Trends in Romance: What They Mean for Your Church
Just a few months ago, Barna Group released a new report titled “The Trends Redefining Romance Today.” The main article of this newsletter mentioned quite a few surprising statistics about the state of marriage in America, but this article delves even further into the thinking and behaviors of singles. This kind of information is helpful as churches tailor their ministry to encourage faith in singles and serve their unique needs with a heart like Jesus.
Here are a few excerpts:
- “In the 16 years since 2000, the amount of people married in the 25–29 range dropped 7 percentage points (from 43% to 36%), and the amount of people married in the 30 - 39 range dropped 8 percentage points (from 65% to 57%).”
- “Almost six in 10 (59%) practicing Christians are married (a number that has remained steady since 2000).”
- Twenty-five percent of all adults (whether they are Christians or not) have been divorced.
- “Almost all adults see [cohabitation] as a rite of passage in the path toward marriage.”
- “A full 30 percent of Millennials aren’t so sure about marriage at all . . . [an] understandable attitude when you consider that nearly 40 percent of them did not grow up in two-parent homes. Millennials and Gen Xers were children when divorce rates hit an all-time high, and their cautious approach toward marriage is the likely result.”
- “These relationship shifts have significant impact on churches. Many churches are built around a family model. They are most comfortable ministering to families and have developed an infrastructure to support couples and children. Single and dating young adults move around more often, they switch jobs more frequently, and their social lives often take precedence over institutional commitments. Yet if young adults are waiting longer to get married, the church can’t afford to simply hope they’ll come back once they get married and settle down. People’s twenties are a critical part of their formation - people shape identity, habits and beliefs during those years. They are important years to be part of a church community. . . . Young adults need guidance. They are skeptical that the church is relevant to their lives - or that faith has answers for them. Dating, sex and love are opportunities to show that the church can offer meaningful guidance through the minefield of modern day romance.”
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