Churches in the USA may face staggering losses of youth over the next 30 years, a new study predicts.

The report, entitled The Great Opportunity, paints a bleak picture concerning the future of young people and the church. Predicting a rate of over 1 million youth leaving the church each year until 2050, the study suggests that about 35 million youths raised in Christian homes will depart from their faith over the next 30 years. In fact, the number of young people leaving the church could reach 42 million.

"The bottom line: the next 30 years will represent the largest missions opportunity in the history of America," the study reads, emphasizing the need for Christians to share and encourage real faith among younger generations.

The 131-page report, compiled by Pinetops Foundation and The Veritas Forum, examines various report and survey data on the millennial perspective of faith.

"While it is hard to find clear data," the report continues, "as far as we can tell, this is the single largest generational loss of souls in history who were nominally raised in the church and no longer call themselves followers of Jesus."

While departure may be the trend, that does not indicate that churches can do nothing but accept the departure of youths. "If we can return the church’s retention and evangelism back to Gen X rates, we will see 16 million more youth begin or continue a life with Jesus," reads the report.

Greg Stier agrees with the authors of the report. The founder of Dare 2 Share, a national youth ministry organization, has written numerous books on the subject of youth disassociating with the church. He believes our time is crucial and a greater emphasis on youth ministry is needed, the Christian Post reports.

The question of how to engage youth in active, authentic, lasting faith is one that has never had one permanent nor all-encompassing resolution. Some ministries, such as Bread We Break, are already actively focused on youth and young adults within their community. The Winnipeg-based worship night is planned on regular occasions to provide young adults with a place where they can experience God personally.

"We write this report in great humility; we certainly do not believe that we, or anyone apart from God, can have all of the answers," the study's epilogue reads. While an absolute solution may not be apparent at this time for American churches, the report's authors say that they hope their findings will help to start a conversation which they hope will "continue for many years to come.

"If we can, as leaders in our churches across our country, help them to see the times, to lead them into the call of Jesus, to live the Gospel faithfully, we believe we can see a great move of God in America."