In Theory

June 18, 2010

According to a report from the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, Americans who belong to the so-called "Millenial" generation – 18- to 29-year-olds who were born between 1980 and 2000 – are significantly less religious than older generations. Pew found that fewer Millenials belong to a particular faith and that they are less likely to be affiliated with their parents' or grandparents' religions. Is this trend happening in your own church, mosque, or synagogue? Does this worry you, and what you do to draw more young people to your congregation?

People of all ages seek answers to questions about the meaning and purpose of life and seek to develop their own values. What is important is whether an organization, community and teachers can truly be a resource in exploring the answers. Meditation provides an excellent path or process for doing this. We have college age and young adults at our Center. However, motivation to meditate usually comes a bit later in life when it has become clearer that so many things are beyond our control, for example, sickness and death.


The Rev. Deborah Barrett

Zen Center of Orange County

Costa Mesa

We have not seen this trend among the young people who have grown up at Liberty. I became pastor of the church in 1990, so I am closing in on 20 years in the same church this year. It has been my observation that the young people whose parents are serious about their walk with God have at some point adopted their parents faith as their own. My own three children have all accepted Christ as their personal Lord and Savior and are now raising their children in Christian churches in the States in which they now reside. I don't believe it is the Christian faith that young people reject, but a pseudo-Christianity that does not emphasise a personal relationship with God through Christ. As far as attracting young people, we believe the Bible has the answers to meet the needs of the human heart, no matter the age. We attempt to be a community of sincere believers who love God, each other and the world.

Pastor Dwight Tomlinson

Liberty Baptist Church

Newport Beach

I do not think that Millenial Muslims would be significantly less religious than prior generations; in fact, we are witnessing a younger face on Islam.

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