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new from barna

September 13, 2007

The Barna Group released the results of a new study this week in an update titled: Survey Reveals Challenges Faced by Young People. The researchers didn’t survey young people, though, they surveyed parents. If there was a reason for that strategy it wasn’t revealed.

“When asked to identify the most significant or challenging issues facing their teenagers, parents listed …”

1. Peer pressure (42%)
2. Performance in school (16%)
3. Substance abuse (16%)

Keep in mind these are not the three most significant or challenging issues facing teenagers, these are what parents – who identify themselves as Christians – believe are the three most significant or challenging issues facing their teenagers. It would be interesting to survey the teenagers and see how well the parents did.

What really struck me was the bottom of the list: “Challenges related to their teen’s faith were listed by only 3% (of) parents.” Christian parents.

Christian parents (of teenagers) believe that while things like peer pressure, substance abuse, behavioral issues, values development, attitude and media use are “significant or challenging issues,” but at the same time do not think that their children’s faiths are being challenged.

You know what I’m going to say, so I’ll keep it short: lukewarm, define faith, doer of the word, WEAK SAUCE, no role models, and bad teaching.

How much more compelling can the call to children’s and youth minsitry be? If the Church doesn’t confront a generation being raised on Burger King-faith, what will the next one look like?

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Tami permalink
    September 13, 2007 6:05 pm

    I guess I would’ve taken that to mean that because we live in a society that, at least for the moment, still allows free speech, the kids don’t have to face “hardship”, persay, or at least not real persecution, in relation to their faith. Maybe I misread the question.

  2. Nate permalink
    September 13, 2007 7:04 pm

    Wow. I’m totally with you. Completely crazy and sad. Praise God for the movement, although small, of people that are realizing the importance of youth ministry.

    But would you please define “weak sauce”? Thank you.

  3. Lex permalink
    September 13, 2007 8:52 pm

    Sure, but the survey didn’t mention hardships or persecution.

    I just don’t believe for a second that 97% of teenagers don’t face challenges to their faith UNLESS the only faith they know is so weak and politically correct that they don’t recognize MTV, parties, drugs in the bathrooms, teen sex, etc. as challenges because it all falls right in line. That’s what I was trying to get at.

    “Weak sauce” is when you go to the counter at Taco Bell and grab the little RED packets because you’re looking for a little fire in your mouth, a little something to wake you up, a little something more potent and more dangerous and more alive than the norm, but end up disappointed in the complacency, apathy, and uniformity of your Crunchwrap. Because not only did you want a little honesty in your day, you know that you were just denied because someone, somewhere was afraid to be spicier than the rest just because consumer satisfaction would rate higher this way.

    Ya, I just wrote a sermon about Taco Bell. What?

  4. Tim permalink
    September 15, 2007 2:41 am

    Burger King faith… Taco Bell weak sauce.. Are/were you fasting?

  5. Loretta permalink
    September 15, 2007 6:33 pm

    I’m think’n that it’s the things listed that challenge our youth’s faith or distract them from pursuing God. Are even the byproduct of weak faith. It boils down to a distorted image of God resulting in a confused image of themselves. Now you can say duh!

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