Two-thirds of American “Millennials” – those born between 1980 and 1991 – call themselves Christian, but far fewer pray or read the Bible daily, attend weekly worship services, or hold to historical positions on the Bible and its teachings.

These findings, which will affect how we lead our churches and small groups, are from a wide-ranging August 2009 LifeWay Research study of a national, demographically representative survey of 1,200 Millennials in the United States. The study forms the basis for the upcoming book The Millennials: Connecting to America’s Largest Generation by Dr. Thom Rainer and his son Jess Rainer.

Here are some key findings of the study:

Self Identification: 65% identify themselves as Christian, 14% say they are atheist or agnostic, 14% list no religious preference, and 8% claim other religions.

Prayer, worship and study: 31% pray by themselves at least once a day, 20% percent never pray. Only 8 % pray with others on a daily basis, compared with 65% who rarely or never pray with other people.

Reading of sacred writings (Bible, Torah, Koran, or other): 67% rarely or never read the Bible or other sacred texts. Only 8% do so on a daily basis, while 21% do so at least once a week, and 34% do so at least once a month.

Attendance at religious worship services: 25% attend religious worship services once a week or more, but 66% rarely or never visit a church, synagogue, mosque or temple.

Bible study participation: 20% percent meet with others at least monthly in a small group to study the Bible or other sacred texts, but 80% rarely or never do so.

Bible accuracy: 53% disagree (strongly or somewhat) that the Bible is the written Word of God and is totally accurate in all it teaches.

“The research shows us that religion and its practices are decreasing and becoming increasingly privatized among the Millennial generation,” said Thom Rainer, president of LifeWay Christian Resources. “With fewer people attending worship services or praying with other faith adherents, it is not surprising that the religious landscape of our culture is changing with the maturation of the Millennials.”

Thursday we’ll look at how Millennials respond to a series of doctrinal statements.

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1 Comment so far

  1. DitsDoozy on June 7, 2010 5:12 pm

    Very enjoyed this! Well done!

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