Valuegenesis2 Ten Years Later: A Study of Two Generations Hamlet Canosa Vice President for Education Columbia Union Conference Conventional wisdom declares any church is only one generation away from extinction! PFA: 8/10/04 Ellen G. White shares Why should not labor for the youth be regarded as missionary work of the highest kind? It requires the most delicate tact, the most watchful consideration The most
kindness, courtesy, and the sympathy which flows from a heart filled with love to Jesus, will gain their confidence, and save them from many a snare of the enemy We should seek to enter the feelings of the youth, sympathizing with them in their joys and sorrows, their PFA: 8/10/04 Ellen G. White shares conflicts and victories. We must meet them where they are if we would keep them Let us remember the claim of God upon us to make the path to heaven bright and attractive. The Task is Ours! PFA: 8/10/04 Valuegenesis2: Scope of Study Study: NAD-based, 6th 12th graders 21,000 surveys 16,000 completed
16 page questionnaire 396 items After cleaning the data (non-Adventists), 10,000+ respondents VG2 results compared to VG1 results of 1990 (longitudinal comparisons of data) Ethnicity: 15% multiracial; 22% Latino/Hispanic; 29% Black/African-American; 32% White PFA: 8/10/04 Valuegenesis2: Demographics 80% from 2-parent families; 20% from oneparent families and an additional 20% from divorced families Of total sample, 77% of fathers and 92.5% of mothers are SDA Church members 47% of census male; 53% female Avg. age of baptism for SDA students 11.6 yrs. 22% not baptized; 42% baptized under 12 yrs PFA: 8/10/04 Reasons to Rejoice
COMMITMENT TO JESUS: 90% (6-12) claim a commitment to Jesus IMPORTANCE OF FAITH: How important is religious faith in your life? 58% (50%); 2% - not at all PRAYER: 74% say it is important to spend time in private thought and prayer 1/day 73% (53%); 1/wk 91% (66%) PFA: 8/10/04 Reasons to Rejoice SHARING ONES FAITH (EVANGELISM): How comfortable in sharing personal faith? 59% encouraged others directly to believe in Jesus 40% encouraged another to join Adventist faith IMPORTANCE OF FAITH: How important is religious faith in your life? 58% (50%); 2% - not at all
PFA: 8/10/04 Reasons to Rejoice GRACE ORIENTATION: I know that God loves me no matter what I do. 95% across all grade levels The way to be accepted by God is to try sincerely to live a good life. 45% (60%) STAYING CONNECTED TO GOD (Topics): Gaining a deeper relationship with God. 81% (76%) interested/very interested The Bible. 67% (65%) Talk to my friends about faith. 61% PFA: 8/10/04
Reasons to Rejoice/Thoughts to Ponder IMPORTANCE OF BEING AN ADVENTIST: How important is it to attend a church of my own denomination? 71% (75%) important/extremely important (see themselves as committed Christians) 26% (9%) not important Denominational loyalty seems to be waning Would you choose an Adventist Church if you moved to another location? 88% (90%) said they would PFA: 8/10/04 Reasons to Rejoice MPORTANCE OF BEING AN ADVENTIST: Chance of being an Adventist at the age of 40.
74% (72%) good to excellent I6% (7%) small chance 1% (2%) no chance COMMITMENT TO ADVENTIST BELIEFS: The best news is that Adventist youth continue to prize the Adventist theological heritage; they accept its beliefs and values. PFA: 8/10/04 Reasons to Rejoice/Thoughts to COMMITMENTPonder TO ADVENTIST BELIEFS: as students get older, they are more able to understand some of the more complex doctrinal statements of the church. i.e., Millennium 40% (6th) to 64% (12th) Only two doctrines decrease in belief status as students age. Ellen White fulfilled prophetic predictions
42% (46%) Adventists as the remnant church 43% (53%) PFA: 8/10/04 Adventist Standards 3 TYPES: Substance Abuse (temperance) 91% (91%) no to illegal drug use 80% (91%) no to tobacco use 84% (87%) no to beer/liquor use 82% (85%) yes to exercise daily Adventist Way-of-Life Standards 90% (88%) observe the Sabbath (agreed) 77% (68%) sex should occur only in marriage
60% (65%) wearing of modest clothes PFA: 8/10/04 Adventist Standards 3 TYPES: Adventist Way-of-Life Standards 18% (18%) Adventist rules/standards dont make sense 29% felt that Adventists are loaded down with too many restrictions Popular Culture Standards this particular area of obedience is the weakest and most vague regarding overall support. PFA: 8/10/04 What about At-Risk Behaviors? Drink Alcohol: Never - 12 mos. Once/12 mos.
7th/8th Graders: 86% 14% 9th/10th Graders: 72% 28% 11th/12th Graders: 65% 35% Total %: 77% 23% Use Marijuana: 96% 4%
Not sure: 11% 12% 8% 10% Tend to agree: 27% 34% 34% 31%
Definitely agree: 53% 44% 49% 50% PFA: 8/10/04 Family Attitudes: Good News! SCALE: I get along with my parents 7th/8th Graders: 9th/10th Graders: 11th/12th Graders:
Total %: Definitely disagree: 5% 6% 4% 5% Tend to disagree: 10% 11% 9%
9% Not sure: 12% 12% 8% 10% Tend to agree: 36% 40% 41%
38% Definitely agree: 38% 31% 39% 37% PFA: 8/10/04 Family Attitudes: Good News! SCALE: My parents often tell me they love me 7th/8th Graders: 9th/10th Graders:
11th/12th Graders: Total %: Definitely disagree: 3% 5% 4% 4% Tend to disagree: 4% 7%
7% 6% Not sure: 6% 8% 6% 6% Tend to agree: 23% 27%
29% 25% Definitely agree: 64% 53% 54% 60% PFA: 8/10/04 What influences our Youth?* A lot None
Your parents 78% 3% Your friends 51% 4% Christian faith 48% 17% The Bible 44%
15% Bothers/Sisters 40% 11% Your teachers 34% 12% Church pastors 27% 17% Music
25% 21% Television 13% 24% PFA: 8/10/04 * G. Barna, Third Millennium Teens, p. 18 Faith Maturity 45% 40% 35% 30% 25%
20% 15% 10% 5% 0% 44% 22% Valuegenesis 1 Valuegenesis 2 Over the past years there has been a 100% increase in mature faith, crossing vertical faith (prayer, meditation, Bible study, etc.) with horizontal faith (sharing, caring, witnessing). PFA: 8/10/04 Faith Maturity
I help others with their religious questions and struggles. 40% (30%) I seek out opportunities to help me grow spiritually. 55% (40%) I feel a deep sense of responsibility for reducing pain and suffering in the world. 40% (45%) I give significant portions of time and money to help other people. 26% (18%) I feel Gods presence in my relationships with other people. 56% (47%) PFA: 8/10/04 Faith Maturity I feel my life is filled with meaning and purpose. 70% (66%) I show that I care a great deal about reducing poverty in my country and throughout the world. 28% (50%) I apply my faith to political and social issues. 42% (31%) The things I do reflect a commitment to
Jesus Christ. 61% (75%) I talk with other people about my faith. 49% (42%) PFA: 8/10/04 Faith Maturity I have a real sense that God is guiding my life. 49% (42%) I am spiritually moved by the beauty of Gods creation. 75% (75%) PFA: 8/10/04 Prayer It is important to spend time in prayer. 40% definitely agree; 35% tend to agree Prayers alone are as important as church prayers. 38% definitely agree; 28% tend to agree Do you pray other than at church or before meals? 73% said once a day
or more PFA: 8/10/04 Bible Reading SCALE: Read the Bible once a day or more. 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 39 29 31 27
29 Note the significant drop! 7th/8 9th/10 11th/12th PFA: 8/10/04 VG2 VG1 Reading E. G. White SCALE: Reading once a day to once a week 15 A troubling development
VG2 VG1 SDA Youth: Troubling Statistics 60% (47%) felt sad or depressed during the last month. 17% (16%) have been physically abused by an adult to the extent that they sustained scars, black and blue marks, etc. 20% have been sexually abused one or more times. 15% (13%) had made multiple attempts at suicide. 11% (17%) have had one or more experiences of sexual intercourse (gone all the way, made love) PFA: 8/10/04 What can we do?
Provide a grace-oriented presence in which youth can grow and identify with the Kingdom of God. Build on their growing understanding of how God saves humanity by clear teaching, compassionate mentoring, and active experiences that reflect the love and grace of God in all of the relationships we have with our youth. Encourage private devotions for each young person. PFA: 8/10/04 What can we do? Stress the importance of a personal relationship with God and a thorough involvement with Gods word and the writings of the Church. PFA: 8/10/04 What about our
Schools? Students are positive about the interest that their teachers take in their personal lives. Students see teaching in Adventist schools as good. 70% agreed that teachers praised them when students worked hard on their homework. 70% agreed that they liked school. PFA: 8/10/04 What about our Schools? TEACHERS SHOULD REMEMBER: When schools have a positive school climate, when teachers are interesting, when discipline is fair, when teaching is considered good, and when teachers both praise and listen to students, the more intrinsic the religious experience becomes for
students. PFA: 8/10/04 What about our Schools? SCALE: Teachers are interested in their students 80 Total 83 12th 81 11th 78 10th 77 9th
80 8th 79 7th 70 75 80 PFA: 8/10/04 85 What about our Schools? SCALE: The teaching is good 85 85
PFA: 8/10/04 What about our Schools? 67% (70%) agreed that Adventist schools should be a top priority among Adventist leaders (74% at the 12th grade level). Is your school exciting or dull? 48% responded positively, 22 saw their school as dull. In a similar bipolar question, 64% versus 16% saw schools as warm rather than cold. PFA: 8/10/04 What about our Schools? In a query of Christian education as inclusive and fair in this environment, 46% of students saw their school in a positive light, 17% were critical about
its exclusiveness. When asked, How far will you go in school? 64% of Adventist students responded that they wanted a baccalaureate degree before ending their educational experience. PFA: 8/10/04 A Way to the Future REUNITE WITH MISSION AND MESSAGE: Re-vision the Adventist Church for family action and values, school mission and purpose, and church involvement and beliefs. Find ways for the Church to interpret its beliefs into relevant actions. Help young people with their witness to Christ and sort out their PFA: 8/10/04 A Way to the Future
REUNITE WITH MISSION AND MESSAGE: own reasons to be an Adventist in the midst of the Christian world through dialogue and critical skills. Stress the unique Seventh-day Adventist beliefs with our biblical explanations and relevant applications. PFA: 8/10/04 A Way to the Future REUNITE WITH MISSION AND MESSAGE: Determine whether a graceorientation is central and growing among our youth and in our church. Continue to make central Gods love and grace in all of our actions. Help young people to place their works in proper perspective in constructing PFA: 8/10/04
A Way to the Future REUNITE WITH MISSION AND MESSAGE: their personal theology. Reevaluate the 3 types of standards with a view of understanding the values they express and the reasonableness of the logic which affirms them. With a view to enforcement of Popular Cultural Standards PFA: 8/10/04 A Way to the Future REUNITE WITH MISSION AND MESSAGE: in Adventism, we must strive for relevance and consistency in application, targeting the family as the proper place for these to be discerned and looking for creative ways to
explain these contemporary choices to young people. PFA: 8/10/04 A Way to the Future EMPOWER AND INVOLVE: Encourage meaningful and engaging family worship. Help the church meet the worship needs of the young people in the congregation. Encourage and provide help for young people in building a regular, personal devotional life, PFA: 8/10/04 A Way to the Future EMPOWER AND INVOLVE: rich in prayer, Bible reading, devotional practice and family and personal
worship. Provide exciting and lifechallenging programming in our churches. Identify ways in which young people can participate in PFA: 8/10/04 A Way to the Future EMPOWER AND INVOLVE: the faith life of the religious education institution, family worship activities, and local congregational ministry and mission. Dont neglect a strong pre-teen, youth, Pathfinders, and young adult ministry through programming in schools and congregations. PFA: 8/10/04 A Way to the Future EMPOWER AND INVOLVE:
Provide an active ministry which includes service and community involvement to a greater extent. Involve youth in creative, up-to-date mission-oriented activities and altruistic involvement in their church and school PFA: 8/10/04 A Way to the Future NURTURE AND SUSTAIN: Increase the time that parents, teachers, pastors, and adult leaders talk to young people about their own faith. Create materials for those in the significant transition years between 8th and 10th grade. Nurture spiritual parents PFA: 8/10/04
A Way to the Future NURTURE AND SUSTAIN: who see their lives as important in focusing and modeling the Kingdom of God. Help teachers in the school to replicate the attitudes of the Kingdom of God and the power of guaranteeing the faith of young people. PFA: 8/10/04 A Way to the Future NURTURE AND SUSTAIN: Stretch the curriculum to include a rich balance of materials that explore ones relationship with God and the world. Change cold and unaccepting climates into warm,reinforcing ones by constant evaluation of points where
the home, congregation, school, and young people intersect. PFA: 8/10/04 A Way to the Future ENRICH RELATIONSHIPS: Stress building a close, personal relationship with Christ first, then explore doctrinal meaning and its implications in practice. Rethink the climate issues in churches and schools to ensure an accepting, open, and warm environment in all areas of PFA: 8/10/04 A Way to the Future ENRICH RELATIONSHIPS: student contact, discipline, and learning. Work with the churches who are not
friendly to young people to find ways to involve, empower, and accept youth. PFA: 8/10/04 A Way to the Future WELCOME INNOVATION AND CHANGE: Schools must encourage the value of critical thinking. Students must become more involved in helping the school make necessary changes. Faculty must be seen as open and accessible, interested in the deepest problems of PFA: 8/10/04 A Way to the Future WELCOME INNOVATION AND CHANGE:
Their students, and willing to initiate dialogue and faith-talk in order to increase the instrinsic quality of the students religious life. Everyone (faculty, board members, administrators, etc.) could evaluate both the warmth and thinking character of PFA: 8/10/04 A Way to the Future WELCOME INNOVATION AND CHANGE: the climates they create, their graceorientation and attitudes, and their own support for Christian standards to see if those who come into their purview see Gods love permeating the relationships and environment. PFA: 8/10/04
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