Ironicschmoozer’s Weblog


Summary of 13 Trends in the Religious Landscape plus 4 Possible Scenarios (some scary!) for the Future of Religious Life in the U.S.

The Faith Formation 2020 report from LifelongFaith Associates (published in 2009) cites 13 trends of the changing religious landscape.  I am exploring and reflecting on these in greater length in separate posts, but I thought it would be good to list them all in one place. 

Trend 1. Declining Participation in Christian Churches [conservative as well as moderate/mainline, which is sociologically where UU churches fit]

Trend 2. Growth in No Religious Affiliation

Trend 3. Becoming More “Spiritual” and Less “Religious”

Trend 4. Influence of Individualism on Christian Identity and Community Life

Trend 5. Increasing Social, Cultural, and Religious Diversity in the U.S.

Trend 6. Growing Influence of Hispanic/Latino Religious Faith

Trend 7. Identifying a New Stage of Life: “Emerging Adulthood”

Trend 8. The Rise of a Distinctive Post-Boomer Faith and Spirituality

Trend 9. Changing Structures and Patterns of Family Life in the United States

Trend 10. Rediscovering the Impact of Parents and Families on Faith Practice

Trend 11. Living in a Digital World

Trend 12. Educating in New Ways

Trend 13. Increasing Numbers of Adults 65 and Older

Depending on how and whether these trends continue, and perhaps depending on how congregations and other religion-based organizations respond,  the Faith Formation 2020 report imagines four possible scenarios.  In other words, the U. S. religious landscape might look like one of these four:

Scenario #1. Vibrant Faith and Active Engagement in the Church Community

Scenario #2. Spiritual, but Not Religious

Scenario #3. Unaffiliated and Uninterested

Scenario #4. Participating in Church Activities, but Faith and the Spiritual Life Are Not Important [maybe religious, but not spiritual?]

 

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