OVERSEERS: Jackie Adedeji (centre) and Yemi Adedeji (far right)
A LANDMARK survey has revealed that millennial Christians, aged between 18 and 37, are a generous, faith fuelled generation, who sometimes struggle to relate to the older generation and that there are differences in how white and Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Christians live out their faith.
The report, entitled Building Tomorrow’s Church Today: the views and experiences of young adults in the UK Church, published by the Evangelical Alliance, was launched to a packed crowd aboard the HMS Belfast.
Almost half of the millennials surveyed (47 per cent) give away at least a tenth of their money.
BAMEs are more generous – with 60 per cent giving away at least a tenth of their income, compared to 44 per cent of young white British adults.
Contributors to the survey included Bishop Wayne Brown, director of New Life Fellowship.
He wrote: “I find this research fascinating and in a lot of ways it confirms my prevailing thoughts about my millennial generation.
“It would seem that this next generation are caught between the standard of the Christian beliefs they hold dear and the ‘how to’ of walking out their faith daily.”
Three quarters of respondents stated that faith is the most important factor in the decisions they make, whilst a quarter said that older people in their church struggle to relate to them. A fifth were thinking about leaving.
The research also found that white Britons were consistently less conservative in their views than their BAME counterparts.
Areas of disparity include views on the authority of the Bible, evolution, homosexuality, cohabiting and marrying a non-Christian.
CONTRIBUTIONS: Bishop Wayne Brown and Selina Stone
For instance, 81 per cent of BAMEs think cohabitation is not something an unmarried Christian couple should do, compared to 63 per cent of white British Christian millennials.
A further 73 per cent of BAME millennials believed that the Bible in its original manuscript is without error, compared to 52 per cent of white British young adults.
However, when the opportunity arose to talk about their faith, 81 per cent of white British millennials had shared their faith in the last month compared to 61 per cent of BAMEs.
Almost half of those surveyed stated that the teaching that benefits them the most is the teaching they receive in their church.
The report also found that less than half, (49 per cent), said the teachings they find most beneficial to them are podcasts, online blogs and social media to help them draw closer to God.
Generally Millennials feel very positively about the church, with 93 per cent stating they found people within their congregations who they look up to.
However, only 32 per cent stated that they were being mentored by someone from within their church.
During a question and answer session at the launch, Selina Stone of the Centre for Theology and Community, who also contributed to the report, spoke about the need for churches to mentor young people so they are equipped to function in the wider community.
Rev Yemi Adedeji, director of the One People Commission of the Evangelical Alliance, who helped oversee the report, said: “As church leaders we have a mandate to use the results of this survey to examine how we are engaging with young people and to consider how we can listen to the next generation and position them for success in every area of their lives.”
He hopes the report will encourage church leaders to seek new ways to engage with Millennials in their congregation.
“A mature leader could look at some of the points in the report, bring together their leadership team, look at some of the issues they may have with their Millenials and look at the best ways of addressing them.”
A copy of the report can be downloaded from www.eauk.org