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


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problems of the real world” (22 percent) and “my church is too concerned that movies, music, and video games are harmful” (18 percent).

What do young Americans need?

The study of young adults focused on those who were regular churchgoers Christian church during their teen years and explored their reasons for disconnection from church life after age 15. No single reason dominated the break-up between church and young adults. Instead, a variety of reasons emerged.

Reason #2 – Teens’ and twentysomethings’ experience of Christianity is shallow. A second reason that young people depart church as young adults is that something is lacking in their experience of church. One-third said “church is boring” (31 percent). One-quarter of these young adults said that “faith is not relevant to my career or interests” (24 percent) or that “the Bible is not taught clearly or often enough” (23 percent). Sadly, one-fifth of these young adults who attended a church as a teenager said that “God seems missing from my experience of church” (20 percent).

Reason #3 – Churches come across as antagonistic to science. One of the reasons young adults feel disconnected from church or from faith is the tension they feel between Christianity and science. The most common of the perceptions in this arena is “Christians are too confident they know all the answers” (35 percent). Three out of ten young adults with a Christian background feel that “churches are out of step with the scientific world we live in” (29 percent). Another one-quarter embrace the perception that “Christianity is anti-science” (25 percent). And nearly the same proportion (23 percent) said they have “been turned off by the creation-versus-evolution debate.” Furthermore, the research shows that many science-minded young Christians are struggling to find ways

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Related Topics: George Barna, Barna Group, Trends