Mar 28, 2012

The Rise of the Nones (Pt. 1)

The "Nones" (people who mark "None" when asked their religious affiliation) are the fastest growing group in the United States.  They now outrank every other group in America except for Catholics and Baptist.
  • Nones have grown from 8% in 1990 to 16.3% today.
  • 40% say they had no childhood religious initiation ceremony such as a baptism, christening, bar mitzvah or naming ceremony.
  • 55% of those who are married had no religious ceremony.
  • 66% say they do not expect to have a religious funeral. 
Barry Kosmin, co-researcher for the American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) says, "These people aren't secularized.  They're not thinking about religion and rejecting it; they're not thinking about it at all."  He expects the number of Nones to continue to grow with each coming generation.  75% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 now consider themselves "spiritual but not religious."

Christianity is taking the biggest hit.
  • Mainstream Protestant churches have lost more than a third of their members since 1960.
  • Baptist have gone from 19.3 in 1990 to 15.8 today.
  • Methodists have dropped from 8% in 1990 to 5% today.
  • Traditional forms of Christian practice have sharply declined from previous decades including church attendance, Bible study and prayer.
What does this mean for Children's Ministry?
How can we effectively reach families who are "Nones?"
What changes or shifts need to take place in Children's Ministry as we navigate the culture?

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