Christianity --Youth Issues/Belief in God

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Question
Hello,

I have recently been reading about the current trends in America's belief in God through the Pew Research Website.  It stated that the Millennial Generation has been steadily losing their belief in God.  In 2008 about 83% of the millennial generation believed in God but that has drooped to only 68% in 2013.  (Side Note: I myself am part of that generation.  I am currently 23 years old).  Like many people of my generation I struggle with my belief in God as well but I desperately want to believe.

It has always been very encouraging though to see America as a whole have a very strong belief in God.  But I am worried that each generation will have less and less of a belief in God to the point that when I am old the country will be completely secular.  My question is do you see the trends continue to drop or is it that people gain more of a belief as they get older?  Thanks for the help!

-Brad

Answer
Brad, Thanks for writing.

My personal belief, since I've been involved in youth ministry for 35 years, and 15 years prior to that I WAS a youth, I've seen a lot about Christianity and who bleives and who doesn't.  Youth ministry has had an ebb and flow all the time I've been doing it - our youth group would be big, then small, then big.  If you can find some statistics for the 1800's and church participation, you'll be surprised at how low it was.  Look up "Great Awakening" in Wikipedia -  all of Christianity, not just youth has been in ebb and flow for centuries.

I personally think that there is an increase in Christianity right now - stats may say otherwise, but there are so many different types of churches these days, especially the evangelical non-denominational churches, that it's hard to measure pure evangelical christianity.

As for you, losing your faith or struggling in your faith in your 20's is fairly typical.  Many, many people fall away, or just don't go to church in that decade, those of us who are older almost laugh about it.  You probably won't find a lot of more faithful Christians than my wife and I, yet we didn't set foot inside a church for 9 years in our 20's.  Now we rarely miss going to church on sunday and at least one other day a week.  My wife is in our church's Care Team ministry, I do youth ministry.  Hang in there, question your faith, talk to older people and it will come back.  Read the Case for Faith or the Case for Christ.

Hope this helps.

Blessings,
Carl

Christianity --Youth Issues

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Carl F.

Expertise

I can answer questions from teens & young adults concerning their faith walk and on social issues which affect their lives. I can answer questions on sex, homosexuality, or drugs, and anything else that might be troubling you. After 30 years in youth ministry, nothing shocks me, and I promise to give straight answers to any and all questions. I can also answer questions from youth workers on problems they`re having with programming or with their groups.

Experience

I have been involved in youth and young adult ministries as a volunteer for over 35 years. I am currently a volunteer youth minister in a suburban UM church - I have a small group of 7th and 8th graders.

Organizations
United Methodist Church, Chrysalis, Walk to Emmaus, Cursillo

Education/Credentials
Several training seminars, 9 years at National Youth Workers Convention, 1 year at Princeton Forum on Youth Ministry

Awards and Honors
Certified lay speaker for UM Church

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