Religion Notes: Many young adults believe while most aren’t so sure
Many young adults who attended church as teens continue to consider themselves strong in faith, but many more harbor serious doubts about the importance of Christianity and fellowship in their lives.
That’s according to a recently published LifeWay Research project.
The organization said it surveyed 2,000 Americans, 23 to 30 years old, who attended Protestant churches when they were teenagers.
“Today, 39 percent say they consider themselves a devout Christian with a strong faith in God,” the Nashville-based research organization announced in an online summary of the survey.
But the remaining 61 percent report decreasing levels of adherence to the religion.
The next largest group, at 27 percent, said they “consider themselves Christian, but not particularly devout.”
Next were the 14 percent who believe in God “but are uncertain of Christianity,” while those who “consider themselves spiritual, but not religious” represented 11 percent, LifeWay Research reported.
Five percent said they are “uncertain about” belief in God and 4 percent said they “don’t believe in God or in any higher being.”
The survey also found that 66 percent, or two-thirds, of those who attended church consistently during high school stopped their attendance for at least a year as young adults.
“During the years most young adults are gone from church, they tend to hang onto their faith but don’t make it a priority,” Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research, said in the report summary.
The survey also looked at attitudes young adults had toward their churches when aged 18 to 22.
Those who dropped out during those years were much less likely to say they agreed with the beliefs taught by their churches, that sermons related to their lives, or that they felt connected to church. For those who continued attending, it was the opposite.
“Some of the starkest differences we see between those who attend church as young adults and those who don’t is how connected they feel with others at a church,” McConnell said.
5,000 immigrants anticipated
Faith-based organizations on both sides of the Mexican-U.S. border are preparing to serve about 5,000 immigrants expected to arrive soon in Tijuana and Piedra Negras, Mexico.
Among them are Cooperative Baptist Fellowship churches and partners, and other religious organizations, Fellowship Southwest said in an email to supporters.
Mexico’s federal government has asked churches to assist with the needs of the arriving immigrants. It has donated a 5-acre parcel to a Tijuana church which is a ministry partner of the Fellowship.
“We have enlisted churches along our Texas-Mexico border to help with the group of people arriving in Piedras Negras, like Pastor Lorenzo Ortiz from Laredo and Pastor Israel Rodriguez in Piedras Negras and others,” Fellowship Southwest said in the appeal.
It informed donors that a $75 donation will provide a set of beds to sleep three people. Donations may be made online.
The organization also urged supporters to come to Eagle Pass, Texas, located located across the border from where the immigrants are arriving, to serve as volunteers. Those wishing to do so may contact Jorge Zapata at [email protected]
And believers are urged to pray “for the people who are desperate enough to make this journey, for the people tasked with serving them, and for the funds to be made available.”
American Baptist office on the move
The Office of the General Secretary of American Baptist Churches USA announced it will move into a newly purchased facility sometime in mid-2019.
The office joins other ministry partners leaving the King of Prussia, Pennsylvania facility ABC-USA has occupied since the early 1960s. Those offices and organizations have been acquiring space in the area, and near each other.
“As we transition from the current Mission Center, we have created an American Baptist neighborhood,” General Secretary Lee Spitzer said in a Feb. 7 American Baptist News Service article.
“Centuries of Baptist history affirms that what unites us is Jesus, our common mission aims and ABC identity, not real estate,” Spitzer said in the article.