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Breaking free from the stereotype of the disengaged teen could help churches serve them better. And as those teens age into adulthood, congregations need to be willing to work to keep them involved.

 

 

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Staci Imes knew she wanted to study at a seminary with a strong commitment to social justice.  She knew she wanted a program focused on training ministers, rather than scholars.  And while she’s committed to her denomination, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), she relishes the idea of studying with people from different traditions. But which seminary was for her?

In A Faith of Their Own teens rate the personal significance of religion highly; less so the institutional part.

As fewer young people fill the pews of houses of worship, some congregations are trying innovative ways to halt the exodus of young adults from organized religion.

Prevailing culture often casts teenagers as alienated from religion, if not downright hostile to it. To believe some movie depictions, teenagers are rebellious Pagans-in-the-making, more interested in witchcraft than mission trips. But a four-year national study of youth and religion arrives at a different conclusion.  The study, which included interviews with more than 3,000 U.S. teenagers, finds that a majority of today’s young people see religion as a positive influence on their lives and the lives of their community. Moreover, they have no desire to cast off the faith of their upbringing.

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In a 2001 study of clergy only 32 percent said they had never felt lonely or isolated. The sense of... More > The U.S. Congregational Life Survey is the largest study of religion in the United States. The... More >
When people are encouraged to worship in their own "heart language," they are able to know God in... More > When a worship community tips its worship service toward one age, protest often results and young... More >

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