Teleios recently completed a survey of visitors to the Instagram account, Instapray, mostly all comprised of youth (<18 years) and millennials (18-34 years) and 77% self-identified evangelicals. We had 884 participants and asked them questions about their Christian lifestyle, and how church affected their wellbeing.
Amazingly, the church’s influence on wellbeing did not differ between youth and millennials (P=0.09).
What helped wellbeing the most? Participants could select up to 3 choices from a list of 12 items. Please find more complete results on our website, http://stage.teleiosresearch.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/DTS3-data.pdf.
Well this is encouraging!
1. Prayer (59%) – Prayer is a cornerstone of our Christian walk allowing us to come directly before God, unafraid and give our petitions to him for ourselves and others. By prayer also we praise God and thank Him (Hebrews10:20-22, Philippians 4:6). The assembled church might assist prayer by acting as a guide to our supplications to God, a more expansive prayer experience and promoting prayer in our lives.
2. Spiritual growth (56%) – Participants generally recognized the church helps them in their Christian lives and helps them become mature believers.
3. Praise and worship (54%) – Praise of our gracious God for His righteous character and actions is essential for a healthy Christian Life. Praise allows us to remind ourselves that God’s thoughts and goals are greater than ours. God deserves our praise (Hebrews 13:15, Psalms 147-150)
But there is still room for growth …
4. Emotional support (38%) – This finding is heartening in that young believers look to the church, perhaps specifically to the church leadership or their trusted Christian friends and colleagues, to help them through life with sympathy and advice. Access for young Christians, desiring support from believing peers, is an important function of the church.
5. Comfortable and pleasing worship surroundings (35%) – I suspect that this finding is important not just in young people but for many older congregants as well. Indeed, a beautiful church, often combined with stirring music and liturgy combine to create an awe inspiring and encouraging ambiance.
Nonetheless, as Christians, we are commanded to take our Christian lifestyle beyond the mountaintop experience of a church service, or a faith-based conference, and practice our faith on a daily basis. Over time, scripture tells us that we should become confident in our relationship with God through knowledge and understanding; emotionally stable, making correct decisions between right and wrong, as well as teaching others (Hebrews 5:11-14, Colossians 1:27-2:3, 3:16-17, Ephesians 5:15-19).
Our Christian walk comprises generally of: prayer, praise, bible-based fellowship, learning scripture and teaching others scripture and the gospel (Acts 2:42,47). These practices promote our growth by the power of the Spirit to the maturity God desires for us (Galatians5:22, Ephesians 5:18).
The above list from our survey is encouraging in the emphasis of spiritual growth, prayer and praise in young church attendees. However, the amazing finding is that Christian youth have the same desires for their church experience as the millennial generation. It appears the Holy Spirit has used parents as well as church members, leaders and teachers to help form the next generation of believers to carry forth God’s great work. Thanks be to God!
Please join me next week as we continue to explore the church and wellbeing. Thank you for reading my blog. Today I pray for each one of you blog readers.
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