Year 10 and spiritual experience

We’ve started looking at the results of the student spiritual and moral beliefs survey we conducted back in September. Here are the responses of Year 10 students to a number of questions relating to the spiritual nature of life.

  • 29% agree that people are spiritual beings as well as physical beings (20% disagree)
  • 21% agree that there is a spiritual dimension to life (25% disagree)
  • 16% agree that they would describe themselves as spiritual (48% disagree)

What seems to be happening is that it’s easier to believe in a spiritual world ‘out there’ but as the idea gets closer to home and more personal the young people become significantly more sceptical.

So we were intrigued that:

  • 20% of males and 25% of females report that they have had an experience they would describe as spiritual.

A follow up discussion we had with a small group of year 10 girls one lunchtime shed little extra light on all of this. The main thing that came out of the discussion was that they are reticent or even confused by the word ‘spiritual’; something we already suspected. For some it simply means ‘ghosts’!

Young people we meet in school and work with in other ways are clearly interested in exploring things that we would describe as ‘spiritual’. But they lack a framework of understanding or the language to discuss their ideas, or even their experiences. I’m interested in continuing this process of exploring the spiritual with young people by helping them to develop ways of expressing these formative encounters with what we recognise as a spiritual realm.

What do you make of these stats and my observations here?

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3 Responses to Year 10 and spiritual experience

  1. Linley (sp?) Allen, a well respected evangelistic and prophet working with the Toronto Airport Church uses the phrase ‘in the river’ to describe how we as Christians discuss and describe experiances.
    This post challenges us to go back to grass roots and use the language of the people, as Jesus did.
    Obviously Tim, as an evangelist / youth worker, you are used to communicating in this way, however I have found in my discussions with Christians across the town that very few people have actually thought about their ‘story’ – which means that on the few occasions they get to share it, they use familiar terms, and generally it comes out a bit garbled and confusing to the recipient.
    If everyone thought about their ‘story’, planned a way to say it that wasn’t ‘churchy’ then one on one evangelism would be more beneficial, more productive and more life saving.
    I guess it all comes down to one thing…it’s all in the preperation.

  2. Linley (sp?) Allen, a well respected evangelistic and prophet working with the Toronto Airport Church uses the phrase ‘in the river’ to describe how we as Christians discuss and describe experiances.
    This post challenges us to go back to grass roots and use the language of the people, as Jesus did.
    Obviously Tim, as an evangelist / youth worker, you are used to communicating in this way, however I have found in my discussions with Christians across the town that very few people have actually thought about their ‘story’ – which means that on the few occasions they get to share it, they use familiar terms, and generally it comes out a bit garbled and confusing to the recipient.
    If everyone thought about their ‘story’, planned a way to say it that wasn’t ‘churchy’ then one on one evangelism would be more beneficial, more productive and more life saving.
    I guess it all comes down to one thing…it’s all in the preperation.

  3. Sally says:

    Interesting observations on the word spiritual- it holds and hides so many meanings- and yet it is hard to be more specific.
    I guess I would want to consider how we might enable a framework/ help to provide a language suitable to give free reign to true expression.

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