Global Youth Culture: Influences and Guiding Voices

Global Youth Culture: Influences and Guiding Voices

Let’s dive into what our recent Global Youth Culture research discovered about today’s teens’ Influences and Guiding Voices.

  1. 41% of teens globally report turning to their family members for conversations about the meaning of life. 50% also report turning to their family first for conversations about right and wrong.
    Parents should not take lightly the privilege they have of speaking into their child’s life while teens say they are still listening.
  2. 1 in 3 teens say they turn to social media most often for information or guidance on the topics of gender, sexuality, and sexual issues.
    The voice of culture is loud as expressed through social media and through peers, and it is setting the standard for teens on these important topics. Scripture and The Church are being drowned out in these conversations.
  3. 37% of teens globally say that personal experiences would be most likely to change their mind about religious beliefs.
    Teens who are already walking with Christ continue to be hungry for authentic experiences of their faith, and even non-Christians say they are open to changing their mind if they personally encountered God.

Teens have opinions on a lot of things, but these viewpoints are rarely formed in isolation. The most disheartening statistic for me was that only 1 in 12 Christian teens say they are going to their pastors or their Bibles most often for guidance on the meaning of life. Take a minute to let this sink in. I encourage you to ponder how your own home or Church can become a more welcoming space for teens to wrestle and doubt along their faith journey.

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 we are exploring how the findings from this research can effectively inform strategies that will equip churches to engage their children more effectively in God’s Word and discipleship.
  • In Latin America, we are analyzing how to best connect directly with the end-users of our programs – children and youth. We are learning how to effectively involve all parties needed – the local church, parents, grandparents, and children – in the discipleship process. As we equip parents and grandparents with resources for their family, we are also equipping the church to receive them and grow them in Christ.
  • In Africa, this research has served as a wake-up call to our church partners to break their silence and have open discussions with their teens around topics that have in the past been seen as taboo. We are also using the findings on parents as influential voices as an encouragement to parents on their role and importance in discipling teens, eventually building out a resource library that will serve them.

To learn more about Global Youth Culture and explore the full research reports, visit www.globalyouthculture.net

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Rob Hoskins is the President of OneHope. Since taking leadership of OneHope in 2004 he has continued to advance the vision of God’s Word. Every Child. by partnering with local churches to help reach more than 1.7 BILLION children and youth worldwide with a contextualized presentation of God’s Word.

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