SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. — As students are gearing up to head back to school, new research suggests that many will leave their faith at home.
This month the Barna Group released a research report indicating that, even though teens have the highest level of religious involvement of any age group, students’ willingness to share their faith with others is on the decline.
“Christian teenagers are taking cues from a culture that has made it unpopular to make bold assertions about faith or be too aggressively evangelistic,” said Barna Group President David Kinnaman. “Tolerance of other viewpoints has become an ultimate ideal for many young people. Anything that could create the perception that they are advocating one belief system over another leaves them open to that most-feared label of being ‘intolerant.’ ”
But the rub that remains for many students is a genuine desire to both honor and share their Christian faith without being branded intolerant.
“While not wanting to be seen as bigoted or narrow-minded, Christian students are not ashamed of their faith,” said DaySpring CEO James Barnett. “They’re looking for creative ways to bring their faith with them to school without building barriers between themselves and their classmates.”
DaySpring, the world’s largest Christian-message product provider, is hoping its new line of Back-to-School products will help students share their faith without saying a word. Available at Walmart stores across the country, DaySpring’s edgy Christian-themed and scripture-infused notebooks, binders, folders and supply pouches will make it easy for Christian students who want to head back to school without leaving their faith at home.
Chelsea Eubank, who at age 19 founded Wear It Wednesday, a movement to encourage Christian students to wear their favorite Christian-themed T-shirt to school each Wednesday, applauds DaySpring for equipping students with another creative way to share their faith at school. “I hear from Christian students all the time that they have fewer and fewer opportunities to talk about their faith at school thanks to tighter school regulations,” said Eubank. “These students are looking for new ways to express their faith and encourage their fellow students. Companies like DaySpring are helping them do just that.”