Home Christian Lifestyle Study: Young Bible readers more likely to be faithful adults by Bob Smietana

Study: Young Bible readers more likely to be faithful adults by Bob Smietana

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NASHVILLE (BP) — Most churchgoing Protestant parents of young adults say their kids grew up to be Christians.

But half of them don’t actually practice the Christian faith, their parents say, according to a LifeWay Research survey released today (Oct. 17). And the biggest factor predicting their spiritual health as young adults is whether they read the Bible regularly as kids.

Those are among the findings of the study, which was conducted Sept. 22-Oct. 5, 2016, among Protestant churchgoers about parenting and spirituality. The survey was sponsored by LifeWay Kids for use in the book “Nothing Less: Engaging Kids in a Lifetime of Faith,” which was released Oct. 2.

For the study, researchers surveyed 2,000 Protestant and nondenominational churchgoers. All attend services at least once a month and have adult children ages 18-30.

Researchers wanted to know what parenting practices pay off over the long haul when it comes to spiritual health, said Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research.

“Churchgoing parents want to pass on their faith to their kids — and to see their children make that faith their own,” McConnell said. “But they don’t always know how best to make that happen.”

Spiritual disciplines

LifeWay Research took a twofold approach to the study.

First, researchers asked parents about 40 factors that could affect a child’s moral and spiritual development. Among them: whether the child’s parents had been divorced, whether the family prayed or ate meals together, what kind of school the child attended, how often the child went to church or youth group, and even what kind of music the child listened to growing up.

LifeWay Research then asked parents to describe their adult children’s spiritual health, using eight observable factors. Each child received one point if he or she:

— Identifies as a Christian.

— Shares his or her faith with unbelievers.

— Is involved in church.

— Reads the Bible regularly.

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