• The majority of young people have a “benignly positive” attitude toward religion – youth don’t get worked up about faith matters because faith simply doesn’t impact their daily lives. The authors have named this “religion” Moralistic Therapeutic Deism, a watered-down version of Christianity that is primarily about doing good and getting along with others.
• Parents are the most significant influence of faith in the lives of young people, but other adults play an important role. The problem: most adults also subscribe to the beliefs of Moralistic Therapeutic Deism, so the question becomes, what content are we delivering to the next generation?
• The majority of both youth and adults lack the ability to articulate their faith, and do not seem to know the basics of what Christianity teaches.
The Research also shows that there are effective ways to deepen faith formation in young people:
• Creating a “culture” of children, youth and family ministry in a congregation, in which young people are integrated into every aspect of ministry.
• Being a congregation with strong pastoral leadership that emphasizes faith practices and supports youth ministry.
• Trained, equipped, supported and empowered adults in leadership roles.
• Trained, equipped, supported and empowered youth in leadership roles.