The Unaffiliated and Affiliated

Some new research on the religious lives of members of Gen Z is worth pondering. After looking at ten thousand surveys and one-hundred fifty interviews with young people ages thirteen to twenty-five, The Springtide Research Institute separated respondents into the two categories of affiliated and unaffiliated. Researchers tell us that in the past, it was common to assume that if someone claimed affiliation with a particular religious tradition, there was a corresponding set of practices, beliefs, and identities that marked that person. But that’s changing. The research found that fifty-two percent of affiliated young people have little to no trust in organized religion. Almost one-third say they don’t think it’s important to have a faith community. And over twenty percent who say they are affiliated say they don’t try to live out their religious beliefs in their daily lives. One response is this: those of us who are older need to be investing ourselves in relationships with the kids in our midst.