In 2013, for the first time, the self-declared religion of the UK became ‘none’. That is, on the national census, 51% of the population said they had no religious belief. Among the under 30’s that rises to 70%. And yet secularisation theorists are being forced to recognise that religion just isn’t going away. Indeed, despite […]
A report due out next year shows that in comparison to 14 other countries (both first world and developing) younger generations in Britain are among the most lonely and anxious. At the same time stories are emerging of individuals wandering into church, searching for something and wanting to know what Christianity is about. Something is stirring among the young. This post reports the findings of a small project interviewing those who came to faith in their mid to late twenties, and examines how the church might help young adults searching for hope in these challenging times.
Despite the popular criticism of today’s young adults as entitled ‘Generation snowflake’ or ‘Precious unicorns’ (who believe they are special because mummy told them so), my experience of Christian Millennials is somewhat different. I sit firmly with those who describe many emerging adults as ‘Altruistic Individualists.’ Certainly they are individualists (as are most people in […]
A number of the articles on this website make for challenging reading. Writing them has caused me to reflect on the things we so often do wrong when it comes to encouraging faith. In the light of that I wanted to write something positive; something to inspire rather than just challenge. So these are some […]
I wonder if you have ever had a crisis of faith? Not a little wobble, but a serious, life changing episode of doubt? It’s a fearful thing. I’ve spent the last 18 months talking to people about how their faith has changed during the course of their twenties. Nearly 50 have told me their stories […]
Last year I wrote about the experiences of unmarried young adults in the British church. A number of people responded to the article with their own stories of ‘feeling invisible’ as an unmarried adult. However, a second set of relational issues have become evident from the data I’ve gathered from among those Millennials who are […]
Almost exactly 200 years ago Jane Austen pronounced (somewhat ironically), “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” Many Millennials still aspire to marry – one day. Sexual politics may have changed beyond recognition since then but searching for ‘The […]
How do you make sense of tricky Bible passages? The Millennials involved in this research had a variety of different approaches, five in all, which they adopted depending on how disturbing or confusing they found a text. There’s a challenge in that for those of us who teach the Bible to consider how we model wrestling with an ancient text we consider to be authoritative. And how often we just skip over those passages leaving our young adults without the skills they need to read with the integrity they long for.
How does faith change? Many existing models belong to a time where people were considered fully adult by the age of 21. Clearly that’s no longer the case. This research shows that very young adults and older new believers ask, but often struggle to answer, important theological questions. Older Millennials often seem to have resolved those dilemmas. The process of how that appears to change challenges us to create space for people to wrestle and find coherence and integrity in their beliefs.
Gender has been one of the most contentious issues within many evangelical churches over past decades, whether churches encourage women’s leadership or not. However, data from 18 hours of discussion among young evangelicals shows interesting patterns including a sense of gender equality regardless of church background. However, many younger women do seem to lack confidence in their voices, so teens and student age girls may need greater encouragement to speak up or use their gifts than their male counterparts.