Archive

What Young Adults Say Is Missing from Church

Just over half of 18–35-year-old Christians surveyed for The Connected Generation study (54%) attend church at least once a month, including one-third (33%) who are in the pews once a week or more. Three in 10 (30%) attend less frequently. A small group of Christians (10%) says they used to go to church, but no longer do. Despite their fairly consistent presence in the pews, almost half of Christians (44%) say that attending church is not an essential part of their faith. But even if belonging to a community of worship isn’t always seen as essential, young Christians who attend church point to many reasons their participation may be fruitful, most of which pertain to personal spiritual development.

82% of Young Adults Say Society Is in a Leadership Crisis

In The Connected Generation, a recent Barna study conducted in partnership with World Vision, data show that young adults face some unique headwinds on their road to becoming effective leaders. When we take time to listen—an essential practice for connecting with 18–35-year-olds—we hear a sense of unease about the future and uncertainty about the kind of leaders that could make a difference. Part of it is the underlying sense of anxiety that permeates many societies today. For good reason, the connected generation perceives deep, wide, systemic problems facing the world’s future.

Digital Babylon: Our Accelerated, Complex Culture

In his 2011 book You Lost Me, Barna president David Kinnaman identified three trends shaping our culture: access (which, thanks to WiFi everywhere, is exponentially more amplified today), alienation (from institutions and traditions that give structure and meaning to our lives) and authority (which, like institutions and traditions, is increasingly viewed with suspicion). In the years since that book released, Kinnaman and the Barna team have adopted a phrase to describe our accelerated, complex culture that’s marked by unlimited access, profound alienation and a crisis of authority: digital Babylon.

Only One-Third of Young Adults Feels Cared for by Others

An early and obvious theme to emerge from The Connected Generation—a Barna-World Vision partnership that surveyed 15,000 18–35-year-olds from 25 countries around the globe—is broad agreement with two statements: “Events around the world matter to me” (77% all) and “I feel connected to people around the world” (57%). The experience of connection in one’s daily life, however, isn’t a guarantee. In fact, the vast majority of young adults feels the impact of broad, global trends more than they feel loved and supported by others close to them. Just one in three 18–35-year-old respondents tells Barna they often feel deeply cared for by those around them (33%) or that someone believes in them (32%). Meanwhile, nearly one in four (23%) acknowledges encountering feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Explore Faith for the Future

On September 10, The Connected Generation project launched with the Faith for the Future webcast, a live, free event where leaders from Barna and World Vision revealed main findings—some sobering, some hopeful—uncovered by this global data. The team was joined by panels of experts and ministers as well as viewers from 88 countries and six continents. Below, explore highlights from the data and the webcast, which will be available as a free replay until November 1.

Church Dropouts Have Risen to 64%—But What About Those Who Stay?

In Faith for Exiles, Kinnaman and his coauthor, Mark Matlock, touch on the increase of young-adult church dropouts from 59% in 2011 to 64% in 2019. But what about the young adults who stay? We invite you to meet the one in 10 young Christians for whom we’ve coined the term “resilient disciples.” These young adults have made a commitment to Jesus and are a small, yet significant group of Christians who are running counter to the current dropout trend.

What Will It Take to Disciple the Next Generation?

Over the last decade and a half, one of Barna’s primary missions has been to understand emerging generations—specifically Gen Z and Millennials in the United States—and discover how to best equip them to grow and share their faith. In the process, Barna has interviewed nearly 100,000 teens and young adults to learn more about their worldview, especially surrounding Christianity, religion and culture. As Barna deepens our understanding of the next generation and what they’re bringing with them into adulthood, we are also reflecting on some of the many conversations we’ve had with faith leaders about the bigger questions surrounding the next generation.

Why the Generations Approach Generosity Differently

New Barna research, commissioned by Thrivent, examines giving trends among practicing Christian adults in the U.S. In this new data, we look at multiple expressions of generosity in the Church—monetary and more—and the complex motivations for giving, which tend to vary by age and life stage.

Gen Z and Morality: What Teens Believe (So Far)

Over time, consensus on central beliefs has waned, and younger generations are now inheriting this new moral landscape. Though still in a formative stage of life, the leading edge of Gen Z (along with Millennials) holds some notably different views on a range of moral, social and political issues.

Parents and Pastors: Partners in Gen Z Discipleship

Parents and youth pastors hope to impart a lasting faith to the next generation. In this excerpt from Barna’s Gen Z study, conducted in partnership with Impact 360 Institute, we look at the discipleship interactions that today’s skeptical teens have in the context of two key relationships.

Your cart
Close
Clear Cart
Total
Shipping and discount codes are added at checkout.