Young Adult Research


In 2017, LCMS Youth Ministry partnered with LCMS Research to conduct a study of young adult retention in the LCMS and in the larger Christian church. This research is critical because LCMS statistics show that Millennials were baptized in smaller numbers than generations before, despite an increase in infant births nationwide. Retention rates beginning with the Baby Boom Generation have led to fewer and fewer young people in the pews. This two part study sought to learn about Millennials, now young adults, and to help prepare for working with “Generation Z” who are currently in our senior high youth ministries.

Goals for Study

  • Collect data specific to young adults who grew up in the LCMS, regardless of their current faith affiliation, focusing on their home congregation, family, current beliefs and what influences their relationship with the church.
  • Compare research finding from a specifically LCMS perspective with findings with studies in broader American Christianity (Fuller Youth Institute, National Study of Youth and Religion, LifeWay, etc.).
  • Initiate a conversation in the Church about the care for the Millennial Generation. Repent where needed, correct, and capitalize on our strengths to serve Generation Z and future generations.

The specific reports of the research are linked below.


Looking for a place to start?

Read the Executive Summary for an overview and summary of the research and findings.

Relationships Count

Relationships Count goes deep into the research and provides practical application for families, congregations, and church workers.  Concordia Publishing House teamed with LCMS Research, the research team, and LCMS Youth Ministry to complete this resource that we hope will further the youth ministry conversation in your congregation.  The book is available for free via the CPH on-line store.

Full Study Reports

Congregational Report

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Full Slide Deck

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Questions Asked on the Surveys

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Questions Asked in Focus Groups

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For More Information

7 Practices of Healthy Youth Ministry

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