How Mental Health Is the New Domain of Ministry to the Next Generation
ell before the pandemic hit, Barna research—as well as others’—finds that young people, namely Millennials and Gen Z, are more likely than generations that came before to report battling with mental health issues. In research conducted for The Connected Generation, Barna’s largest-ever study, data show that half of U.S. 18–35-year-olds (49%) expressed anxiety over important decisions and were afraid to fail. Over three in 10 said they often felt sad or depressed (39%) or lonely and isolated from others (34%).
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?
David Kinnaman and Mark Matlock, in part four of the five-part video series Five Essential Conversations About Ministry to the Next Generation, suggest it’s crucial for pastors to consider these pressures as they continue reaching out to the young people in their congregations. This means going a step further than the usual church interactions to encourage safe dialogue around mental and emotional health issues such as anxiety, depression and loneliness.
Kinnaman states, “It’s essential that the Church shows up to offer meaningful solutions in an era of anxiety.” Both he and Matlock agree that instead of shifting away from young adult and teen outreach, as many pastors have been likely to do during this season, it’s important to keep investing in these ministries.
Tomorrow, tune in for the final installment of Five Essential Conversations About Ministry to the Next Generation. Get the extended videos in a Barna Access Plus subscription, which gives you unlimited access to Barna Next Gen content, including Barna courses, labs and emerging data on younger generations to fuel your next gen ministry strategy. An Access Plus membership also includes access to all our research reports and six additional curated content channels for just $19 a month.
Barna Access Plus
Strengthen your message, train your team and grow your church with cultural insights and practical resources, all in one place.
Five Essential Conversations About Ministry to the Next Generation:
Part 1: Why Millennials Aren’t Watching Your Streamed Worship Services
Part 2: Will the 2020 Pandemic Accelerate Loss of Faith Among the Next Generation?
Part 3: Why You Might Be Aiming at the Wrong Target in Your Ministry to the Next Generation
Part 4: How Mental Health Is the New Domain of Ministry to the Next Generation
Part 5: Why 2020 Might Be Good News for the Church
© Barna Group, 2020.
Since 1984, Barna Group has conducted more than two million interviews over the course of thousands of studies and has become a go-to source for insights about faith, culture, leadership, vocation and generations. Barna is a private, non-partisan, for-profit organization.
Do Pastors Feel Well-Equipped to Help Congregants Heal from Trauma?
Why You Might Be Aiming at the Wrong Target in Your Ministry to the Next Generation
Why 2020 Might Be Good News for the Church
Get Barna in your inbox
Subscribe to Barna’s free newsletters for the latest data and insights to navigate today’s most complex issues.