Friday, March 5, 2021

Barna's Research Motivates Us to Act

I've been writing this week about why we need to commit to equipping parents and grandparents so they are able to hand down confident faith. There are many reasons for us to do this, such as, it is the responsibility of parents and grandparents to hand down confident faiththe church realizes equipping parents and grandparents to hand down confident faith is something they need to do, and of the 168 hours in a week, a church is only able to influence children for maybe three of those hours - it makes sense to equip parents and grandparents to hand down confident faith as they are with the children they love for more hours each week. Today I want to give you another reason.

Barna's research shows those who are part of Generation Z (born between 1999 and 2015) are becoming atheists at double the rate of the US adult population. Yes, double the rate. Many of those in Gen Z have a basic knowledge of the Bible, yet as they become teens, they are turning away from their faith. Why is this happening? Barna's research says; "So what has led to this precipitous falling off? Barna asked non-Christians of all ages about their biggest barriers to faith. Gen Z nonbelievers have much in common with their older counterparts in this regard, but a few differences stand out. Teens, along with young adults, are more likely than older Americans to say the problem of evil and suffering is a deal breaker for them. It appears that today’s youth, like so many throughout history, struggle to find a compelling argument for the existence of both evil and a good and loving God."

You will find the full article from Barna at this link, and I encourage you to take a few minutes to read it. Many of the grandparents in your church have grandchildren who are in this "Gen Z" group. We need to know what they are thinking about God and the church. And, we need to be moved to take action based upon this. What action? Consider the following . . . 

1. This information should influence our prayers. When we know what these young adults, and those around them are thinking, as well as those who love them, we are better able to pray for them.

2. We need to have a plan to respond. We need to be better focused on how we are communicating with Gen Z in the Youth Ministry. Are we just teaching the basics of our faith, or are we addressing the questions teens have about God, evil, truth, etc.? Are we committed to not letting any teen "fall through the cracks"? Are we making the Youth Ministry a safe place, where teens are able to connect with others who share their faith?

3. We need to equip parents and grandparents so they are able to respond intelligently to the questions and concerns their grandchildren have - or may have. We need to help them know how to answer their questions - they may be the only people they talk to about their questions and doubts - if we do not help them have the answers, they may fall farther into atheism.

Read Barna's report. Make it a matter of prayer. Take action. This matters.

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