Over-Scheduled Teens Struggle to Find Time for the Bible

American Bible Society Releases 2016 Teen State of the Bible Research

As America’s teens head back to school and the lazy days of summer officially come to a close, new research released today suggests that Bible reading suffers when teens lead busy, over-scheduled lives.

The 2016 Teen State of the Bible research, commissioned by American Bible Society and conducted by Barna Research, found that 86 percent of American teens view the Bible as sacred literature, 69 percent own a Bible, a quarter of teens read the Bible at least once a week and 42 percent hear it read at least once a week.

“American teens sometimes get a bad rap as being uninterested or even anti-faith,” said Arthur Satterwhite, senior manager, national movements mobilization, American Bible Society. “But today’s Teen State of the Bible report shows that a majority of America’s teens have respect for and interest in the Bible.”

In addition, the research found that 53 percent of teens say they wish they read the Bible more.

Unfortunately, some teens are finding it difficult to find time to engage with the Bible. According to the Teen State of the Bible research, 14 percent of teens surveyed said their Bible reading declined in the last year. The No. 1 reason given for the decline (51 percent) was being too busy with life’s responsibilities.

Among the 18 percent of teens who increased their Bible reading, 55 percent said that they did so because they “came to understand [Bible reading] as an important part of [their] faith journey.”

“Many teens are recognizing that the Bible speaks to the complete human experience—the struggles and trials and triumphs of life,” said Satterwhite. “American Bible Society will continue to develop tools and resources to help teens dive into God’s Word and experience its life-changing message.”

Other findings from the 2016 Teen State of the Bible research include the following:

  • 50 percent of teens say their parents read the Bible “frequently” or “sometimes.”
  • 54 percent of teens whose parents read the Bible say the Bible has “a lot” of influence on rules at home, and an additional 32 percent say it has “some” influence.
  • 52 percent of teens read the Bible at least once per year.

 

An infographic representing key findings is available for download here.

 

Survey Methodology

The 2016 Teens State of the Bible report contains the findings from a nationwide study commissioned by American Bible Society and conducted by Barna Research (a division of Barna Group). Online interviews were conducted with 1,013 randomly selected teens ages 13 to 17 within all 50 states. The survey among teens was conducted from May 6 to May 23, 2016.

About American Bible Society

Since 1816, American Bible Society has worked to make the Bible available to every person in a language and format each can understand and afford, so all people may experience its life-changing message. One of the nation’s first and most enduring ministries, today’s American Bible Society provides resources across a variety of platforms enabling first-time readers and seasoned theologians alike to engage with the best-selling book of all time. For more information, visit American.Bible.

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