Topography of Faith

The subject of evangelism has been on my mind a lot this week and I’ve been playing with a lot of fun resources… you’ll like this one. It’s an interactive map.

You see, I’m always curious when I see studies about religious affiliation– what people believe, where they go to church, etc. Of course, what people say and do are sometimes two different things. When I worked with unchurched kids on a junior high and high school campus, I interacted daily with kids who had only been to church maybe once or twice in their entire lives. Funny… if you asked these kids about church, most said, “Oh, I go to that white church down the street.” They saw that church as “their church” because they’d been their once, or their grandma went there. Religion was more of a “heritage” to most of these teenagers.

I wrote quite a bit about this mindset in my book about reaching out to unchurched kids, DO THEY RUN WHEN THEY SEE YOU COMING? I’ve been looking at that book quite a bit lately because YS/Zondervan has an edit crew putting the final touches on my evangelism training DVD curriculum for students based off that book, titled, REAL CONVERSATIONS: Sharing Your Faith Without Being Pushy.

So this week I’ve been looking through a bunch of cool evangelism resources and studies about the attitudes and belief systems of Americans today. including this cool little interactive map of the U.S. that reveals the “faith breakdown”of each state. This map is based off of Pew‘s most recent study (2008). It’s still pretty accurate, although I’m guessing that next time we’ll see that the “unaffiliated” group has been growing. (Is it just me, or have you noticed more and more “Co-exist” bumper stickers? I guess Christianity is just way too “narrow.”)


About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices, If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, and You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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2 Responses to Topography of Faith

  1. Nick O'Donnell says:

    I agree where people not just teens say that “Religion was more of a “heritage” I am doing a lesson titled “Contagious” and in my lesson I ask the teens have you be INFECTED with Gods love our were you INOCULATED?
    INFECTED is a good thing you caught what your friends or family were telling you about God and know you are to go out and INFECTED others. I am afraid that we have a lot of people in our youth groups and church who have been INOCULATED with Christianity. They grow up in church they know all the right things to say they don’t want to die and go to hell, but they were never infected, they were inoculated with the vaccine of salvation so that don’t live with the disease of eternal hell. They made the decision but never became a disciple, they just received fire insurance.

  2. natasja South Africa says:

    Nick that is so true,never thougth of it in that way,we forgot how to walk with Jesus and live the life.Now we live to servive and not to teatch others to live.