Lifeway Survey on Teens and Christian Faith

Here are some of the results from a January-February 2007 Lifeway Research study on American teens and Christian faith.

How to get to heaven:

  • 28% are trusting in Jesus Christ alone as their means to get to heaven.
  • 27% are trusting in their own kindness as their means to get to heaven.
  • 26% are trusting in their own religiosity as their means to get to heaven.

Attendance/participation in church activities in the last 30 days:

  • 54% attended a church or religious service.
  • 23% attended a church youth group social activity.
  • 20% attended Sunday School.
  • 14% attended a small-group Bible study.
  • 8% have been in a leadership role within their youth group.

Some results show a decline compared with an identical 2005 survey:

  • Believe heaven exists: 75% in 2005; 69% in 2007.
  • Told a friend about their religious beliefs: 30% in 2005; 24% in 2007.
  • Attended Sunday School: 24% in 2005; 20% in 2007.
  • Invited someone to a church activity: 19% in 2005; 15% in 2007.
  • Attended small group Bible study: 18% in 2005; 14% in 2007.

Age and gender differences:

  • Older teens (18 and 19 year-olds) are less likely than 12-17 year-olds to attend youth group activities (13 percent vs. 26 percent), and they are less likely to attend Sunday school (8 percent vs. 24 percent).
  • Female teens are more active religiously than their male counterparts. More females pray regularly (48 percent vs. 31 percent) and read the Bible regularly (17 percent vs. 11 percent) than male teenagers.
  • The level of teen participation is also higher for females than males for church youth group social activities (26 percent vs. 20 percent), small group Bible studies (18 percent vs. 11 percent), and leadership roles in their church youth group (10 percent vs. 6 percent).

As a pastor and parent of teens, I am concerned to see the confusion over how to get to heaven, the decline in areas of faith and participation, the radical drop in participation from older teens, and the lesser involvement of young men in church life. These should all be areas of concern, prayer, and action for churches in America.

HT: PastorBlog

Leave a Reply