09 Appendix C – Methodology

Appendix C - Methodology



This study began with in-depth qualitative interviews with highly active Christians of various household types: two nuclear families (white Millennial parents with young children), one multi-generational family (Asian American household with children and boarders), one single-parent family (African American family that is sometimes multi-generational) and a roommate household (white Millennial males). Key insights about what makes a vibrant household or how faith grows in a household setting were initially identified through this research.

The results from the qualitative interviews were used to shape the questionnaire for quantitative online surveys conducted from April 5–11, 2018. In total, 2,347 interviews were conducted, including 448 with teens between the ages of 13–17. In order to qualify, respondents had to identify as Christian, agree strongly that their faith is very important in their life today and report attending a church service at least once in the past month. The margin of error for the total sample is +/- 1.8 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.

Individuals living by themselves are excluded from this study. This sample is not designed to be representative of all household types in the U.S. As the goal of this study is to observe interactions among practicing Christians who live together and how faith is experienced and transmitted among them, households of a single person did not qualify for participation.

All research that seeks to capture the dynamics of a population has some inherent limitations, but is useful to observe patterns and differences that reveal insights about the surveyed group. Online panelists are a collection of people who have pre-agreed to take surveys for some compensation, which may represent some motivational biases, so our surveys include quality control measures to ensure respondents are providing truthful and thoughtful answers to questions. When Barna samples from panels, respondents are invited from a randomly selected group of the U.S. population for maximum representation. For this study, researchers set quotas to obtain a minimum reasonable sample by household composition for statistical analysis. Additionally, quotas were set by a variety of demographic factors and the data was weighted by ethnicity, education, region and gender to reflect their natural presence among the practicing Christian segment.



Faith Segments

Practicing Christians are self-identified Christians who say their faith is very important in their lives and have attended a worship service within the past month.

Evangelical Christians meet nine criteria, which include: having made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that is still important in their life today; believing that, when they die, they will go to heaven because they have confessed their sins and accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior; saying their faith is very important in their lives; believing they have a personal responsibility to share their religious beliefs about Christ with non-Christians; believing that Satan exists; believing that Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth; asserting that the Bible is accurate in all that it teaches; believing that eternal salvation is possible only through grace, not works; and describing God as the all-knowing, all-powerful, perfect deity who created the universe and still rules it today. Being classified as an evangelical is not dependent on church attendance or denominational affiliation, and respondents are not asked to describe themselves as “evangelical.”

Nominal Christians are self-identified Christians who do not indicate having a personal commitment to Jesus.



Gen Z: born between 1999 and 2015
Millennials: born between 1984 and 1998
Gen X: born between 1965 and 1983
Boomers: born between 1946 and 1964
Elders: born in 1945 or earlier


Households were determined based on respondents’ descriptions of their households. Practicing Christians who live alone did not qualify for participation in this study of household interactions.

Nuclear family households include two married parents and their child(ren) under the age of 18. A second type, grown-up nuclear family households, includes two parents who live with only their adult child(ren).

Single-parent households include an unmarried parent and their child(ren) of any age. A single-parent household may also be a multi-generational household. Single parents who live with a partner are not included in this category.

Couple households include households with married couples who do not have children or anyone else living in the home.

Multi-generational households are comprised of at least three generations in the home or a grandparent raising a grandchild. The household may also have non-family relatives living with them, such as borders or roommates, but these households do not overlap with roommate households.

Roommate households are made up of unmarried adults who share a home with a roommate or boarder.

Other households include teens or adults who live with another family member besides their parents, those who live with roommates but also live with a spouse and / or a child, or adults who live with their adult child and his or her spouse. All adults in this category do not fit into other categories defined above.

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Appendix B - Notes

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Appendix D - Acknowledgements

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