Study: Church Attendance Associated With Better Mental Health
The 'Connected Generation Report is 'Barna's largest study ever – A global project in partnership with World Vision'.' The report has interestingly found a pretty clear link between going to church and better mental health, and surveyed more than 15,000 respondents across 25 countries and 9 languages.
While I was reading some of the key points from this study, something that really stood out to me was that Church attendance seems to make a real difference. It's definitely something I've found trye in my own life, and to see it reflected in a study was eye-opening. The report says that "About 34 percent of people who have no faith said they were optimistic about the future, compared to 51 percent of practicing Christians who say the same.
Likewise, about 29 percent of people who do not practice any faith say they feel "able to accomplish goals," compared to 43 percent of practicing Christians."
Barna's editorial director and senior writer for the study, Alyce Youngblood, writes that "The research reveals a generation of driven adults who are wary and weary, wrestling with questions, longing for deeper relationships and facing significant societal, professional and personal obstacles. Yet, we also found that faith is one important factor associated with their well-being, connection and resilience. When—or, for many, if—they walk into a church, they'll need concrete teaching from leaders they can trust and meaningful opportunities to contribute to a faith community."
On their website, the report shared some of the key findings and stories that bubbled to the surface:
Connected but Alone. Despite being a hyper-connected and globally minded generation, many young adults say they feel lonely.
Spiritual Openness. There is a general (and, at times, surprising) openness toward spirituality, religion and, in many cases, the Church—but less so among those who have left their faith.
Age of Anxiety. Worry and insecurity, often tied to finances and vocation, are prominent traits among a generation that has come of age in a chaotic, complex time.
Looking for Answers. Human suffering and global conflict are among the top issues that raise spiritual doubts for 18–35-year-olds.
Resilient Discipleship. Across religious climates, the data point to keys for forming faithful Christ-followers, even among those Christians who lapse in religiosity.
Longing to Make a Difference. When young adults engage with a community of worship, they're looking for concrete teaching, opportunities to fight injustice and friends to join them along the way.
World Vision are running a number of events around NZ in the coming weeks about earn how to better understand, engage and collaborate with this connected generation, partnering with them in discipleship and supporting them in their callings. If you're interested in attending, the information is here: https://www.worldvision.org.nz/connect/events/faith-for-the-future-roadshow/
Cover photo Photo by Ric Rodrigues from Pexels.