Yes, Millennials Are a Large Group of ‘Nones’ But Young Evangelicals Are the Most Engaged in Church
Dr. Alex McFarland, Author of Abandoned Faith, Has Worked for Decades to Engage Millennials and Equip the Adults Who Love Them
GREENSBORO, N.C.—Anyone who follows faith headlines has likely heard that the number of “nones”—those who do not identify with any religion—is growing, especially among millennials.
But a new piece of encouraging news is that those evangelical millennials who do attend church regularly are more engaged than other generations.
This goes to show, says religion and culture expert, national radio host and author Dr. Alex McFarland, that millennials are “all in” when it comes to their values.
A study of 1,000 self-identified evangelicals found that 53% percent overall say they attend church once per week or more. But by comparison, 61% of millennial evangelicals (ages 18-34) said the same, while 54% of “boomers and matures” (ages 55+) and 44% of Generation X (ages 35-54) attend at least weekly.
“This finding is in line with what we know about millennials,” said McFarland, who speaks to thousands of young people each year. “In the areas of their life they value, such as religion, politics or service, millennials are authentic, passionate and committed. It is uplifting to see that this applies to their faith and church engagement as well.
“But while this most recent study about church engagement is encouraging,” McFarland said, “it does not change the fact that many millennials are leaving their faith behind. Those outside the church community are disengaged with religion in general. They have doubts, insecurities and disillusions, and their mistrust, skepticism and rebellion cause them to walk away.”
McFarland is the co-author of the book, “Abandoned Faith: Why Millennials Are Walking Away and How You Can Lead Them Home,” which explores why millennials are leaving the church in droves and how those who love them can bring them back.
For “Abandoned Faith,” McFarland interviewed top Christian leaders who work with millennials and families. Millennials constitute a group of more than 80 million individuals who are technologically astute, ethnically diverse, and culturally and vibrantly engaged.
“The fact that millennials comprise the largest number of religiously unaffiliated Americans should be concerning to every parent, grandparent, pastor and potential employer,” McFarland said. “We have known for some time that the faith beliefs and actions of millennials are different from any other generation before. Young people tend to walk away from their faith in the college years, and we pray they return to the church, but knowing some of the facts we do about their convictions, attitudes and motivations, we must come alongside them as spiritual leaders and mentors, so they share a lifelong commitment to Christ.”
McFarland, the author of 18 books with another on the way, is the creator of the successful Truth for a New Generation (TNG) national and regional apologetics conferences, sponsored by Liberty University, which aim to help students, parents, youth pastors and community members lift up this young generation, pray for them and empower them to stand strong in their faith.
View the media page for Alex McFarland here. For more information on Dr. Alex McFarland, visit www.AlexMcFarland.com or follow him on Facebook or on Twitter @AlexMcFarland. For more on the Truth for a New Generation Conferences, visit www.TruthForANewGeneration.com, or follow TNG on Twitter @TruthforaNewGen or Facebook.