What is the New Average Age for Kids to Have a Crisis of Faith?

Beyond Teachable Moments

I think many of us would say that the university years are the years when our kids are most likely to face a crisis of faith.  We think of this as the time when kids are taking a ‘borrowed’ faith and deciding if they will make it their own or not.

Many would also suggest high school – particularly the older grades – as having a strong potential for a crisis of faith.  That’s when a child begins to cross over to adulthood – albeit in fits and starts.

I would have said either of these times were likely candidates for a crisis of faith.  But I recently learned that my information is outdated.  There is a new average age when kids hit a crisis of faith.

The average age for a crisis in faith is now 13.

Now, I don’t have a formal study to back this up.  But this is something that Christian apologists who work regularly with youth are finding.


One huge reason is the internet.  Through the internet, kids suddenly have access to a myriad of information that they’ve never been exposed to before.  And often they do not have the critical thinking skills to cope with the information they are accessing.

I am not advocating banning the internet.  I’m not even advocating protecting your kids from this kind of information.  That’s unrealistic and will only delay the issue.

Don’t isolate – inoculate

The people at Stand to Reason are great at advocating inoculation over isolation when it comes to helping kids understand and evaluate different ideas and worldviews.  I totally agree with them, and I’ve adopted Dorothy Sayer’s approach to introducing this with our own kids.

In The Lost Tools of Learning, Dorothy Sayers (a contemporary of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien) discusses how the educational programs of her day (her article was presented in 1947!) failed to help students to learn to think critically.

According to Sayers, there are a number of key skills that are necessary in order for a student to be able to think critically for him or herself.  They include…


What is the New Average Age for Kids to Have a Crisis of Faith? | Beyond Teachable Moments