Field Studies (Qualitative)
Barna conducted a total of four focus groups in August 2016 with U.S. teenagers between the ages of 14 and 17. Two focus groups were conducted in Atlanta, Georgia, on August 11, and two sessions were conducted in Los Angeles, California, on August 17.
The first focus group conducted in both locations consisted entirely of teenagers whose parents consider their child a Christian—either Protestant or Catholic (“Christian Group”). The second focus group conducted in both locations consisted entirely of teenagers whose parents do not consider their child a Christian (“Non-Christian Group”). The goal for all four groups was to get a sense of their priorities for life and perspectives on faith, to inform design of the quantitative survey instruments.
Two nationally representative studies of teens were conducted. The first was conducted using an online consumer panel November 4–16, 2016, and included 1,490 U.S. teenagers 13 to 18 years old. The second was conducted July 7–18, 2017, and also used an online consumer panel, which included 507 U.S. teenagers 13 to 18 years old. The data from both surveys were minimally weighted to known U.S. Census data in order to be representative of ethnicity, gender, age and region.
Three hundred thirty-five U.S. Protestant youth pastors were also interviewed. Members of Barna’s pastor panel who identify as the person who has direct responsibility for the church’s ministry to middle- or high-school students were invited to participate in an online survey, conducted November 16, 2016–January 17, 2017.
Four hundred and three engaged Christian parents were also surveyed. To qualify for participation, parents had to 1) identify as Christian, 2) be the parent of a child ages 13 to 19, 3) have attended a church service in the past month and 4) qualify as an “engaged Christian” under the definition designed for this study (see below). The survey was conducted using an online consumer panel November 8–16, 2016.
One nationally representative study of 1,517 U.S. adults ages 19 and older was conducted using an online panel November 4–16, 2016. The data were minimally weighted to known U.S. Census data in order to be representative of ethnicity, gender, age and region.
NO FAITH identify as agnostic, atheist or “none of the above.” OTHER FAITH identify with a religion other than Christianity.
UNCHURCHED CHRISTIANS identify as Christian but have not attended church within the past six months.
CHURCHED CHRISTIANS identify as Christian and have attended church within the past six months, but do not qualify as engaged under the definition below.
ENGAGED CHRISTIANS identify as Christian, have attended church within the past six months and strongly agree with the each of the following:
- The Bible is the inspired word of God and contains truth about the world.
- I have made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that is still important in my life today.
- I engage with my church in more ways than just attending services.
- I believe that Jesus Christ was crucified and raised from the dead to
conquer sin and death.
GEN Z were born 1999 to 2015. (Only teens 13 to 18 are included in this study.)
MILLENNIALS were born 1984 to 1998.
GEN X were born 1965 to 1983.
BOOMERS were born 1946 to 1964.
ELDERS were born before 1946.
The BIBLICAL WORLDVIEW definition includes the following factors:
- Has made a personal commitment to Jesus that is still important in their life today
- Believes they will go to heaven when they die “because you have confessed your sins and accepted Jesus Christ as your savior”
- Strongly agrees the Bible is totally accurate in all of its teachings
- Strongly agrees they personally have a responsibility to tell other
people your religious beliefs
- Strongly disagrees that Jesus Christ committed sins when he lived
- Strongly disagrees that the devil, or Satan, is not a living being but a
symbol of evil
- Strongly disagrees that a person can earn a place in heaven if they
are generally good or they do enough good things for others
- Believes God is the all-powerful, all-knowing, perfect creator of the
universe who rules the world today