The Barna Group, a polling firm that concentrates on tracking changes in church life in a post-Christendom world, has released a new study on Millennials and their preferences on worship space.
As with everything else having to do with this topic, it is predictably complex.
Barna surveyed young adults, ages 18-29 in the Atlanta area, and detailed their preferences for an ideal worship environment, complete with site visits to various local churches, corporate offices, and coffee shops.
In a nutshell, this is what they found.
When asked which word best described their ideal worship environment, young adults preferred:
–Community, 78% over privacy, 22%
–Sanctuary, 77% (auditorium, 23%)
–Classic, 67% (trendy, 33%)
–Quiet, 65% (loud, 35%)
–Casual, 64% was preferred over (dignified, 36%)
–Modern, 60% (traditional, 40%)
“It’s tempting to oversimplify the relationship between Millennials and sacred space,” says Clint Jenkin, Ph.D., vice president of research at Barna Group and the lead designer of this study. “For instance, it might be easy to believe such a place needs to look ultra modern or chic to appeal to teens and young adults. But the reality, like so much about this generation, is more complicated—refreshingly so. Most Millennials don’t look for a church facility that caters to the whims of pop culture. They want a community that calls them to deeper meaning.”
The entire report can be found here, and it is fascinating reading.
What did you think of all this? Did it go against your expectations?