Discerning the Vineyard:
Discerning a Vocation
Discerning the Vineyard: Discerning a Vocation
A recent Bloomsbury Academic published study of the worldviews of Australian teenagers as to matters of religion, sexuality and diversity (Andrew Singleton, Anna Halafoff, Mary Lou Rasmussen, and Gary Bouma, Freedom, Faiths and Futures: Teenage Australians on Religion, Sexuality and Diversity) notes:
Since the 1950s, Australia has transitioned from a mainly Anglo-European, Christian, and monocultural country to a multicultural and religiously diverse nation, and one that increasingly acknowledges Indigenous peoples and their traditional ownership. Now, almost a third of Australians are born overseas, and there are more Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus than Baptists or Lutherans.
The researchers surveyed and interviewed people of Generation Z (born between 1997 and 2016); a group which represents 24.7% of the Australian population. From their findings they determined that these young people have one of six worldviews where a worldview is described as how a person understands the world and their place in it. The worldviews identified are as follows:
- Religiously committed. These people make up 17% of Australian teenagers and are those for whom religious commitment is a large part of their lives; they attend worship regularly and believe there is life after death.
- Nominally religious. This group makes up 20% of teenagers and is largely culturally religious. These people follow the religious identity of their parents, guardians or community, and while they identify with a religious belief in God they do not worship often.
- Seekers. Making up 8% of the teenager population they describe themselves as 'spiritual'. They have an eclectic worldview; seeking truth, which may mean horoscopes or belief in reincarnation, or both. Perhaps paradoxically, they identify with religion.
- Spiritual but not Religious (SBNR). Representing 18% of the cohort of teenagers they find God, Faith and Religion not important but are open to the possibility of matters spiritual.
- Indifferent. This group representing 15% of teenagers, as their description suggests, they are largely indifferent or undecided about all matters religious, spiritual; even atheism.
- This Worldly. With 23% of teenagers associating with this worldview this is a cohort which has no space in its understanding or aspirations for religious, spiritual or non-materialistic possibilities. They never go to worship and don’t identify with religion or any kind of spiritual possibilities.
Might reading this brief overview of this significant study be a catalyst to encourage, you the reader, or others you might know, to think about whether God is calling you or them to a good and faithful ministry as an ordained person, so that you and they might work amongst the mission field that is Generation Z, and others!
Our Church is ever in need of more clergy for ministry in parishes, agencies, schools, hospitals, and aged care facilities; be they in urban, rural, regional or remote locations.
May I invite all who read this article to commit to their prayers, this need for the raising up of clergy. And may I invite you to continue to offer prayers for those who are already Candidates-in-Formation!