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Changing Shape

The Faith Lives of Millennials

Changing Shape

The Faith Lives of Millennials

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Paperback / softback


Publisher: SCM Press
ISBN: 9780334058311
Number of Pages: 256
Published: 31/01/2020
Width: 13.5 cm
Height: 21.6 cm

The generation known as `millennials' are now emerging into adulthood. They face opportunities and challenges no generation has previously faced. For the church they are the `missing generation'.

Ruth Perrin's landmark study of emerging adults who as teenagers described themselves as Christians, reveals what has happened to this apparently "lost generation" - those who have lost faith altogether, those with a faith but who have withdrawn from the church and those with an ongoing active faith which is nonetheless now broader and deeper than previously.

Considering the factors which help shape millennial belief, Changing Shape reflects on the challenges and opportunities that `missing generation' bring to the Church, and considers what lessons the Church can learn from the Millennial mindset.

Ruth Perrin considers what lessons the Church can learn from the Millennial mindset

Introduction: Millennial Faith in Britain ix

Part 1 Setting the Scene – Being an Emerging Adult 

1  Bucking the Trend: Emerging Adults Who Resist the Secularization Narrative 3 

2  The Privilege and Pressure of Emerging Adulthood: Economics and Health 26 

3  Relational Realities: Friends and Family 61 

4  Relational Realities: Romance and Parenthood 81

Part 2 Changing Shape – How Emerging Adult Faith Develops 

5  Emerging into Adult Faith: What Shapes Millennial Belief? 121 

6  Losing Faith: ‘I Don’t Call Myself a Christian Anymore’ 156 

7  The Disenchanted 176 

8  Reshaped Faith 205


9  What Now? 233

Bibliography and Further Reading 248 

Index of Names and Subjects 251

Ruth H. Perrin

Ruth H. Perrin is Leech Research Fellow at Durham University. In addition to her research interests she is also a tutor on the Cranmer Free Church Track, associate staff at King's Church Durham and a trainer in Christian leadership. She has 20 years ministry experience primarily (though not exclusively) with students and young adults. She appears regularly at New Wine national and regional events

" I offer a health warning life will be much simpler for you if you don't read this book. But if you do you will quickly realise that things have got to change in our Church and this change will have to go deep and will turn long held assumptions upside down. I am struggling to think of a more important book that will be published this year. Ruth Perrin's research is quite simply a game changer. " -- Pete Ward, Durham University, UK 

"The literature on millennials and GenZ can only be summed up as divergent. Some herald these coming and arrived generations as the most important, talented, and reflective people the western world has yet to produce. Others, with the same amount of letters behind their names and CVs populated with the same number of publications, call them the sign of the apocalypse, those bringing a death to our culture and even more dire assertions. It's into this environment that Ruth Perrin offers her insightful (and very well researched) Changing Shape: The Faith Lives of Millennials. This is a book that promises to help all pastors, parents, and others looking for a balanced and faithful description of these younger generations. It's a helpful resource all interested in young people should study." -- Andrew Root,  Professor of Youth and Family Ministry Luther Seminary and author of 'The Pastor in a Secular Age.'

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