JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – Research shows most young people drift away from church in their 20s. They don't pray, attend church on regular bases, or read the bible. If that trend continues, what does that mean for the future of churches?
Youth involvement in church seems to drop drastically at the college level. An article in USA says almost 75 percent of young Americans are claiming to be spiritual than actually claiming a religion.
So, is there a difference in being spiritual and religious? "People say you know, I'm a "spiritual person", well, what does that mean? If you pin point them out and say what do you mean by spiritual? They have a hard time defining that," says Randy Carlton, a deacon of college involvement at Valley View Church of Christ, "They're at that age where they are tired of being told by the elders about what to do and how to do it, and they're going to do it themselves...so they come up with I'm spiritual. I can do whatever I want and it still has a spiritual connotation to it, rather than this is what the bible says."
But, many do not pray or read the bible. Steven Ramsey a youth at Valley View says the bible plays a big role in his life, "I see the story of those people in the bible kind of come up again in my life. One of the great things about it, it's a mystery, you can't figure it out there's no formula it's the story of how God works."
Carlton finds the youth might be overwhelmed by the bible, kind of like putting something together, "You open up the instruction manual and it's been translated in from Chinese, back to Spanish, back to English, and we can't figure it out. I think a lot of people think of the bible like that."
One of the biggest fears is if a trend like these continues churches like these might not last. "We need to do a better job of communally as a body need to learn to love more people in different ways and not always be trying to make them adapt to the way that we think they should be," says Ramsey. He adds we shouldn't just be seeing the college students as the future, but an interracial part of the church now.