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Only 1 in 2 Canadian students, cross the bridge out of high school with their faith intact.

2019 Maru/EFC Church & Faith Trends

Jaxon's story

The gospel doesn't sound like good news if it doesn't apply until after you're dead.
It's got to be less about 'hey, you're a sinner, change now,' and more about, 'this is awesome, come be a part of this now.'

Image by Yingchou Han

Teenagers' thoughts on faith

"Jesus is the whole reason I'm living and that I was put here in the first place."

"I follow Jesus because he saved me from my past life and I want to be able to share that with others."


What will it take to reach
today's young people? 

Growing Young isn't about changing youth ministry.
It's about changing church culture.

Based on groundbreaking research with over 250 of the nation’s
leading congregations, Growing Young provides a strategy any
church can use to involve and retain young people. It profiles
innovative churches engaging 15- to 29-year-olds that are
growing–spiritually, emotionally, missionally, and numerically.

Packed with ideas, Growing Young shows ministry leaders how
to position their churches to reach younger generations in a way
that breathes life into the whole church.

Image by Lethicia Matos


church and next gen

"The Bible is my storybook and my guide to life, and the way I follow and pace my steps."

"I read the Bible every day, and I'm proud of that because there's always something to learn in there."

Image by Toa Heftiba

Sam's story

I'm not looking for a  cool church, but for a place that takes Jesus' message seriously.

Christianity can be awkward, but Jesus is compelling.

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1 in 3 Canadian teens
say they have no
religious affiliation

None of the Above, Joel Thiessen + Sarah Wilkins-Laflamme

Only 4% of Gen Z'ers
beliefs are shaped by
the Bible



Gen Z Vol. 2, A Barna Report Produced in Partnership with Impact 360 Institute


You've heard the bad news.

But there's hope.

The good news? It's not too late.

So where do you start? The most effective kind of leadership
starts by choosing to recognize reality.
Before deciding where
your church will go in the future, you need to understand exactly
where you are now.

What if you could take a snapshot of your congregation and better
understand the nuances of your unique culture? What if you could
shed light on how well you are currently positioned to engage
young people? Would you do it?

Enter the Growing Young Assessment tool.

No more guessing or simply hoping
you’re focusing your 
church’s energy
in the right places.

The Growing Young Assessment is an academically-validated
survey tool that provides vital insights about your church’s
effectiveness with young people. It harnesses the collective
feedback of your entire congregation to provide you with a
true picture of reality.


Based on the 6 core commitments discovered in the Growing
Young research, the Assessment will highlight both strengths

and growth areas based on data collected from you, your team,
or your entire congregation.
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"I think older adults could help me by being more intentional about spending one-on-one time with me, mentoring me and discipling me."

"My generation really does want to get involved in the church and to lead and do more. But we don't know how. And some are afraid to or don't think it's available to them."

The best resources to help you reach and disciple the next gen

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The Open Generation

A first-of-its-kind international research
study, The Open Generation project is the largest study Barna has ever conducted.

Created to help church leaders better understand teenagers
around the world, The Open Generation sheds light on
today's young people's perceptions of and engagement with
three crucial elements of the Christian faith: Jesus, the Bible,
and justice.

Explore how teens around the world relate to Jesus, view the

Bible, and long to make an impact in the world.


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Video Series

Alpha's Life On Purpose is designed to serve teens by helping them make the connection between meaning, belonging, impact, and the joy of having their friends come to know Jesus.

This series offers compelling student stories that are relational and relatable to youth, teaching from Biblical experts on topics around faith and sharing your faith, and discussion questions to engage young people.

How can a church become a sanctuary—a place where individuals living with mental health challenges feel safe, supported, and
a sense of belonging?

The Sanctuary Course was created to inspire and equip communities of faith that are asking this important question. Developed in consultation with mental health professionals, theologians, and people with lived experience, this eight-session study guide explores key mental health topics and examines meaningful ways to offer companionship, support recovery, and promote well-being.

Engaging youth in deeper discussions can be tough, but we don’t believe it has to be.
Alpha Youth has helped more than 35,000 leaders around the world spark meaningful conversations with young people.

More than ever before, young people are asking questions about life and meaning. With Alpha Youth, you can create a space for them to wrestle with their thoughts and share their opinions in a safe and friendly environment.


Alpha Youth is a 9-week series that makes it easy for you to create a space where youth will be excited to engage in conversations about faith.



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