Most churchgoing Protestant parents of young adults say their kids grew up to be Christians.

But half of them don’t actually practice the Christian faith, their parents say.

Those are among the findings of a new study among Protestant churchgoers about parenting and spirituality from Nashville-based LifeWay Research. The study was sponsored by LifeWay Kids for use in the book Nothing Less: Engaging Kids in a Lifetime of Faith.

For the study, researchers surveyed 2,000 Protestant and nondenominational churchgoers. All attend services at least once a month and have adult children ages 18 to 30.

Here are the Top 5 Predictors of Spiritual Health for Young Adults:

  1. Child regularly read the Bible while growing up.
  2. Child regularly spent time in prayer while growing up.
  3. Child regularly served in church while growing up.
  4. Child listened primarily to Christian music.
  5. Child participated in church mission trips/projects.

Parents’ behavior is also related to their adult children’s spiritual health, LifeWay Research found. Young adults had higher spiritual health scores if they grew up with parents who spent time:

  • Reading the Bible several times a week.
  • Taking part in a service project or church mission trip as a family.
  • Sharing their faith with unbelievers.
  • Encouraging teenagers to serve in church.
  • Asking forgiveness when they messed up as parents.
  • Encouraging their children’s unique talents and interests.
  • Taking annual family vacations.
  • Attending churches with teaching that emphasized what the Bible says.
  • Teaching their children to tithe.

All these little things can pay off, said McConnell, by showing kids what practicing your faith looks like.

“In the end, parents hope the light will go on and their children will want to follow God on their own,” he said. “At any age the Holy Spirit can flip the light switch, and these habits can help kids grow in their faith.”

Source: Lifeway Resource


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