The problem is not in how many young people we retain or how evangelistic we are (or are not). The problem is a paradigm shift in the way the upcoming generation thinks. For most Churches of Christ, church is a 3rd person entity that is done from a building with a chapel that imposes a complete set of rules on how we worship, fellowship, and minister: We must all sit in pews, we must have worship leaders who always do so from the stage and they must be male, We must follow the scripted worship order planned by someone else, fellowship is a Sunday School class or a bridal shower at the building, ministry is a VBS at the building or a clothing drive at the building, etc… Though there is nothing inherently wrong with this model, it has a number of limitations in allowing a new generation to express their worship and faith in God in the 1st person which is what being church is about. In the worst forms, there are some who believe this model of being church (3rd person) is biblical and therefore unchangeable.
We must come to grips with the reality that for the upcoming generation, church will not be a 3rd person entity done from a building. Church will be a 1st person reality and acted out in ways that will not fit into our mold. Worship, fellowship, and ministry may be practiced out in a house church, by a small group at a coffee shop who will never see the inside of a church building, in a city park among the company of the publics most disenfranchised, and many other forms that is even difficult for my mind to fathom. The upcoming generation will care little about what gender does what when worshiping. They will care little about whether their singing is with or without instruments (if they meet in a coffee shop, they may not even sing but instead encourage each other just through the communal reading of scripture). From my viewpoint, these shifts have nothing to do with being or not being scriptural. I realize that for some, there are biblical issues at stake. Regardless, unless we can learn to start allowing expressions of being church that are beyond our traditional box called a building we will only continue to experience the frustrations already being felt.