Younger Americans are spiritual, but few are actively engaged with spiritual disciplines such as weekly church attendance, Bible study and prayer, according to a new study by LifeWay Research. The study, which surveyed Americans born between 1980 and 1991—referred to as the “Millennial” generation—found that while two-thirds of Millennials identify themselves as Christians, most have different spiritual habits than older generations.
More than two-thirds of Millennials—65 percent—say they rarely or never pray with others. Some 31 percent pray by themselves at least once a day, but 20 percent never pray at all.
About 34 percent of the younger generation does read the Bible or other sacred texts at least once a month. Even more—67 percent—say they never or rarely read the Bible or other sacred texts. Of those that do read regularly, 21 percent do so at least once a week and 8 percent do so regularly.
One quarter of the Millennial generation attends weekly worship services, but two-thirds rarely attend worship services of any kind. Almost as many—20 percent—attend a small group to study the Bible or other sacred texts at least once a month, but the other 80 percent rarely or never do.
"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." [lifeway.com, 4/26/10]