How Can the Church Care For and Empower Millennials in Singapore?
From December 2018 to February 2019, over 15,000 youth and young adults, aged 18-35, from a variety of backgrounds in 25 countries, including Singapore, shared their perspectives on matters of faith, church, relationships, justice, and the future, as part of a groundbreaking body of research co-commissioned by World Vision and Barna Group, a leading research organisation focused on the intersection of faith and culture. The global study, titled The Connected Generation, was a pioneering examination of how the outlook, experiences, and values of millennials and the leading edge of Generation Z should inform the Church’s efforts to make in-roads with, disciple, and activate an emerging generation living in a digital, sceptical and experiential age.
Mr. Daniel Copeland, one of the main architects of the global study on 'The Connected Generation', presenting the results from Singapore.
Following the first of a series of church engagement forums on the global study, which was held on 22 February 2019 on the theme of ‘Engaging Millennials in the Reality of Christianity’, a second forum took place at Bible House on 11 October 2019 in the lead-up to the release of the global report. Mr. Daniel Copeland, a Research Associate from Barna Group who was one of the main architects of the global study, was invited to deliver a detailed presentation on the results that emerged from Singapore, how they compare with findings from other countries, and how they can be applied to the shaping of ministry efforts aimed at youth and young adults in Singapore. Some of the highlights of the responses from Singapore include:
- Only 26% of respondents often feel deeply cared for by those around them. This is lower than the global average of 33%.
- Only 27% often feel that someone believes in them. This is lower than the global average of 32%.
- Only 24% often feel that they are able to accomplish their goals. This is lower than the global average of 34%.
- Among Christian respondents in Singapore who are Resilient Disciples, only 38% feel it is important to stand up against injustice because of their beliefs.
A panel discussion with (second from left) Mr. Ng Zhiwen, Mr. Daniel Copeland, and Ms. Juliette Arulrajah.
Daniel's presentation was followed by a short panel discussion with Mr. Ng Zhiwen from the Singapore Centre for Global Missions and Ms. Juliette Arulrajah from the Singapore Methodist Missions Society. Our panellists reaffirmed the importance of consistently engaging young people in dialogue (that is, speaking with them rather than only speaking to them), connecting authentically with them, and ultimately forging deep and meaningful relationships with them so that they can be fully supported in their spiritual journeys.
82 representatives from 44 churches and parachurch organisations joined us for this event, and engaged robustly with the implications of the data for evangelism, discipleship, and the development of the next generation of church and ministry leaders in Singapore.
If you would like to receive copies of the global report and the South East Asia regional report for The Connected Generation, please visit this page.