While the U.S. news media tip-toes around the issue of American religiosity and its use to justify social injustices, many idealistic young Americans are voting with their feet, abandoning established churches in droves. In recent years the population of younger individuals that consider themselves religious has been rapidly decreasing. The Barna Group, a leading research organization focusing on the intersection of faith and culture, says 80 percent of the young people raised in a church will be “disengaged” before they are 30.
The mega-church movement also has flattened, with people leaving as fast as they are recruited. The only real growth among Christians appears to be in the home church movement in which small groups of independent believers gather in a house to worship.
Over the past 20 years the amount of people that say they don’t have a religion has doubled from 7.5 percent to 15 percent. Some of the reasons why these young people are abandoning churches have to do with the fact that they are going to college and becoming better. They also are becoming more open to such issues as abortion and homosexuality that are both forbidden by many religious communities. Churches are no longer visionary. They have remained focused on saving souls for the next life and offering rituals tied to perpetuating theologies that no longer seem relevant to many young people. Churches are no longer significant players in shaping the life of our communities.
Title: Young Christians Desert US Churches
Author: Rev. Howard Bess
Source; Consortiumnews.com, November 28, 2010
Student Researcher: Nick George, Sonoma State University
Faculty Evaluator: Sheila Katz, Sonoma State University