Influence

 the shape of leadership

Millennials Are More Receptive Than Older Christians to Pentecostal Worship

Many young adults value speaking in tongues weekly

Churches looking to attract young adults might want to make their worship services a little more Pentecostal.

Millennials are more likely than older generations to favor a charismatic worship style and desire speaking in tongues during worship services, according to a new report from Barna Group.

In a survey of U.S. practicing Christian adults, 18% percent of millennials said they gravitate toward charismatic worship. By comparison, 13% of Generation X said this, as did 10% of baby boomers and 9% of “elders,” Barna’s term for those born before 1946.

Millennials also value worship that is traditional (38%) and lively (30%). And despite many churches moving away from the old songs to appeal to young worshippers, 19% of millennials want to sing hymns. (Respondents could choose more than one worship style.)

Many young adults yearn for a Pentecostal worship experience.

Not surprisingly, the top choice among elders is hymns (68%), while boomers and Gen X prefer traditional worship (51% and 39%, respectively).

When it comes to speaking in tongues, millennials are far more receptive than older believers to including this in the worship service. In fact, 36% of millennials consider the practice an important part of their weekly worship experience, compared to 19% of all practicing Christians, 20% of Gen X, 14% of boomers, and 6% of elders.

Tongues was surpassed only by singing (51%) and praying aloud (47%) as popular choices among millennials. Fewer millennials said reading liturgy (34%) and taking communion (31%) are important on a weekly basis.

Across generations, racial and ethnic minorities were significantly more likely than white respondents to prioritize speaking in tongues weekly (32% vs. 13%).

The younger Generation Z was not included in the report. Nevertheless, these findings suggest many young adults — and Christians from diverse backgrounds — yearn for a Pentecostal worship experience.

This encouraging news is a reminder of what Peter said in Acts 2:39: “The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off — for all whom the Lord our God will call.

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