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Technology Promises Connection, but Gen Z Sees a Paradox

The information revolution has transformed the way everyone lives—but especially the youngest generations. Recent Barna data show that the average American teen receives their first smartphone at around 12 to 13 years of age and their first tablet around age 11. The U.S. childhood and adolescent experience is mediated by screens, both in and outside the home. In light of this, how should teens and their families respond to the new force shaping their lives? 

Why 2020 Might Be Good News for the Church

In the final installment of the series Five Essential Conversations About Ministry to the Next Generation, David Kinnaman and Mark Matlock wrap up their discussion with a hopeful note: looking at the positive outcomes and opportunities presented to the Church, even in the chaos of of 2020.

How Mental Health Is the New Domain of Ministry to the Next Generation

Recent data show that the mental health strain teens and young adults were under pre-pandemic have only intensified during the crisis. How should church leaders respond in light of these findings?

Why You Might Be Aiming at the Wrong Target in Your Ministry to the Next Generation

With only 10 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds who grew up Christian or in the Church qualifying as what Barna defines as "resilient disciples," pastors may wonder, what can be done to engage young people and even raise this percentage in the years to come?

Will the 2020 Pandemic Accelerate Loss of Faith Among the Next Generation?

Reaching out to the next generation is of key importance, especially in a season of uncertainty and rapid changes. The first step Matlock recommends to welcome Prodigals back into the Church and encourage all young people to stay engaged is to forge deeper connections. These stronger ties will yield insights into how pastors can best support and disciple these young adults.

Why Millennials Aren't Watching Your Streamed Worship Services

Over the last few months, church leaders have expressed that they are struggling in their ministry to younger adult generations. In light of this, Barna president David Kinnaman and Director of Insights Mark Matlock sat down to review what research tells us about these age groups, seeking to offer actionable insights that church leaders can implement right now. We'll kick off this five-day video series, Five Essential Conversations About Ministry to the Next Generation, with an exploration of some of the reasons Millennials may have stopped streaming digital church during the pandemic.

One-Third of Engaged Christian Parents Is "Media-Stressed"

While ubiquitous tech and media haven’t created many problems, they have amplified old pressures. And when the world can fit in your pocket, these problems become all but inescapable. How can the Church come alongside children—and the parents who raise them—to promote wise tech use in an age where even the most essential tasks can—or must—be done virtually (work, school, doctor’s visits, etc.)? Today’s article, an excerpt from Guiding Children, takes a look at Christian parents’ top struggles in terms of media and tech use among their kids and what opportunities this presents for churches.

Strong Relationships Within Church Add to Resilient Faith in Young Adults

In Faith for Exiles, co-authors David Kinnaman and Mark Matlock discuss five practices that contribute to resilient discipleship and flourishing faith in young adults. Today, we’ll take a deeper look at a main aspect of resilience—relationships. How can the Church offer strong, lasting connections to young people, even in the challenging social context prompted by the COVID-19 crisis?

5 Trends Shaping the Next Season of Next Gen Discipleship

2020 has been a year of disruption, to say the least. From the pandemic to a movement of demonstrations for racial justice to the looming presidential election, U.S. residents—along with many of their global neighbors—are living in a state of uncertainty. And younger adult generations, Millennials and Gen Z, are facing some of the greatest challenges in this moment.

ChurchPulse Weekly Podcast: Leslie Mack and Shane Sanchez on Student Ministry

Just a few weeks ago, nearly half of U.S. pastors (47%) shared that one of the greatest challenges they’re facing at this moment is ministry to children and youth. This week, podcast hosts Carey Nieuwhof and David Kinnaman drill deeper into this stat with guest panelists Leslie Mack and Shane Sanchez, seeking to offer clarity and direction to leaders who are struggling with next gen ministry.

Discussing Missions with the Next Generation—What Terms Are Preferred or Objectionable?

Religious language changes over time. Once-common words and phrases fall out of fashion and use for various reasons, often because younger generations feel their parents’ and grandparents’ preferred words don’t adequately describe their experience. today’s article takes a look at data from The Future of Missions, highlighting the way different age groups talk about missions and why teens and young adults lean away from certain terminology when discussing global ministry.

Young Christians Value Missions, but Question Its Ethics

While engaged faith is alive and well among a significant minority of Millennials and Gen Z, not all are convinced of missions’ urgency and efficacy. The Future of Missions, a brand new Barna report conducted in partnership with International Mission Board takes a closer look at what’s keeping young Christians from wholeheartedly engaging with global ministry. In an effort to inform the conversations church leaders and parents should be having with the next generation of missionaries, this study analyzes Christian generations’ past and present practice and perspectives of missions.

How Young Adults in Digital Babylon View the Gospel

In light of the COVID-19 crisis and current federal social distancing guidelines, digital Easter has become a reality for church leaders nationwide. Barna president David Kinnaman and Faith for Exiles co-author Mark Matlock have long been weighing the effects of digital Babylon on young adults (Millennials and Gen Z), sharing insights for faith leaders to lean on as they minister to the next generation. The current moment sheds new light on these findings which now very much apply to pastors’ outreach to all congregants, despite their age.

Young Adults Reveal Their Goals for the Next Decade

Barna spent much of last year researching and learning more about what we are calling the connected generation, the 18-35-year-olds—comprised of both Gen Z and Millennials—who are the future of our world. The Connected Generation report, conducted in partnership with World Vision, takes into account 15,369 interviews across 25 countries in 9 languages, allowing us both a broader and more-focused lens with which to understand young adults. With 2020 upon us and new year’s resolutions in full swing, we wanted to highlight the top accomplishments and goals of this generation.

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