Don’t look for children’s Sunday school classes at Ridgewood Church in Port Arthur, Texas. And forget about scavenger hunts and water park trips: the youth ministry is no more.

Sound like a dying church?

No, it’s a family-integrated congregation, whose leaders wanted parents—rather than Sunday school teachers and youth ministers—to spiritually train their children. Driven by statistics about youth leaving church after high school, they’ve turned to the Bible as their sole educational text and shunned age-segregated structures.

“Nobody disagrees that there’s a problem,” said Ridgewood’s Pastor Dustin Guidry, whose church started the transition seven years ago. “What do we do about it? It’s just going back to the basics, relying upon the sufficiency of Scriptures.”

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