pastoral leadership youth ministry

Today’s Emerging Adults 2

Scot McKnight at Jesus Creed is exploring Christian Smith’s new book: Souls in Transition: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults.

What do emerging adults think of religion? This next chp in Smith and Snell discovered in their fantastic new book: Souls in Transition: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults will be of use to all pastors and churches.

In fact, it may one of the most significant chps in the next decade of ministry because it maps what emerging adults think — and therefore it maps the audience of ministries today.

So only one question, but a big one: What are the top three in the following list in your community?

The most commonly voiced themes are these:

1. Religion is not a very threatening topic.
2. The majority of emerging adults are indifferent to religion.
3. The shared principles of various religions are good — all good. In fact, they say religions share the same core principles.
4. Religious particularities are peripheral to what is most important.
5. The point of religion is to make people good — make good people — make people better morally.
6. Religious congregations, therefore, are elementary schools for morals — and once you’ve been through elementary school you move on.
7. A family’s faith evokes a sense of dependence; therefore, not good.
8. Religion is not the place of real belonging.
9. By and large, friends rarely talk about religion.
10. Religious beliefs are “cognitive assents” but not “life drivers.”
11. What seems right to me is what is right and authoritative.
12. Take or leave what you want in your religion.
13. Evidence and proof trump blind faith.
14. Mainstream religion is fine, probably.
15. Religion is personal, not social or institutional.
16. There is no way to know what is true — in a final way.

Dr. Jeremy Berg is the founding and Lead Pastor of MainStreet Covenant Church in Minnetonka Beach, MN, where he has served since 2010. He an Adjunct Professor of Theology at North Central University (Minneapolis) and Professor of Bible & Theology at Solid Rock Discipleship School. Jeremy earned a doctorate in New Testament Context under Dr. Scot McKnight at Northern Seminary. He and his wife, Kjerstin, have three kids, Peter, Isaak and Abigail.

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