Most young adults who attended church as teenagers say they believe in God today, but fewer consider themselves devout Christians. And as a whole, they have conflicting recollections about the churches they attended in high school.
LifeWay Research surveyed more than 2,000 American adults between the ages of 23 and 30 who attended a Protestant church twice a month or more for at least a year as a teenager.
Today, 39 percent say they consider themselves a devout Christian with a strong faith in God. Fewer consider themselves Christian, but not particularly devout (27 percent). Even fewer say they believe in God but are uncertain of Christianity (14 percent) or say they consider themselves spiritual, but not religious (11 percent).
Only a small number say they are uncertain about their belief in God (five percent) or say they don’t believe in God or in any higher being (four percent).
Two-thirds (66 percent) of those who attended church regularly in high school dropped out for at least one year as a young adult.
“During the years most young adults are gone from church, they tend to hang onto their faith but don’t make it a priority,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research. And researchers found significantly different spiritual perspectives between those who dropped out of church and those who stayed.