In the past three or four months, a diverse set of events and news reports have given me a different perspective into the failing educational system in the US. It is a travesty that two-thirds of Wisconsin 8th graders cannot read despite having the largest per-pupil spending in the region. It is a shame that 47% of adults in Detroit are functionally illiterate. Conversations I have with college students demonstrate that they do not like to read and do not even want to read for research.

The failure of our educational system means that how we do church needs to change. It also impacts how we implement spiritual formation practices.

Starting next week, I hope to being a series called Education, Formation, and Communication that looks at the implications declining reading skills has on how we do spiritual formation and how we communicate. I will also address in this series a couple of reasons I believe that young adults – upper high school students and college students – are leaving the church. I hope to start it on Monday, but it may be later in the week. I would love thoughts from educators on this, especially college and seminary professors.

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