Factors for sustaining religious commitment

Those who want to pass on religious commitment to the next generation need to keep certain factors in mind. These factors are particularly formative in the teenage years and correspond to higher religiousness during emerging adulthood.  The factors are demarcated under the headings very important, somewhat important, and not very important. These come as a result of significant research from Christian Smith and Patricia Snell.

Very Important

  • Frequent personal prayer
  • Strong parental religion
  • Importance of religion in everyday life
  • Few religious doubts
  • Had religious experiences

Somewhat Important

  • Believed in divine miracles
  • Frequent scripture reading
  • Many supportive religious adults
  • Made fun of for religious faith
  • Religious service attendance
  • Decide morality by religion
  • More religious friends
  • Teen closeness to parents
  • Liked youth group

Not important (to me these were interesting and surprising.  We tend to put an inordinate amount of emphasis on factors that really don't matter all that much for faith development)

  • Religious high school
  • Mission Trips
  • Denominational loyalty

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