Only about one in four teens now participate in church youth groups, considered the hallmark of involvement; numbers have been flat since 1999. Other measures of religiosity — prayer, Bible reading and going to church — lag as well, according to Barna Group, a Ventura, Calif., evangelical research company. This all has churches canceling their summer teen camps and youth pastors looking worriedly toward the fall, when school-year youth groups kick in.
Churches have responded with internet sites that are fully interactive, with a dedicated Internet pastor, live chat in an online "lobby," Bible study, one-on-one prayer through IM and communion, according to this report.
What does this mean for the church in the US in the long term?