If I told you the following statistics about a certain group of people, who would you guess I’m talking about?
- Over 40% say they are not born again.
- 35% declare the Bible has errors (or they don’t know if it has errors).
- Close to 90% attend or attended public school.
- Over 45% say that Sunday school did not teach them to defend their faith.
- 45% say homosexual behavior is not a sin, or they don’t know if it is a sin.
- 40% believe “gay couples” should be allowed to “marry” and have legal rights.
- 20% say there are books (other than the Bible) that are inspired by God.
- 65% believe that if you are a good person you will go to heaven.
Would you be surprised to learn that this nationwide research was conducted with people in their 20s?
And would it shock you even more to discover that these same people regularly attend our churches today (at least three times a month)?
Our study has provided some of the most detailed research about the state of the American church.
Then you should be saddened to realize that these millennials in our churches (those born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s) are largely biblically illiterate, and they are going to fundamentally change the church and culture if their beliefs continue to take hold.
At the end of 2014, we commissioned America’s Research Group (ARG) to analyze the state of the 20s age group (and also the 40s) in our churches in the USA, and what we discovered was shocking (and I believe it reflects the state of the church in the Western world in general). The survey’s results greatly sadden me.
Our research also conclusively showed that the issue of the age of the Earth/universe was one of the major factors that has caused this generation in American churches to doubt that the Bible can be trusted.
Aren’t you as deeply troubled and tremendously burdened as I am when you read these sad statistics about the millennials who attend our churches?
Looking at this 20s age group in our churches today, we need to recognize that the future leaders of society will come out of this group. The spiritual state of these young adults provides a glimpse into the future of America!
My new book Ready to Return—Bringing Back the Lost Generation presents the above research in detail and also looks at why we are losing the church’s 20s generation, what happened in our churches that brought this about, the role of education in regard to this sad decline, and what churches and Christian families can do about it.
Again, this book deals specifically with research conducted on the 20s generation who regularly attend church and what they believe. With these revealing and shocking statistics, we see an incredible and urgent mission field right inside our churches. Reaching them must be based on a real understanding of where these twenty-somethings (primarily the millennials) “are at” in their thinking.
Ready to Return is really a very timely sequel to our book Already Gone. In that previous book, ARG’s Britt Beemer and I dealt with the twenty-somethings who used to attend church but no longer do. Many Christian leaders told me that the book revolutionized their Sunday school classes, evangelistic outreaches, and so on.
I believe this newest book will be a real eye-opener for parents and Christian leaders, and I pray it will be a major wakeup call to the church.
Many of the twenty-somethings in our churches have lost a Christian worldview because they have lost their foundation in the authority of the Word of God.
Its subtitle is Bringing Back the Lost Generation. The book presents the fact that many of the twenty-somethings in our churches have lost a Christian worldview because they have lost their foundation in the authority of the Word of God. This attitude toward Scripture is ultimately going to fundamentally change the church and then the culture.
Actually, Already Gone and Ready to Return are part of a trilogy. The third book is Already Compromised, which deals with the sad state of seminaries and Christian colleges and universities regarding biblical authority. It, too, was very revealing and shocking.
These three books really cut to the heart of the condition of Christianity in America today and is a reflection of the whole Western world.
Now, ARG and AiG did not set out just to find out what people believe, but why they believe the way they do—and how that came to be. I believe ARG’s studies have provided some of the most detailed research about the state of the church and gets to the root of the problems of:
- why so many young people have left the church,
- why so many people still in the church are very secular in their thinking,
- and why the church is not reaching the culture with biblical truths as it once did.
In this new book written with the assistance of Jeff Kinley, I also deal with an “elephant in the room”: the devastating effects that the public education system has had on generations of children and teens in our churches. I deal with this topic head on (most Christians either don’t know how to tackle the education problem or don’t really want to face reality). In chapter 9, I offer practical solutions for families and churches. I challenge parents (particularly dads) to take the leadership in their children’s education and recognize what needs to be done to help the children God has entrusted to them to build a biblical worldview.