A Troubling Statistic

Brian Burchik —  October 31, 2013

268/365 - Default StateI recently came across an article reflecting research from the Barna group. It’s focused on the faith of millenials, and specifically what keeps millenial Christians connected to the church.

If you’re unfamiliar with the term “millenial,” it refers to young adults between the ages of 18-30. (ages can slightly vary depending on who you ask.)

The entire article is worth the read, but there was one statistic that I could not get over.

According to the Barna group research…

Only 16% of young Millenials in church know how their career/work is informed by the Bible and Christianity. 

This is troubling to say the least. The gap between people’s understanding of the Bible and how it informs their own sense of purpose on the earth is huge. And I believe it’s a major reason so many, especially young adults, are ultimately walking away from the church.

The article indicates that one way “churches can deepen their connection with Millenials is to teach a more potent theology of vocation, or calling.”  At a time when such a low percentage of young adults see how their faith integrates into their jobs and careers, the importance of this quite obvious. We must demonstrate how various careers and jobs connect with following Jesus (not just the obvious ones, like pastors and worship leaders).

The good news is that the Bible casts the greatest vision for personal calling. There is no other world religion or religious narrative that validates a person’s work and purpose more than Christianity. And yet so often we miss it.

A central message of the Bible is that every single one of us is created by God, made in His image, called to represent Him in all we say and do (Col 3:17). And more specifically, the Bible teaches that we are each created for specific good works, mysteriously planned by God in advance (Eph. 2:10).

We believe “living fully” means following Jesus in a way that transforms every area of personal life and impacts every channel of cultural life. Specifically, we believe that God’s people are called to be salt and light in every channel of culture: family, education, business, government, media, arts & entertainment, and religion.

So here’s the question: How do we help Christians, particularly young adults, understand how their faith in Jesus integrates into their work? And how can we equip them to impact the various channels of culture in the name of Jesus?

I’d love to hear how you or other people/organizations are helping equip the next generation to step into their God-given calling. Leave your examples in the comments below.

If you’re interested in further exploring these ideas, check out Brian’s new book #LiveFully: Re-imagining the Greatest Calling on Earth.

Brian Burchik

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This post was by Brian, a leader seeking to know the "why" behind the "how"

3 responses to A Troubling Statistic

  1. We use the Highlands Ability Battery with HS juniors to help them understand their gifts and strengths. This helps them think through potential college majors and career paths. We dedicate about a week of Bible class time to bringing in a guidance expert who works with the students to better understand their results and how those can help direct them. He teaches from a biblical perspective of God’s calling in their lives. This is just one tool we use.

  2. We use the Highlands Ability Battery to help our HS juniors understand their strengths & gifts. A guidance expert comes in and we dedicate about a week of Bible class to helping these students understand their results and how these can impact their future. We approach it from a biblical perspective of calling.