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.
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.
Most Americans say they are Christians, but few follow that up with deep, heart-level, life-directing commitments. This is true of all generations, and it remains true of young adults in the U.S., two-thirds of whom identify as Christian.
Caring for the poor and vulnerable is a defining characteristic of being a Christ-follower, according not only to scripture but also to many Christian 18–35-year-olds (43%) in The Connected Generation study, a recent international Barna project produced in partnership with World Vision. If this is a primary sign that someone is a Christian, what kind of impression are faithful 18–35-year-olds leaving around the world?