Church Not Very Important to “Tweens”

October 23, 2006

Many 8 to 12 year olds don’t feel that church makes a difference.

A new survey from Barna Research has focused on what is working for pre-teens in their lives. Not surprisingly, the study’s results hold both “good news and bad news” for parents and church leaders. According to the survey, 79% of “tweens” feel safe at home; 69% share regular family dinners together (see post below); and 91% are reprimanded by their parents for using bad language. Nine out of ten (94%) kids said that they have good friends that they can trust. That’s all pretty good…

On the other hand, only 38% of surveyed youth said that church makes a positive difference in their lives, and only 34% said that prayer is very important to them. When asked if they would rather be popular than do what is morally right, only 43% rejected the notion.

The survey went on to identify what seemed to affect the quality of life for the “tweens”. Three items emerged from this analysis:

• Successful academic achievement
• Having both parents in the home and involved in the child’s life
• An active relationship with God through Jesus Christ

While they obviously do not guarantee trouble-free teenage years, these factors work together to strengthen a child’s potential for being a well-balanced teen.

At LOGOS, we try to reinforce the wholeness of a child’s life…where family life and church life are congruent. In this way, parents and loving adults work together to surround each young person with support and guidance within a broad Christian world view. Church is seen as an integral part of this perspective and not something that is “in addition to” the child’s core life activities. The relationships between kids and their supportive network of adults are the glue that holds this model together.