My friend Chris Dortch is doing some research for a seminary degree about youth ministry. Would you help him out? Here’s some of the fine print (yawn) and we’ll give you a freebie for participating, too! You can also check out Chris’ resources on DYM right here:

A 2007 survey conducted by Lifeway revealed that 70% of 23-30 year olds dropped out of church for at least one year between the ages of 18-22. However, 35% of those who indicated they dropped out of church also returned to the church. The purpose of this research is to discover and present best practices for youth pastors in retaining students’ involvement in a local church post-high school. Participants in the research should be seasoned youth workers with at least five years of experience working with youth in the local church setting.

Please CLICK HERE to take the survey.

CONSENT FORM | Best Practices for Retaining Youth Group Students in the Local Church Post-High School | Chris Dortch | Liberty University | Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary

You are invited to be in a research study of discovering best practices for retaining youth group students’ involvement in a local church after they have graduated high school. You were selected as a possible participant because you work with students in a local church setting. I ask that you read this form and ask any questions you may have before agreeing to be in the study.

This study is being conducted by Chris Dortch, D.Min. candidate at Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.

Background Information: The purpose of this study is to discover from veteran youth pastors who have been working with students in a local church for at least five years the most successful practices for retaining students. Rather than focusing on how to bring students back to the church after they have left, this study focuses on observing discipleship processes that prevent students from leaving in the first place. It is believed that students whose faith has been nurtured by a biblical discipleship model will remain active while students whose faith has been limited to event-focused activities are more likely to leave the church. Participants should be limited to those who have been serving in vocational student ministry for at least a period of five years.

Procedures: If you agree to be in this study, I would ask you to do the following things: Review the ten questions in the survey and then answer them as thorough as possible. Keep in mind that paragraph answers are limited to approximately 2000 characters. This survey should take somewhere between 15-25 minutes to complete.

Risks and Benefits of being in the Study: The study has minimal risks: Anticipated risks are minimal and are no more than one would expect when taking part in normal, daily activities. Participants do not receive a direct benefit from their participation. The researcher believes the information gained through this research may benefit future youth pastors and churches in improving their discipleship strategy of youth group students.

Compensation: You will not receive payment for your participation in the survey. However, you will be given a free download from Once you have completed the survey, you will be given a promo code that will enable you to download “Making Announcements Awesome” by Chris Dortch as your free download. The promo code will be applied when you insert the code and select “apply coupon” from your cart on

Confidentiality: The records of this study will be kept private. In any sort of report I might publish, I will not include any information that will make it possible to identify a subject. Research records will be stored securely and only the researcher will have access to the records. All data will be kept on my personal MacBook, which is used for educational purposes only. No other party will have access to the file. No personal information, including your name, will be stored with your responses to this survey.

Voluntary Nature of the Study: Participation in this study is voluntary. Your decision whether or not to participate will not affect your current or future relations with Liberty University or If you decide to participate, you are free to not answer any question or withdraw at any time without affecting those relationships.

Contacts and Questions: The researcher conducting this study is Chris Dortch. You may ask any questions you have now. If you have questions later, you are encouraged to contact him at[email protected]. You may also reach the student’s advisor, Dr. Charles N. Davidson at[email protected].

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this study and would like to talk to someone other than the researcher, you are encouraged to contact the Institutional Review Board, 1971 University Blvd, Suite 1837, Lynchburg, VA 24515 or email at [email protected].

You are welcome to print a copy of this information to keep for your records.

Please CLICK HERE to take the survey! And like it said – once you have submitted the survey you will be given a promo code for your free copy of “Making Announcements Awesome” as a thank you from DYM!