Friday, April 30, 2010

Millenial Religious Practice

Source: "Fewer Young Adults Attending Church" from Pastor's Weekly Briefing, April 30, 2010.

Keywords: unchurched, post-modern, secular, religion

According to a new survey by a Christian research firm, a majority of young adults, age 18 to 29, don't pray, don't worship and don't read the Bible.

The research, conducted by LifeWay Christian Resources, revealed that:

  • Sixty-five percent identify themselves as Christian, while 14 percent say they are atheist or agnostic, 14 percent list no religious preference, and 8 percent claim other religions.
  • Sixty-five percent rarely or never pray with others, and 38 percent almost never pray by themselves either.
  • Sixty-five percent rarely or never attend worship services.
  • Sixty-seven percent don't read the Bible or sacred texts.
  • Seventy-two percent say they're "really more spiritual than religious."
  • Many are unsure Jesus is the only path to heaven: Half say, yes — half say, no.

"We have dumbed down what it means to be part of the church so much that it means almost nothing, even to people who already say they are part of the church," says Thom Rainer, president of LifeWay Christian Resources.

The survey was based on telephone interviews in August 2009 with 1,200 18-to-29-year-olds. The study forms the basis for the upcoming book, "The Millennials: Connecting to America's Largest Generation," by Dr. Thom Rainer and Jess Rainer.

Connected to Jesus

Source: "Jesus Speaks Back" from Pastor's Weekly Briefing, April 30, 2010.


A majority of Americans believe that Jesus speaks back to them in two-way communication, according to results from a new Barna Group® survey. The study was conducted among a random sample of 2,002 U.S. adults.

While an overwhelming majority of Americans claim to pray during a typical week (more than 80%), the results point out that a majority also believes that Jesus speaks back to them. Overall, 38 percent said they are "completely certain" that Jesus speaks to them in ways that are personal and relevant to their circumstances. An additional 21 percent said they are "somewhat certain" that He does so, while 10 percent contend that Jesus speaks to them, but they were not as sure about that communication. Eight percent did not know if Jesus Christ speaks to them. In total, less than one-quarter of all adults (23%) stated that Jesus does not speak to them.

According to Americans, Jesus speaks to them in multi-faceted ways. At least one out of every six adults contends that He communicates with them in the following manner:

  • By influencing or connecting directly with their mind, emotions or feelings (52%).
  • Through the content of a Bible passage they read or which was read to them (41%).
  • By providing a sign (36%).
  • Through sermon or teaching content concerning their immediate situation or need (34%).
  • Through miraculous or inexplicable circumstances or outcomes (31%).
  • Through words spoken to them by someone else who was speaking for God (31%).
  • Through a passage they read in a book other than the Bible (18%).
  • Through an audible voice or whisper that they could hear (16%).

Click here to view the full report from Barna.