Young People Don't Care Much For Christianity, But They Still Love Jesus
Here's some bad news if you are a parent, pastor or youth leader trying to raise your kids and/or congregation in the Christian faith. Christianity isn't all that popular among teen-agers or young adults. In fact, 60-70% of young adults will leave the church by the time they reach the age of 30, only returning for weddings, funerals or other one time special events. Mainstream denominations are declining among the younger sect, their services viewed as outdated rituals, their beliefs just a series of ancient rules and regulations. Roughly 30% of young Christians are outright hostile to the church, seeing it as oppressive, criminal and irrelevant throughout history and in their lives. Less than 10% of teens reported being active in some capacity or program in their church.
The Bible isn't fairing much better with our young folks. 5% said they read the Bible on a daily basis. 20% said on a monthly basis. The majority of teens (67%) do not read the Bible at all outside of church. For those reading the Bible, a third (1/3) said the Bible is somewhat accurate, but does contain historical and theological errors and cannot be considered entirely trustworthy. There is a growing and alarming trend among Christian teens/young adults that believe Jesus, Buddha and Mohammed each equally offer a path to heaven/salvation.
Non-denominational churches fair much better with teen-agers/young adults. Maybe it's the atmosphere or style of how these churches deliver the message. But, many Christian leaders wonder if these non-denominational churches are offering solid Christian theology and are more part of the problem than the cure. Most teens/young adults reported liking modern, contemporary Christian music and listen to it on a weekly basis. Podcasting is growing in popularity. Sorry everyone, teens/young adults overwhelmingly don't like Christian television, movies or books. They say it is unrealistic and even silly.
So is there a silver lining in all of this troubling news? Yes! There really is. Teens still love Jesus. They love His teachings and message. They love His story. They believe He offers a way to create a better world. And even more exciting, the vast majority of Christian teens/young adults (up to 84%) have no problem talking about Him with friends or strangers. Here's the challenge. How do we reach a younger generation that is falling away from the Christian faith, questions its Biblical theology, but is still eager to hear, share and experience Jesus in their lives? What do you think?
***Most Statistics Taken From The Jesus Survey 2010***