Most Christian parents in America today are concerned about their children's spiritual development and the likelihood they would leave the faith.
New research coming from the Barna Group has revealed that a majority of Christian parents are worried that their children will leave the faith. A new poll showed that Christian parents are increasingly concerned about their children's spiritual development and the possibility that they would walk away from Christianity.
In a story titled "How Concerned Are Christian Parents About Their Children's Faith Formation?," Barna revealed how data collected in 2021 showed how most parents of varied religious identities and practices want their children to have a healthy spiritual life. But Christian parents are the ones who are most concerned about their children's spiritual development.
According to the Christian Headlines, the poll revealed that two-fifths or 80% of Christian parents admitted that they are concerned about their children's spiritual development, with 84% of practicing Christian parents saying they are concerned. For the study, the Barna Group defined practicing Christians as self-identified believers "who have attended a worship service within the past month and strongly agree their faith is very important to their life."
About half or 51% of practicing Christian parents said they were "very" concerned about their children's spiritual development. The poll also found that Christian parents are also concerned about their children leaving the faith, with 76% saying they are concerned about if their children "will stay true to their spiritual faith."
Meanwhile, among practicing Christian parents, 86% said they were concerned that their children will leave the faith, with 58% saying they are "very" concerned and 28% saying they were "somewhat" concerned.
In an analysis, Barna Group wrote, "Are parents worried their children may leave the faith they were raised in as they grow older and prepare to leave home? Amid a growing trend of 'church dropouts,' the answer is yes."
The results of the research was based on an interview conducted with 2,007 adults in 2021 and was published this week. Another Barna Group survey from 2019 showed trhat 64% of young adults with a Christian background had left the church during their 20s, with many returning to the faith. In 2019, Barna Group also found that about 10% of young adult Christians are "resiliently faithful" by staying connected to Chrsitianity and also growing their faith.
"In spite of the tensions they feel between church and everyday life, they keep showing up," Barna concluded.
The results of the Barna Group survey of 2021 draws similar conclusions with that of the Survey Center on American Life of the American Enterprise Institute, which in March reported that Gen Z is now the least religious generation. Their research showed that about one-third or 34% of Gen Z identify as religiously unaffiliated. Research also showed that 29% of Millennials, 25% of Gen X, 18% of boomers, and 8% of the silent generation are also religiously unaffiliated.
The American Enterprise Institute's Daniel A. Cox remarked that today's young adults have had an "entirely different religious and social experiences than previous generations," explaining, "The parents of millennials and Generation Z did less to encourage regular participation in formal worship services and model religious behaviors in their children than had previous generations."