Posted by: beattieblog | September 4, 2010

Young Adults who do go to church…

Continuing the exploration of Robert Wuthnow’s book, what is the profile of the young adult who regularly goes to church? His age range is larger than my own work with young adult ministry  – 21 to 45, but here’s what he says:

…disproportionately female – 2 out of 3. Young adults in their 20s are less than a quarter of the YA population that attend church regularly…60 percent are married, 73 percent of regular attenders have children (“infreguent attenders”? 59 percent).

Wuthnow offers an interesting observation regarding how churches are now attracting an “unrepresentative cross-section of young adults.”:

In the early 1970s, the vast majority of frequent and infrequent church attenders alike were married and had children, while the typical non-attender is single and does not have children. This does not mean that church goers have nothing in common with non-goers. It does, however, meant that the two groups of young adults differ in ways other than simply their religious behavior. Their life worlds–and thus their interests and need–also differ.

What are the implications of what Wuthnow is highlighting? You tell me. On the surface, if a ministry to young adults wants to attract volunteers and attendees more quidckly, shouldn’t they then design programs around the need to married and with-children young adults? Or to single women? I do find it interesting that the high number of young women in young adult groups has not translated to an increase of young adult men. Thoughts?


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