Teleios recently completed a survey of visitors to the Instagram site, Instapray. We had 884 participants, mostly all comprised of youth (<18) as well as millennials (18-34), 77% evangelicals and 43% ex-US. We asked them regarding what in their daily life influenced their wellbeing.
Participants had generally good wellbeing with a score of 4.8 (scale 0-6 with 6 being best).
What influences wellbeing the most in these young Christians?
1. Personal walk with God (score 5.2) – What a great top choice! The Christian walk is a biblical term which indicates the manner, especially our moral, way of life in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16, 25).
1 Thessalonians 1:5-7 nicely describes the progression of the Christian walk for those who:
· Are saved – We first believe we are saved by grace through Christ’s death on the cross. This is the basis of our walk, enabled by the Spirit, received at salvation (Ephesians 1:13-14).
· Security – We are confident in our salvation. This gives the confidence in our walk.
· Confidence in belief – We accept the wisdom and authority the word of God in our lives.
· Emulates the apostles – This is best described in the first church, which was in Jerusalem (Acts 2:42 and 47), and engaged in: prayer, praise, fellowship, outreach and studying the Bible. Teleios research has shown that these activities, and the more in which they are done, increase personal wellbeing (1,2).
2. Worship service (score 5.0) – I would not have thought this would have been number two, but the information is most important. This finding should encourage pastors about the importance of their worship service for young believers.
The reason the worship service is so important we do not know precisely from research, but we could surmise the following:
· Corrects our thinking – Church sets our thoughts straight by the combination of prayer, teaching and praise directing us to the appropriate relationship with God.
· Challenges us to growth – Learning new information through the worship service helps us increase in faith and knowledge.
· Encouraging atmosphere – Being in a positive environment with the music, teaching, prayer and liturgy; all support our faith and the knowledge that we are correct in our standing with God and are correct in our stance versus secular society.
· Fellowship – At church we have the opportunity to speak with our dear Christian friends and find encouragement by their faith and actions.
3. Family and friends (score 4.9 and 4.6 respectively) – This finding was encouraging because it shows the generally positive influence of close associates on adolescents and millennials. Healthy family and friend relationships provide not only advice and teaching for life but also security in a place of warm and loving acceptance.
4. Church members (score 4.3) – Although not quite as important as friends and family, church members can provide an outside source of encouragement and example as well as source of Christian friendship.
5. Church activities (score 4.3) – Again this finding should encourage pastors of the importance of church and its impact in young people’s lives. Church activities provide a source of friends and acceptance for young people, and depending on the activity, teaching, mentorship and encouragement.
We are ecstatic in this survey to see that four of the top five sources of wellbeing for adolescents and millennials were spiritually based. This finding is consistent with Teleios research of the enhanced wellbeing provided by scripture through the knowledge of our salvation, eternal security and adherence to the Christian walk. These devoted participants appear generally to recognize scriptural benefits and pursue it, to the fruit in their lives. Their desires can be an example to us all.
Join us again next week as we discuss further Teleios research in the amazing impact of God’s word in our lives.
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