Encouraging New Study Finds Big Percentage of GenZers Committed to Jesus

American Bible Society released on Tuesday the fifth chapter of the 12th annual State of the Bible report, which highlights cultural trends in the U.S. regarding spirituality and Scripture engagement. Today's release explores the importance of the Bible across generations and shows that while nearly half of Gen Z say they've committed their lives to Jesus, only about one-eighth are regularly engaged with Scripture.

The first five chapters are available to download at StateoftheBible.org.

"Across all generations, the relationship with the Bible and faith is complex and nuanced, but especially when it comes to Gen Z and Millennials," said John Farquhar Plake, PhD and Director of Ministry Intelligence for American Bible Society. "The data show us that of the three youngest generations who say they have made a commitment to Jesus, fewer than one-third are now practicing Christians.

"This should challenge every Christian and ministry leader to intentionally cultivate relationships with their younger neighbors, who are often seeking security and hope amidst ever-increasing anxiety. It's our prayer that every generation is able to meaningfully connect with the Word of God, engaging with it as a way of life and actively living out their faith in community,"

The State of the Bible 2022 findings come from a survey in January 2022 conducted by American Bible Society in collaboration with NORC at the University of Chicago, which produced 2,598 online or telephone responses from American adults in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Key findings analyzed in Chapter 5: Generations

  • Nearly one-third of Elders are Scripture engaged, one-fourth of Boomers are, one-fifth of Gen X, and about one-eighth of both Millennials and Gen Z (page 111).
  • When asked if people agreed their religious faith is very important to their lives today, 79% of Elders said they "strongly" or "somewhat" agreed; 62% of Boomers agreed; 53% of Gen X agreed; and only 39% of Millennials agreed their faith is important today. Gen Z lands between Millennials and Gen X at 47% (pages 112-113).
  • According to peer-reviewed research conducted by Harvard University scholars and the State of the Bible report research team, Gen Z reported significantly higher levels of stress than their counterparts in the other generations (page 117). However, when Gen Z adults are Scripture Engaged, their Human Flourishing scores are higher than the average (page 120).
  • Each succeeding generation shows a decline in religious commitment and Scripture engagement. Though it is still to be seen whether or not Gen Z will continue the trend, they lead the way in reporting curiosity about what the Bible has to say (page 124).
  • More than half of American adults say they have made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that is still important in their lives today. Of the people in the three youngest generations who have reported making that commitment, fewer than a third are now Practicing Christians (page 124).

Between September and December 2022, American Bible Society will release four new chapters in the State of the Bible 2022 story—including reports on the tools and technology people are using to engage with the Bible and the influence of the Bible on philanthropy.

To download the first five chapters of the State of the Bible 2022 e-book, visit StateoftheBible.org.

* Scripture engagement is defined as consistent interaction with the Bible that shapes a person's choices and transforms their relationships with God, self, and others. For descriptions on how Scripture engagement was measured and reported, please see page 33 of the e-book available for download at StateoftheBible.org.

Since 1816, American Bible Society has been making the Bible available to every person in a language and format each can understand and afford, so all people may experience its life-changing message. One of the nation's first and most enduring ministries, American Bible Society today advocates for all people to apply the Bible's teachings to their lives in a way that transforms their relationship with God and others. For free Bible resources or to join the Bible cause, visit AmericanBible.org.

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