Insight into the need for authentic and sincere Christians to practically live out their faith, and to openly address challenging issues.
You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church . . . and Rethinking Faith
David Kinnaman, Baker Books (2011)
Book Findings: Over 33% of young adults said they feel like they can’t ask life’s most pressing questions in church and 23% said they had “significant intellectual doubts” about their faith.
Families and Faith: How Religion is Passed Down Across Generations
Vern L. Bengtson. Norella M. Putney, Susan Harris, Oxford University Press (2013)
Book Findings: Several key findings were discovered in this 35-year study of families, focusing on the question of how religion is passed across generations:
1. Parents continue to be the single greatest influence on their children’s faith.
2. When a child sees and hears that faith actually makes a difference in Mom and Dad’s lives, they’re much more likely to follow suit.
3. Young adults are more likely to share their parents’ religious beliefs and participation if they feel that they have a close relationship with those parents.
4. Young Christians who leave the faith are far more likely to return when parents have been patient and supportive – and perhaps more tolerant and open than they had been before the prodigal’s departure.
Things not to say to your single friends:
“YOU WILL MEET SOMEONE WHEN YOU LEAST EXPECT IT.”
“YOU MUST HAVE SO MUCH TIME ON YOUR HANDS!”
“SO, WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO MEET PEOPLE? ARE YOU PUTTING YOURSELF OUT THERE? HAVE YOU TRIED ONLINE DATING?”
“IF BEING MARRIED IS A DESIRE OF YOUR HEART, THEN GOD WILL GIVE IT TO YOU.”
“YOU’RE JUST TOO PICKY.”
Statement: Even the smallest sin deserves eternal damnation.
Finding: 61% of all participants strongly disagree with this statement.
“The results jump off the page as the strongly disagree column spikes to 61%. That conviction is fundamentally a conviction about the character of God. If he is perfectly holy and just, he cannot let sin go unpunished. But God is no longer holy—in the minds of six out of ten Americans.”
Book Findings: Young adults are unable to think coherently about moral beliefs and problems. Young adults have an excessive focus on consumption and materialism as the good life.
America’s Changing Religious Landscape
Pew Research Center (2015)
Study Findings: As the Millennial generation enters adulthood, its members display much lower levels of religious affiliation, including less connection with Christian churches, than older generations.
Book Findings: There appears to be no shortage of teenagers who want to be inspired and make the world better. But the version of Christianity some are taught doesn’t inspire them “to change anything that’s broken in the world.” Teens want to be challenged; they want their tough questions taken on. “We think that they want cake, but they actually want steak and potatoes, and we keep giving them cake,” Churches, not just parents, share some of the blame for teens’ religious apathy. “…The gospel of niceness can’t teach teens how to confront tragedy. It can’t bear the weight of deeper questions: Why are my parents getting a divorce? Why did my best friend commit suicide? Why, in this economy, can’t I get the good job I was promised if I was a good kid?”
“What we believe shapes how we behave. As we see evangelicals slipping away from foundational beliefs, we also see them rejecting biblical teaching on Christian living. Convictions about the key ethical issues that previously defined evangelical ethics, especially in the public sphere, are weakening as church attendance slackens.”
Statement: Sex outside of traditional marriage is a sin.
Finding: Only 52% of self-identified evengelicals who attend church once or twice per month strongly agree with this statement.
Statement: Abortion is a sin.
Finding: Only 48% of self-identified evengelicals who attend church once or twice per month strongly agree with this statement.
Findings about the spiritual life of young adults.
The State of Theology
Ligonier Ministries and Lifeway Research (2015)
Study Findings: In this survey of theological beliefs, researchers asked self-professing Christians to respond to a series of statements related to classic, historic Christian doctrine. In every answer offered related to these theological beliefs, young people between the ages of 18 and 34 consistently held heretical views at a higher percentage than older respondents. Young people who identify themselves as Christians, are far more likely to hold views that aren’t Christian.
In an interview in 2017 Tim Tebow explained what he is looking for in a future wife: Tebow said, “I’m looking for someone who loves Jesus and loves people. Someone who makes me want to be a better person for her. And she has to want kids, and has to want to adopt. That’s a requirement. Of course I want a woman who I’m attracted to.”
What about you, what are essential characteristics you look for?