Global Youth Culture: Religious Attitudes and Behaviors
Let’s dive into what our recent Global Youth Culture research discovered about today’s teens’ Religious Attitudes and Behaviors.
- 43% of teens globally surveyed self-identified as Christian. However, only 7% display the beliefs and habits of a Committed Christian.
Some of the most interesting faith-related findings surfaced when we narrowed our focus to Christian teens who are committed to Christian beliefs and practices. For purposes of this research, we defined Committed Christians as teens who display 6 traits: believe God exists and they can have a personal relationship with Him, pray at least weekly, read Scripture on their own at least weekly, believe Jesus is the Son of God, believe that forgiveness of sins is only possible through faith in Jesus Christ, and believe the Bible is the Word of God.
- Over half (52%) of teens globally say they never read religious scripture on their own.
God’s Word is the greatest resource we have to grow our faith, yet our recent Global Youth Culture research showed that the younger generation is failing to participate in biblical growth and discipleship. They are not necessarily mad at God, actively opposed to Jesus, or skeptical of the Bible’s message. Instead, they mostly say they just don’t think about these things.
- 44% of Christian teens disagree that they even have a responsibility to share their faith with others.
Because this generation prizes tolerance, many shy away from regularly discussing spiritual matters with others. It makes sense as they have grown up in a diverse and complex cultural context. While their inclusive attitude towards people is perhaps one of this generation’s greatest strengths, Christian teens need to know that the Gospel they believe is the only one that saves.
So – what’s the good news? We promise that Jesus is the Way not just to eternal life, but to abundant life. Here is proof of that lived out in the lives of our children and youth:
The positive benefits of being a Committed Christian are undeniable. The truth remains: the best gifts we can give to the next generation are practical tools and robust discipleship methods designed to lead them into a lifelong relationship with Jesus Christ.
What Are We Doing About This?
I asked our OneHope team around the world to share how these findings are impacting their ministry strategy. I invite you to also ask yourself: “What do these findings mean for my family/ministry/business/etc.?”
- In Asia, our teams are planning to convene denominational leaders and ministry leaders to address these concerning trends among churched youth. New strategies, ministry programs, seminars, programs, and resources will be developed to increase Bible engagement and ministry opportunities, providing a space for youth to understand God’s Word and put their faith into action.
- In Latin America, we are deepening our relationships with church leaders and encouraging them to not just promote Scripture engagement, but to model it themselves and motivate parents to do the same. We’re encouraging them that worship services should include the verbal reading of Scripture and that children and youth should have ample opportunities to serve in the church.
To learn more about Global Youth Culture and explore the full research reports, visit www.globalyouthculture.net