In a world whose dependence on technology and social media is rapidly increasing, engaged christian parents are becoming more and more concerned with how these developments will affect their children's faith formation. In a recent report released by Barna Group in collaboration with OneHope titled Guiding Children, data found that approximately one third of engaged christian parents are struggling with the effects of media on their children's faith development.
Barna Identifies "engaged Christian parents" as U.S. adults who are the parents of at least one child aged 6 to 12 and identify with Christian faith and the desire to pass that faith down to their children. In the report Guiding Children, these parents were asked to rank their top three areas of struggle when it came to their child's faith formation, and approximately 34% ranked at least two of their top three being media related. These parents were identified as being "Media Stressed."
The parents under the category of Media Stressed were also more likely to have children in the older age range of those surveyed at 10 to 12 years old at 57%. Therefore, it stands to reason that older parents are more likely to be media stressed, and would be a demographic more likely to benefit from coaching from the Church on how to positively and constructively direct their children's media usage.
Although media has led to more struggles and concerns about children's faith formation, it has also opened up new opportunities for engaging children in the faith through technology. This is where the Church can come to aid engaged Christian Parents as media-engaged children are also more likely to engage the Bible through an online platform such as by an app (37% vs. 27% of non-media-engaged). Additionally, media stressed highly engaged Christian parents were more likely to lean on the Church for support and resources for their child's spiritual development. Barna reported that "58 percent of highly engaged Christian parents choose a church with their kids in mind," and therefore the Church can be a much sought after resource and guide for parenting in this new age of technology and social media.