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In Review: 3 Key Insights About Young Adults Around the World

Shortly before the pandemic, Barna Group published The Connected Generation, a first-of-its-kind study, created in partnership with World Vision. The global study offered an unprecedented look at the faith and well-being of young adults—in this case, 18–35-year-olds—in 25 countries. In October 2022, Barna and a collective of partners will broaden the scope of our global research, this time to 26 countries and a slightly younger age group: teenagers ages 13 to 17. Before we begin to introduce The Open Generation, let's review some of the most memorable and important insights about their slightly older peers in The Connected Generation, who represent a cross-section of the age cohorts known as Gen Z and Millennials.

A Sneak Peek into Barna's Global Study of Teens

Amid a pandemic and with the partnership of a collective of organizations—including Alpha, Biblica and World Vision, with additional support from Christian Vision, Bible Study Fellowship, Christ in Youth and the Association of Christian Schools International—Barna Group has embarked on a unique global project, the largest study in its 38-year history, focused on teenagers.

Gen Z Are Leaning into Their Gifts—Will the Church Help?

Eighty-two percent of self-identified Christians and 97 percent of practicing Christians view developing their gifts as a way to grow closer to God, according to new research in Gifted for More, a recent Barna report created in partnership with Lutheran Hour Ministries. Today’s article takes a look at how each generation perceives gift awareness and development, paying special attention to responses from Gen Z, the youngest polled generation and a group faith leaders have an opportunity to better engage by addressing this topic.

What Makes an Engaging Witness, as Defined by Gen Z

What does it look like to be comfortable in the act of talking about one’s Christian faith in an era where skepticism is high and evangelism is unpopular? Today’s article specifically takes a look at recent findings from the Reviving Evangelism in the Next Generation study, paying special attention to how Gen Z defines a comfortable evangelist and how non-Christians in this generation prefer to be approached when Christians are witnessing to them.

Actions, Invitations, Storytelling—How Gen Z Approaches Evangelism

When compared to older generations, Gen Z teens—ages 13–18—in both the U.S. and Canada think about and approach spiritual conversations in their own unique way. Today’s article offers research on how this group defines evangelism and feels while sharing their faith, offering necessary context for church leaders who are pondering how to activate this next generation in their faith-sharing endeavors.

ChurchPulse Weekly Conversations: Ben Windle on Leading Millennials

To kick off ChurchPulse Weekly’s next generation focus for the month of July, Barna president David Kinnaman sits down with Ben Windle—author, speaker and pastor—to discuss what Millennials are looking for in the Church, how to be a relational leader for younger generations and a new approach to engaging volunteers. 

New Data on Gen Z—Perceptions of Pressure, Anxiety and Empowerment

Drive—or ambition and optimism about the future—is a key generational attribute of 13– to 21–year olds, something Barna researchers first identified in a 2018 study with Impact 360 Institute. Recent data from our new report, Gen Z: Volume 2, show that trends surrounding drive extend into 2020. So is drive good or bad for Gen Z's emotional well-being?

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? 

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