Valuegenesis Update! - John Hancock Center for Youth and Family

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Valuegenesis
Update
ISSUE NO. 5
RESEARCH INFORMATION SUMMARY
Hello? So…where have we been?
The John Hancock Center for Youth and Family Ministry at La Sierra University
wants to update you on our UPDATE. We know we have been irregular in our
submissions or research updates; however, we truly have not forgotten you or
the invaluable data that Adventist schools have provided the Valuegenesis 3
research project. In this Issue:
ABOUT VG3 RESEARCH
Personal Piety, survey
instrument, validity, census
size and racial diversity,
beliefs, orthodoxy, behaviors,
school attitudes Q&A
Contact: V. Bailey Gillespie,
Ph.D., John Hancock Center
for Youth and Family Ministry
[email protected]
SPONSORED BY
The North American Division
Office of Education
!
Since our last UPDATE — The Home and Valuegenesis — the research team
has been very busy completing a number of other research projects that have
been equally exciting and rewarding and provide essential data on adult
church members that used many of true scales identified in the Valuegenesis
research. We have been working closely with the North American Office of
Education to get back on track with more regular updates. During the interim
we have completed research on the Adventist World NAD edition of the
Adventist Review, the Adventist Review, as well as the North American
Division Church Member Research assisted by research teams in the South
Pacific Division, Inter-American Division, South American Division, TransEuropean Division, and the Asia-Pacific Division.
These teams have
completed their studies for the General Conference. So while we have been
absent with our Valuegenesis work, other things have finally been completed
and we are back with a regular schedule of updates that help us understand
the young people in Adventist schools in our Division. Soon we will have
North American Division Union reports available through your conference
educational superintendent. Personal Piety and Spiritual Life
Growing up as a spiritual/religious person can be a challenge, especially when it
comes to the teen age years. But growing towards God has been a challenge for
everyone. Commitment to God is a biblical concern.The prophet Jeremiah was found
wavering in his commitment as the Babylonians were coming close to Jerusalem,
Ezekiel, the young adult prophet of the Old Testament found that his faith was
challenged when he found his beloved was dead, but continued working for God as
he was directed. Young people have the same challenges—to make their lives of
commitment consistent and faith building.
Valuegenesis research continues to
explore personal religious life and those things that build it and in contrast, things
that might be detrimental to that personal religious growth. This edition of our
Valuegenesis UPDATE is targeting the personal life of our youngest Christians. NEWSLETTER ̶ Valuegenesis3 Research Update ̶ page 1
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Valuegenesis August, 2013 ̶ Number 5
Latest research information
Church Attendance Patterns Are Important
Most research in personal spiritual/religious growth at some time focuses on church attendance patterns. There is a close
relationship to church attendance and strong faith and personal loyalty to one’s church and its beliefs. The chart below
indicates patterns for church attendance. Note that more than 1//2 of these students attend church about once a week.
When students were asked to identify their feelings toward their church the Adventist students stated that there were
“satisfied” and “very satisfied” with the Seventh-day Adventist church. !
6th
7th-8th
9th-10th
11th-12th
100%
90%
80%
70%
60%
50%
40%
30%
20%
10%
0%
Two to three x/ month
Once a week
More than once a week
0%
Once a month or less
60
%
80
%
10
6th grade
7th-8th grade
9th-10th grade
11th-12th grade
42%
40
%
38% 37% 39% 38%
%
23% 25%
5%
0%
20
39% 38%
36%
More about the religious
life of students!
59% enjoy reading
about religion.
33% admit to going to
church only to meet
friends.
1/4th of high school
juniors and seniors
never participate in a
5%
9%
7%
Dissatisfied
14%
17%
Neutral
family altruistic
projects.
1/4th of all Adventist
students never
experience family
worship.
41% of all Adventist
students say private
prayers are an
NEWSLETTER ̶ Valuegenesis3 Research Update ̶ page 2
Satisfied
important part of their
religious life.
1/4th of all Adventist
students say they have
a strong sense of
God’s presence
37% say any music
that praises God is
appropriate for use in
my congregation.
Very satisfied
Just
facts
more
&
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Valuegenesis No: 5 -̶ 2013
Information you can use
Information about Loyalty
50%
45%
1990
2000
2010
40%
35%
30%
25%
20%
15%
10%
5%
0%
-5%
No chance
Small chance
fair chance
Good chance
Excellent Chance
One of the most important questions (Q.126) in the study has to do with the bottom line of church loyalty. “When you
are 40 years old, do you think you will be active in the Adventist Church?” Comparing all three Valuegenesis studies
from 1990 through 2010 a full 75% of all Adventist students in all studies believe that the chances of their staying in
the Adventist Church are good to excellent.
!
Q.123 asks under what conditions would you consider leaving your local Seventh-day Adventist church or other
denomination to worship in another congregation or another faith?
Question
2000
2010
When sermons are boring
5%
11%
When church is cold and unfriendly
25%
39%
When there are no activities for young people
9%
13%
When worship services are not meaningful
20%
34%
When the music is not the kind I like
NA
2%
Q.33
asks students to think about how strongly they consider spirituality, morality, or
religiousness when choosing a friend. The answers are important to understanding the power of peer
pressure and the influence of their friends on their personal relationship with God.
Definitely = 25% Some impact = 39% Not sure of impact = 17% Little impact = 12% No impact = 7%
NEWSLETTER ̶ Valuegenesis3 Research Update ̶ page 3
3
Valuegenesis No.: 5 - 2013
Information you can use
Adventist Attitudes
The insights from research share that beliefs and behaviors are often closely related. In addition, attitudes
and behaviors too are connected. The Valuegenesis research team developed a series of questions that
target the students’ attitudes toward the Adventist church in general. And since perceptions often
determine one’s attitude which impacts both loyalty to the church and commitment to its mission and
message, this scale has proved to provide insight into this area. We have used this approach in all three of
the Valuegenesis research projects and the results are both interesting and helpful. This scale contains statements concerning life-affirming and life-denying choices as well as insights into
the enforcement to which they could respond with seven answers ranging from “not true” to “very true.”
These statements are often framed in a negative way; however upon factor analysis of this scale we
discovered a strong relationship between these issues, and a reliable scale was formed which helps us see
how the enforcement of Adventist choices impact their attitudes towards the church in general. Here is a
comparative and trend analysis of this significant scale. (All-grade totals from Adventist students only in
Adventist schools provides the core information for the chart below. Percentages reflect the top three
responses on a seven point scale.
Questions
1990
2000
2010
Adventist rules and standards serve a useful purpose
66%
Some adults insist on certain rules and standards for younger
Adventists that they do not observe themselves
46%
47%
40%
Non-Adventists laugh when they hear what Adventists are
forbidden to do
39%
50%
40%
The feeling is conveyed in the Adventist church that how one
behaves is more important the what one believes
44%
45%
36%
Emphasis on Adventist rules and standards is so strong that the
message of Christianity gets lost
38%
41%
30%
Adventists are loaded down with too many restrictions
29%
27%
31%
Students breaking a school standard or rule in Adventist schools
are punished too harshly
27%
26%
22%
Adventist rules and standards just don’t make sense
18%
17%
16%
41%
39%
People respect Adventists for their high moral standards
Do you have a copy of our latest publication? Hey! Love them and they will come is an important book for anyone who
wants to have new ideas and how-to concepts to get your young people involved in religious ife. Order now for $9.95 s +
postage @[email protected] By. V. Bailey Gillespie and Timothy Gillespie published by AdventSource.
NEWSLETTER ̶ Valuegenesis3 Research Update ̶ page 4
3
Valuegenesis No.: 5 - 2012
Information you can use
A
Life
of
Prayer
Personal Piety
Of the many spiritual experiences we looked at in our research, prayer formed a large portion of the questions
which is only logical since prayer is the earliest and most practiced religious behavior that exists. It is both
learned early, practiced throughout the whole age cycle and provides the most personal religious experience
most people enjoy. It is encouraging to see that Adventist students in Adventist schools in all grades see importance in regular
prayer. We asks the question, “How often do you pray other than at church or before meals?” Below a
twenty-year look at answers to this question.
Once a day or more
Weekly or more
100%
90%
90%
80%
87%
73%
67%
70%
60%
Never
66%
53%
50%
40%
30%
20%
5%
10%
0%
1990
3%
2%
2000
2010
Religious Influences
We repeated in our survey in 2010 the questions that identified the religious influences that impacted their lives
the most. In 2000 Valuegenesis surveys Adventist students in Adventist schools identified five of their most
important influences. Personal Devotions ranked in the top five. In order they were, “the family I grew up in,”
“attending Adventist schools,” their “mother’s” and “father’s faith,” and “personal devotions was tied with
“short-term mission projects, the youth pastor, and “Week of Prayer at school. In 2010 there was a different
response. The influence that scored the very best was, “Attending an Adventist school. (49%)” “Personal
devotions” scored 34% and was not even in the top 10. However, when you combine the “somewhat” and
“very much” categories, 72% for Personal Devotions compared with 79% with “attending an Adventist
school.” This places personal devotions again in the top 5 using this broader grouping. !
In the Intrinsic and Extrinsic scales of religiousness, a scale in which Adventist young people score by far the
majority in the Intrinsic or “good” religion category, there are a number of questions directly relating to
students’ prayer life. Since we did not look at these questions in 1990, we can only compare 10 years of
change in the Adventist youth. On the next page is a chart that illustrates the comparison.
NEWSLETTER ̶ Valuegenesis3 Research Update ̶ page 5
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Valuegenesis All About Personal Spiritual Life
No.: 5 - 2012
Information you can use
The principal determinant for church attendance is
parental attendance and parental religious values. Question
2000
2010
It is important to me to spend time in personal thought and prayer
74%
75%
I have often had a strong sense of God’s presence
62%
58%
I pray mainly to gain relief and protection
53%
56%
Prayer is for peace and happiness
63%
58%
Prayers I say when I’m alone are as important to me as those I say
in church
66%
65%
Prayer — Once a day or more for all students
Trend over 20 years
100%
80%
72%
60%
40%
66%
54%
20%
0%
1990
2000
2010
So what…
Personal religious life is an important concern and one that involves everyone who ministers to young people—
teachers, pastors, youth pastors, lay children’s leaders, and of course all parents. Research beyond Valuegenesis has
shared insights that support our findings too. For example: Church attendance is strongly related to the religious behavior of a youth’s parents. In fact, the principal
determinant for church attendance is parental attendance and parental religious values.
Youth’s attitudes toward church depend on past religious education, attitudes of leaders, and beliefs.
Children and youth need opportunities to be involved as active participants and leaders in the life of the church.
Youth need meaningful participation to help them relate their religious education and practice to everyday life. The Bible gives us insights too. “Let us not give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but let
us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:25 NIV)
NEWSLETTER ̶ Valuegenesis3 Research Update ̶ page 6