What Makes Twentysomething Christians “Resilient Disciples”?
Barna researchers are known for having some of the best research out there on the faith of the younger generation. David Kinnaman, president of Barna Research, published an important book called You Lost Me that overviews research on why Christians who grew up in church have left the faith. Now Kinnaman and co-author Mark Matlock have released another insightful book on the faith of those young adults who choose to follow Jesus in a culture that is often hostile to Christianity. Kinnaman calls these young Christians “resilient disciples.” In Faith for Exiles: 5 Ways for a New Generation to Follow Jesus in Digital Babylon, the co-authors get to know the one in ten young Christians who are “resilient disciples” and share their findings with their readers.
“What’s so remarkable about resilient disciples is that they truly exhibit a higher level of intimacy with Jesus than other young adults raised in the faith,” states Barna president David Kinnaman in a recent article on their website. “It’s heartbreaking to find that only about half of habitual churchgoers—young adults who attend church with regularity—strongly agree with the straightforward questions about Jesus.” He goes on to ask this critical question: “How is it possible to show up week after week, year after year, without believing and experiencing Jesus more fully?”
What we at Prepare the Way have appreciated about Barna Research is that they give action points in their books and materials. Kinnaman makes this charge to the church: “Habitual churchgoers should top the list of churches’ discipleship priorities; many of these young Christians are primed and ready for a deeper experience of (and commitment to) Christ.” One thing we hope the Christian Youth Summit and our seminars will do is to fire up Christians who are as Kinnaman puts it “primed and ready for a deeper experience of (and commitment to) Christ.” We have many Christians who attend our events and seminars who describe themselves in surveys as not very excited about their faith. Feedback forms show they often leave our events longing to learn more, share more, and live it out more. Join us in empowering Christians with a Biblical worldview and helping them to impact our culture with the truth and hope of Christ.