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Get Ready, Youth Group Leaders: Teens Twice as Likely to Identify as Atheist or LGBT

Barna findings on Generation Z pose new challenges for the church.
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Get Ready, Youth Group Leaders: Teens Twice as Likely to Identify as Atheist or LGBT

Imagine Generation Z—the 70 million kids born between 1999 and 2015—and you probably picture them staring at their devices. A bunch of app-savvy, tech-addicted teens who never knew a time before smartphones.

Half of Protestant youth pastors consider technology and social media the defining factor of this latest generation, but a new study released today by Barna Group sheds new light on striking social and demographic trends: Teenagers in Gen Z are at least twice as likely as American adults to identify as LGBT or as atheist.

These are important markers of identity among the youngest segment of America, and pose new ministry challenges for the church.

While the latest Gallup poll reported only 4.1 percent of Americans—and 7.3 percent of millennials—identify as LGBT, Barna found that 12 percent of Gen Z teens described their sexual orientation as something other than heterosexual, with 7 percent identifying as bisexual.

This generation is more sensitive to LGBT issues ...

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