Latest News

Church growth blogs

Rooted in the Church

What helps young people stay rooted in the faith? What factors cause those roots to fray and break?

Research published by the Church of England’s Education Department in November 2016 – Rooted in the Church – set out to answer these questions.

The following were identified as key findings. Most of them emphasise the importance of inclusion

  • For young people, the most important atttribute of a church should be that it is friendly and non-judgemental
  • Young people value age-specific leadership and activities; they do not want to always be artificially separated from the rest of the church
  • Young people seek to be treated as equal members of the church with meaningful roles
  • Many respondents emphasised the importance of intergenerational ministry

The lack of significant relationships between the generations must be addressed if churches intend to thrive from one generation to the next.

A review of literature highlighted research that showed young people’s engagement with faith is not a binary question of attendance – being “in” church or “out”. An American study named three types and stages of disengagement:

  • those who grow up with a Christian background, but lose their faith (prodigals);
  • those who feel lost between church culture and society (exiles);
  • and those who leave the institutional church but who still call themselves Christians (nomads).

< Back to Mission Network News