Friday, September 14, 2007

Googling God

Busted Halo is one of the more interesting religious websites--it is geared toward religious seekers in their 20s and 30s. Mike Hayes, the managing editor of Busted Halo has just published a new book, Googling God, that focuses on the issue of the religious life of those in their 20s and 30s.

Here are some highlights frtom Hayes' description of what the book is all about:

When Paulist Father Brett Hoover and I founded in 2000, our mission was to minister to the “spiritual but not religious crowd” in their 20s and 30s. Much of our early research led us to think differently about young adults and how technology was influencing their lives. Of the more than 600 young adults we interviewed from across the country 89% stated that the number one thing they wanted in a spiritual website was information that they could find quickly and then get out.

The validity of that early research has been borne out in my experience ministering to young adults over the last seven years. Over that time I have run into countless 20- and 30-somethings who assume that they can “google” God. They believe religion should work the way the ubiquitous search engine Google works—instantaneously. When this approach fails them, they need spiritual mentors to help guide them through the ambiguities of life. Most often, however, those mentors don’t exist. Couple this mentality with the tragic events of recent years such as Columbine, 9-11, Katrina, and now Virginia Tech, and it is no surprise that young adults are also longing for something secure that transcends the madness of the current age. Simply put, they want something to believe in and someone to help them understand that belief more holistically.

But my experience has also taught me that trying to speak in general terms about the spiritual lives of the 20-30’s crowd as a whole is nearly impossible. There are distinct differences in how those on either end of that age group approach belief. Millions of GenXers (those in their 30s) still long for a communal spirituality as well as, a prophetic and altruistic tendency that places the poor at the forefront of their religiosity. They are still hoping to find God within themselves and those around them, while those in their 20s, known as Millennials, long for greater security and a sense of permanence.

In Googling God I’ve done my best to reflect the varied experiences of the young adults I’ve met over the past 7 years. To that end I interviewed 12 individuals from both groups—GenXers and Millennials—who allowed me to explore their journey of faith.

Read it all here. Hayes' article is worth a read by any church leader--he describes the thoughts of both GenXers and Millennials about their faith.

No comments: