Although baby boomers and GenX often rejected church, today’s teens want more of it.  According to a survey by the Gallup Institute and reported by D. Michael Lindsay, today’s teens are lonely and spiritually hungry, and two thirds are involved in some kind of faith-based youth group.

The Gallup survey showed that 92 percent of teens consider their religious beliefs important to them. A third say faith is the most important influence in their lives. That number goes up to 52 percent for African-American teens. Close to four in ten say they pray alone frequently (42 percent) and read the Bible at least weekly (36 percent).

Teens report a higher or comparable degree of Christian orthodoxy and confidence in the church when compared to their parents or other adults. Ninety-five percent express belief in God, and 67 percent have confidence in organized religion. Over half (55 percent) call themselves “religious,” with an additional 39 percent referring to themselves as “spiritual but not religious.”

If you want a vibrant church, find a way to get the teens involved.  A young man in one of my study groups came to faith because our church sponsored a “tough man” demonstration – breaking bricks and boards, bending bars of rebar and living large weights while they shared their faith in Jesus.

That church is now seeking permits to build a skate part as part of a new youth center, in an area where there are no skate parks.

You don’t have to copy those ideas exactly, but you should give accomodation to those who live near your building but don’t yet attend your fellowship.  Some have great passion waiting to be channeled.  You just have to make room.