Millennials are #1 Overall & Mainliners #1 Growing Edge

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, sometime this year Millennials will overtake Boomers as the largest generation in America.  The Millennials are projected not only to remain the largest group for the next several decades, but also to widen the gap between their group and that of the next largest generational cohort  (Boomers ranking second through 2028 then being overtaken by Xers). So What? Shortly after the Pew Research Center released the report on their latest U.S. Religious Read More …

Religion & Self-Identity

Barna recently conducted research into what most influences the self-identity of Americans.  In order, the top three influences are family, country (being American), and religious faith. Religion Matters While religion still ranks ahead of ethnic group, career, state of residence, and city/town of residence, it is a distant third to family and country. While a majority of Americans claim that family and their country are central to their identity, fewer than two out of five Read More …

Millennials & the Bible

Barna Group recently released findings from the largest survey it has ever done on a single generation's view of the Bible.  Christian Millennials' (those born between 1984 and 2002) views of the Bible vary considerably from those of non-Christian Millennials. Among so-called practicing Christian Millennials 96% believe the Bible contains everything a person needs to know to live a meaningful life, 85% believe the Bible is the literal word of God or is divinely inspired with no errors Read More …

Attracting Millennials

Aaron Earls recently shared six reasons why many congregations fail to reach Millennials: not online, too inward focused, not trustworthy, not diverse, too institutional, and don't offer real community. So What? Overall, I think Earls' list is helpful but incomplete.  The number one reason I find congregations don't reach Millennials is because they don't make reaching this generation a priority.  In fact, I have been a part of conversations this year in which Millennials Read More …

Young Adults = Non-Institutionally Oriented

The latest Pew Research Center report indicates that Millennials (those now ranging in age from 18 to 33), are unmoored from institutions.  This reality is seen most clearly in statistics relating to political preference (50% are independents), religious connection (29% are unaffiliated), and marriage (26% are married).  Both percentages have risen significantly in recent years. So What? The trend toward less and less institutional affiliation by America's youngest adults is either Read More …

Drop the Churchy Talk

Addie Zierman, author of When We Were on Fire: A Memoir of Consuming Faith, Tangled Love and Starting Over, recently wrote about churchy phrases that scare off millennials (those born from 1981 to 2000) or keep them from more seriously considering participation in the church. Zierman, herself a millennial, writes about the topic as one who has recently returned to church while raising two young boys.  She returned not because the church was so wonderful, but because she recognized it could Read More …

Technology, Millennials, and Faith

Over the last 10 years, the Barna Group has interviewed 27,140 Millennials in 206 studies. Earlier this month, they released a few infographics displaying what their research finds with regards to how technology is impacting the faith of Millennials (also known as Gen Y - generally considered as those born in the 1980s through the early 200os).  One of the newly released infographics shows how Millennials are integrating technology and faith.  Just how widespread the integration is varies Read More …

Theology and the Church After Google

"Theology and the Church After Google: How This New Age Will Change Christianity" is both an article about how theology is shifting and must continue to change as well as an example of such change.  It is written by an academic (Philip Clayton, Professor of Religion and Philosophy at Claremont Graduate University and Ingraham Professor at Claremont School of Theology) and was published in an academic journal (The Princeton Theological Review), however, it now appears online in its entirety (The Read More …