How Churches, Mosques, and Synagogues Can Bring Young People Back
by Naomi Schaefer Riley
"Naomi Schaefer Riley is an astute cultural observer and critic ... For those concerned about the religious lives of emerging adults, Got Religion? will be essential reading."
—Christian Smith, William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of sociology and principle investigator, National Study of Youth and Religion
Why are young people dropping out of religious institutions? Can anything be done to reverse the trend?
"It may seem old fashioned, but the religious institutions that put down roots in a neighborhood, that say they will serve a particular neighborhood, will stand a better chance of attracting this generation."
"No one writes about the religious experiences, beliefs, and practices of contemporary Americans more astutely or with great insight than Riley." Read what Princeton professor Robert P. George and others are saying about this book.
Naomi Schaefer Riley examines the reasons young people are leaving religious institutions, why we should care, and how some communities are successfully addressing the problem.
Riley suggests that many people post-college find themselves seeking not the highly professional music and speakers but more the sense of community that they had while at college.
Riley makes her greatest contribution in reminding us of the simple fact that young people are not the "leaders of the future," they are the leaders of right now.
Amber M. Stamper
I found the greatest strength of Riley's work to be the on-the-ground research: the interviews with millennials themselves and the religious leaders who are concerned about the generation and actively working to attract them. I did, however, have a few hesitations about Riley’s approach...
Rabbi Ben Greenberg
What is sorely lacking is a guidebook to dialogue between these two groupings: the churched and the unchurched.
I cannot, as a millennial, recommend this book enough. It gets my generation correct in a way that no other book to date has done.
Heathen Rion Starr
At a number of points, I wanted a larger, bigger-picture, broader conversation than one about how do we get young people to come…back. Is that what matters the most?
How do we help persons in the millennial generation to get to know the way of Jesus again for the first time? How do we enable them to discover that our doors and hearts are open to them wherever they are on life’s journey?
Implicit in Riley’s study is the idea that religious community is a valuable, perhaps even essential, part of society. But what if it isn’t?