Arizona Christian University's (ACU) new study reveals there are significant differences between current generations in regard to spiritual beliefs. And the study reveals there's one generation in particular that the church needs to target with ministry efforts.
The university's Cultural Research Center recently conducted the American Worldview Inventory 2021, a survey of the philosophy of life on American adults. Participants in the study included four generations: Millennials (born 1984-2002), Gen X (1965-1983), Baby Boomers (1946-1964), and Builders (1927-1945).
Each participant was asked several dozen questions in eight different categories about their personal worldview.
When tabulated, researchers weren't surprised to find that each generation greatly varied in their responses to specific beliefs and practices.
The CRC research shows that some of the biggest differences are in definitions like success in life, abortion, evolution, Biblical practices, reincarnation, karma, horoscopes, according to Relevant Magazine. Millennials and Gen X beliefs align more closely to one another, while Boomers and Builders hold more similar beliefs.
Some of the surprising findings:
- 90 percent of Builders believe you treat others as you want them to treat you, while less than half of Millennials agree.
- 43 percent of Millennials stated they either don't know, don't care, or don't believe God exists compared to 28 percent of Boomers.
- 51 percent of Millennials believe reincarnation is a real possibility.
- 64 percent of Millennials believe in karma.
- Nearly half of all Boomers believe that when they die they will go to Heaven only because they confessed their sins and accepted Jesus as their savior, compared to only 26 percent of Gen X and 16 percent of Millennials.
However, according to the researchers, there are some signs of kinship between these four generations. For example, a majority of Americans call themselves Christian, ranging from a low of 57 percent of Millennials to a high of 83 percent of Builders.
Sharing the Hope of Jesus Christ with a New Generation
As CBN News reported in January, evangelist Nick Hall, founder of the Pulse ministry, thinks it all comes down to empowering more Christians to share the hope of Christ with a new generation. Even while the COVID-19 pandemic was raging around the world, Pulse was still able to reach more than 100 million people with the gospel last year.
Hall told CBN's The Prayer Link that young people are searching.
"What I am hearing from young believers is really a desire to come together around the need to share Jesus, to share the Gospel," he explained. "There's all sorts of opinions about all sorts of things, all sorts of ideas and yet there is one thing that changes everything, and so I am seeing people praying, fasting, and really believing that, man, no matter what happens, we know that God is in control and we need to trust Him now more than ever."
Hall said he thinks there's never been a hunger for the gospel as we are experiencing today and his prayer for this year is revival.
"I think we need revival. We need God to move, to change us as the church. God always starts in His house," he declared. "More than we need a change in the White House or our neighbor's house, which we tend to be distracted about a lot. God always likes to start in His house...we are His people. We need God to rend the heavens and stir in us."
"Repentance needs to start with us and we need to get before God that He would set us on fire for what matters, that we would burn for scripture, that His word would be alive in us and from revival - it's a prayer for awakening. I believe that now is the time for the world to see a clear declaration of the Gospel and that Jesus is the one they're looking for," Hall explained.