1. What key trends define young people’s experience?
We reviewed time-series data-sets published between 2010 and 2022, looking for key trends in relation to young people’s well-being, identities, worldview, behaviour, lifestyle, technology use, relationships, education and hopes for the future.
2. How do young people themselves see it?
We then ran 17 focus groups across different locations in the UK, with 104 young people aged 14-18. We asked them to tell us in their own words what life is like, for them and their friends, and captured their reactions to our findings from phase one. Six key themes were drawn from this phase: pressure, judgement, anxiety, fear of the future, labelling and persecution.
3. How does scripture speak to these experiences?
Thirty youth workers spent a week online, in one of six groups, doing some theological reflection with key quotes and themes from the young people’s focus groups. They identified a range of stories and scriptures that they felt would be ‘good news’ in response to young people’s experiences.
4. How do young people react to these stories?
Forty non-Christian young people aged 14-18 then looked at five stories from scripture. Three of these groups were in person (two in a school and one in a drop-in) and two were online over the course of a week. The young people read the stories and discussed their meaning together.
5. Which theological ideas resonate with young people?
Drawing on all the research conducted in phases 1-4, we partnered with Scripture Union to design an online survey which was completed by 1000 12-17 year olds, nationally representative by age, gender and ethnicity. We asked young people to react to five ‘good news’ statements about God, life, love, community and justice and analysed their responses. The survey report will be released in Spring 2024.
Working in partnership
The Translating God project has been funded by a grant from the Sir Halley Stewart Trust, and supported by our two main partners: Scripture Union and Bible Society. Scripture Union and Youthscape collaborated on phase five of the research to conduct a survey of 1000 teenagers which will be published in Spring 2024 and Bible Society have supported the production of the final report and the dissemination of all the project findings.
We are grateful for these partners whose support has made this project possible.