In a post on her blog, Rebecca Thorman, posed an interesting question:
A recent study reports that Americans are changing religion. A lot. Some people talk about practicing religion a la carte, while others talk about leaving church entirely and finding a new kind of community as a result. Either way, things seem to be changing.
Personally, I'm not sure that it's an issue of Gen Y "giving up" religion as much as it's about them integrating religion into their lives in a different way than their parents and grandparents. I also don't think that this is solely a Gen Y issue. The Boomers and my fellow Gen X'rs also renegotiated our social contract with organized religion as well.
If there is indeed a generation leaving church and organized religion behind, it's up to the leaders of these churches/synagogues/mosques to throw away their hierarchical power structures and start listening to what young adults have to share and allow them to contribute to the conversation.
In an era where you get to pick and choose what mp3 tracks you want to download, anyone can self-publish via blogs, LuLu or YouTube, people have instantaneous access to more information than any other generation in the history of wo/mankind, anyone has the power to create an online community, and everyone has an equal opportunity to tweet their opinions---there's going to be tension in any relationship where there is top-down distribution of power.
I often get email from youth pastors who are really trying to better understand Gen Y. They work really hard--both online and off--to create and build a community where there is a balanced exchange of ideas. Clearly, there are lots of youth pastors out there who "get it."
So, what do you think? Is Gen Y losing their religion?