Barna: 8 out of 10 young Christians can't apply their faith to everyday life

Pollsters look at the top six trends in faith for 2011

BY: Rob Kerby


Continued from page 2

in charitable giving,” writes Barna. “Three out of 10 adults have reduced their giving to churches and four out of 10 have downgraded their giving to non-profits. One of the measures of generosity is tithing, or giving 10 percent or more of one’s income.

The tithing indicator, too, has dropped from 7 percent to 4 percent of all Americans. The patterns of giving and generosity suggest a tough year ahead for non-profit and church leaders.

What does it take to make church relevant?

Another key theme from Barna Group’s research in 2011 is the new generation gap hitting the Christian community. Many of today’s congregations are struggling to remain connected with Millennials. The faith journeys of teens and young adults are often challenging for many parents and faith leaders, who often misunderstand how and why young people become disconnected.

Barna cites six reasons that young adults leave church as well as five common myths about church dropouts.

The six reasons? According to Barna:

Reason #1 – Churches seem overprotective. A few of the defining characteristics of today’s teens and young adults are their unprecedented access to ideas and worldviews as well as their prodigious consumption of popular culture. As Christians, they express the desire for their faith in Christ to connect to the world they live in. However, much of their experience of Christianity feels stifling, fear-based and risk-averse. One-quarter of 18- to 29-year-olds said “Christians demonize everything outside of the church” (23 percent indicated this “completely” or “mostly” describes their experience). Other perceptions in this category include “church ignoring the

Continued on page 4: »

comments powered by Disqus
Related Topics: George Barna, Barna Group, Trends