt says, "we have so many things competing for our limited time and attention that the passive things that don't offer an immediate 'interrupt' get relegated to the 'later' pile." Say what? What "things"? Television and video games? Getting ahead in the rat race? Buying a new car? Text messaging? This is hard to take seriously from a Western Christian.
Now to be fair, if things like "video games" are replaced by "serving at a soup kitchen," then the line is perfectly valid -- but it also means you're not "distracted," it means you're engaged, which is exactly as it should be.
I'll stop there with a link to an item in Christianity Today that discusses the "juvenilization" of Christianity. If you read this one, you'll get a good idea where the attitude manifested by Piatt came from -- and why it needs to be erased.
The only problem is, it's so long and requires so much thought that the ones who need to read it most will probably get distracted.