WASHINGTON — A study says members of the baby-boom generation are willing to be active members of a church but shun long-term commitment and are more concerned with congregational atmosphere than denominational doctrine.
The study, made public this week by the Lutheran Church in America, also found that overall giving to church causes is somewhat less than that of older adults, in part because of the financial pressures affecting young families.
The 58-page report was based on a study of baby boomers--those between 20 and 40 years old--in 111 LCA congregations. It estimated that 900,000 members, or 31%, of the 2.9 million-member denomination were baby boomers, compared to 33% of the general population.
"Traditional church concerns for such things as denominational pedigree, rightness of doctrine or constancy in the practices of piety do not seem to be what will capture the loyalty of baby boomers," the study said.
Instead, the report said baby-boom church members "seem to prefer a community of believers that helps them feel wanted and needed, offers a friendly atmosphere, accentuates the positive (and) at times challenges them physically, spiritually, intellectually and financially."