For Christian parents in this aggressively secular world, ensuring that our children are actively engaged in the Body of Christ and growing in their relationship with Him can be daunting.
However, if your child is routinely absorbing the Word of God, you’re doing better than the vast majority of parents raising Gen Z children — the youngsters who may one day be your own child’s ministry field.
A recently released report from the American Bible Society found that just 9% of Gen Z youth—that is, Gen Zers between the ages of 15-17, as opposed to 18-24, are what’s considered “scripture engaged.”
This is compared to a dismal 47% who are “Bible disengaged.”
The State of the Bible 2021 does not have wholly depressing statistics for Americans at large — it found that half of all American adults qualify as a “Bible user” — it is clear that Gen Z, as the study concluded, has a “precarious relationship with the Bible.”
The organization revealed that “only one-third of Gen Z youth (34%) are Bible Users, while 43 percent of Gen Z adults qualify. Compared with Gen Z, millennials have a much higher percentage of Bible Users, approaching the national average (49%).”
What’s more, they wrote that the “turmoil of 2020 did not spark greater Bible use among teenagers. Gen Z youth (27%) are more likely than Gen Z adults (19%) or millennials (9%) to say they decreased their Bible use in the past year.”
Interestingly, millennials were the most likely to say that they had increased their Bible use over the last year, that is 29%, compared to 27% of Gen Z adults and 21% of Gen Z youth.
One trend the researchers noticed among Gen Z youth was uncertainty, which is not entirely unusual in teens.
“When asked about the Bible’s importance to sustaining key American ideals, youth in Gen Z (ages 15–17) were more likely than adult members of their generation, and far more likely than older adults, to be undecided,” the report explained.
However, it is clear that this generation is less likely than its predecessors to consider the Bible relevant to contemporary issues.
As a whole, the report stated, they are more likely than millennials to question “the Bible’s relevance to issues like liberty (37% vs. 27%) and unity (29% vs. 20%).”
The Christian Post notes that “ABS drew from a survey conducted Jan. 4-29 of a national representative sample of 3,354 responses from adults aged 18 and older, as well as 91 youth aged 15-17, with a margin of error of +/− 1.692 percent.”
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