Is Generation Y hurting the WTS?

by Elsewhere 14 Replies latest jw friends

  • Elsewhere

    The WTS is pushing the "youth" message more than ever as their growth numbers start to stall. Is Generation Y the primary reason for this?

    Generation Y embraces choice, redefines religion

    By Cheryl Wetzstein
    Published April 12, 2005

    Most young Americans strongly believe in having choices, an attitude that is likely to shape their identification with traditional religions, a study says.

    "Generation Y," born between 1980 and 2000, is "bringing [media] industries to their knees" by embracing IPod, TiVo and other technologies that allow unprecedented consumer choice, said Roger Bennett, co-founder of Reboot, a Jewish group that is examining generational issues.

    The big question is how traditional religions will respond to a new generation of Americans who value choice, informality and personal expression, he said.

    It may mean the rise of "orthodoxy a la carte," where, as with IPods and music, young Americans take a "mix and match" approach to religion, said Bill Galston, a domestic policy adviser in the Clinton administration.

    It also could mean an even deeper culture war, said Mr. Galston, as young Americans push their religious pluralism and a backlash emerges from other young Americans who don't want to lose traditional and religious moorings.

    Reboot's study, "OMG! How Generation Y is Redefining Faith in the iPod Era," was released yesterday in a press conference at the Brookings Institution. The study is based on a survey last year of 1,385 persons ages 18 to 25.

    To add depth, samples of black, Muslim, Jewish, Asian and Hispanic youths were included, said Anna Greenberg, vice president of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, a firm known for its work with liberal political groups.

    The Reboot study drew on other research, including the General Social Survey and a Greenberg Quinlan Rosner study on "America's Evangelicals," for data on religious characteristics of older generations.

    The Reboot study found that 23 percent of Generation Y, like Generation X, do not identify with a religious denomination or don't believe in God. This is more than twice the number of nonbelievers among baby boomers, or those born between 1946 and 1965, Ms. Greenberg noted. Generation X was born between 1966 and 1979.

    Twenty-six percent of young Americans call themselves Protestants, but the survey showed that 14 percent of the generation belonged to "other" kinds of Christian churches.

    Catholic identification was stable, with 20 percent of both Generation Y and Generation X choosing this faith. However, the number was down from 23 percent Catholic identification among baby boomers.

    Generation Y members also were strongly religiously pluralistic -- only 7 percent said "all" their friends were of the same religion, and about 10 percent said they belonged to a non-Christian religion.

    Previous studies of religion have indicated that young adulthood is often a time when religious interest drops. Federal data tracked by the Washington-based research group Child Trends shows that 12th-graders are less likely than eighth-graders to say that religion plays an important role in their lives. The trend is reflected in student attendance at weekly religious services.

    Still, religious identity plays a significant role in the lives of Generation Y, Ms. Greenberg said yesterday. More than half said they regularly pray before meals, and a third or more said they talk about religion with friends, attend worship services and read religious materials every week.

    The Reboot survey further found that Generation Y was "more liberal and progressive" than older generations, both in political leanings and on social issues such as homosexual "marriage" and immigration. Fifty-four percent of voters younger than 30 voted for Sen. John Kerry last year -- the only age group the Democratic presidential candidate carried, the study noted.

    However, although many of these young Americans worry about getting good grades and finding work after school, their biggest concern is the solidly "moral" issue of nonmarital sex -- 35 percent of Generation Y members are "very worried" about "getting a sexually transmitted disease," the study noted.

  • Gopher

    I believe Generation Y is leading the gradual decline of hard-core, traditional religions such as Catholicism and those that insist on loyalty such as Jehovah's Witnesses.

    Western society is becoming more about individualism and personal freedom than about community. Even those who belong to some of the big churches these days seem to value their personal choice over strict adherence to orthodoxy.

    You said the WT is pushing the "youth" message more. What do they have to offer youth, other than more of the same stuff we were offered when we were younger decades ago? Unless the WT radically changes and loosens up on the reins (yeah right), it seems they will remain stagnant, at least in western cultures. (And they're not doing so well in the eastern world either, in places like China and India to where the balance of world power is shifting.)

  • Midget-Sasquatch

    Most definitely.

    I had the displeasure of going to the Special Assembly Day not too long ago. Two of the talks were given by a representative of the Canadian branch, an R. Jung, and he was pleading with youths to "give Jehovah a chance". Used those exact words a few times.

  • Mary

    Oh Christ.......we have a "Special Talk" at Copps Coleseum in Hamilton this Saturday. Not all congregations were unlucky enough privileged to be "invited" ......I can only imagine what sort of shit they're gonna come up with........I'm debating on whether or not to go.....Part of me wants to go so I can post it on this website, part of me would rather stick needles in my eyes rather than go........

  • lilbit

    Aww come on mary you now you want to go so you can tell us all about it

  • iiz2cool
    Oh Christ.......we have a "Special Talk" at Copps Coleseum in Hamilton this Saturday. Not all congregations were unlucky enough privileged to be "invited" ......I can only imagine what sort of shit they're gonna come up with........I'm debating on whether or not to go.....Part of me wants to go so I can post it on this website, part of me would rather stick needles in my eyes rather than go........

    UGH!!! I've had enough of "special" talks and conventions at Copps to keep me ill for a dozen lifetimes. The needles sound like a fine alternative. Walter

  • EvilForce


    I don't know how you possibly put up with that crap. I think if I actually went to a meeting I'd end up answering at the Watchtower saying what I thought. Of course this assumes that I wouldn't be kicked out during the public talk when I would snicker, laugh, and make comments to myself under my breathe. LOL.

  • undercover

    Generation Y?? Maybe we are close to the end. Only one more generation to go. The Z generation. Then that's it. No more letters, no more generations.

  • littlerockguy

    Yeah, I wonder what they could possibly say to today's youth, especially ones getting ready to be turned loose out in today's competitive world. Forget a worldly education and take up a job cleaning houses and mowing lawns and wait for armageddon to come, or if you are from a well to do JW family live off your parents income and pioneer? Most of today's kids would run like hell from the crap we were fed; keep seeing the kingdom and everything will be added including everything a 3 income household usually gets Im sure, lol. I can go on and on but I'll stop for now.

  • love11

    undercover- hahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I think the WTS is hurting the WTS!!!!

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