I was watching a documentary on Mother Theresa yesterday. In it there was a remarkable moment in the nun’s ministry. She grew up learning how to live her faith through her family and specifically witnessing her mother. She however, went into the cloistered life of a nun in India where she was teaching school classes as well as a life of prayer. Then her mom called on her to not lock herself away from God’s people. So she looked out over the walls of the convent and saw one of the most impoverished communities in all of India, and there is where she went. And the rest of the story you are quite familiar with.
I have been diving deeper into the research & write ups put together from the largest longitudinal study of teenagers, young adults and their faith. It is capsulized in the National Study on Youth and Religion. You are not going to be asked to read the whole thing, so do not run away. I wanted to share with you two graphs from a Portaits of Protestant Teens.
The study goes on to reflect that parents are the greatest influencers in a young persons spiritual life. Not the youth pastor, senior pastor, a batch of friends, but the the parents. So it was tough to see these numbers reflected that only 30% of UMC teens can say that they have prayed with their family and have had religious/spiritual conversations with their parents.