A new study conducted by The Open Generation revealed that most teenagers around the world have a “positive perception of Jesus,” according to Decision Magazine. With nearly 25,000 teens from ages 13 through 17 surveyed in 26 countries, the responses showed a positive outlook for the young generation in which the majority leans towards faith. David Kinnaman, the CEO of Barna Group, which is a partner of The Open Generation, explained that collecting this data allows Christians and church leaders to learn the needs and wants of teens today.
According to Decision Magazine, “about half of all teens across faith groups describe Jesus as “loving” (49%) and believe He offers hope to people (46%) and cares about them (43%). Yet the study also showed that only some elements of the Gospel shape teens’ perception of Christ. For example, while 47% of teens believe Jesus was crucified, just 33% say He rose again, and only 21% say He is active in the world today.” The study also found that “teens are generally curious about Jesus, with two-fifths of global teens (38%) saying they are very motivated to continue learning about Jesus and another one-fifth (21%) saying they are somewhat motivated to do so.”
The curiosity of teens interested in Jesus is especially important to note, and appealing to what they want to know can help them build or grow a relationship with the Lord. Kinnaman shared that the data collected suggests that “although this generation may not deeply engage with Jesus, they are open to Him, and when they do engage, they experience positive effects.”
Listening to youth is an essential way to connect with them, and in this case, helps us learn how to bring them closer to God. In a world where there are so many negative influences on teens, having the influence of faith, even if it is just planting a seed of curiosity, can help them find Jesus’ light in the world and make good decisions. The more teens learn of and embrace God’s love, the more promising it becomes to have a future with faith still strong in the world.