Research highlights

To develop the Kitchen Table Project we spent a lot of time gathering research from others. We then did some investigating of our own along with 9Dot Research to find out how parents felt about nurturing faith in their children.

We talked to 983 parents to discover what they currently do and what they would like to try in the future to help encourage their children’s faith.

Find out the key stats and why the vision of the Kitchen Table Project is so important.

Just 50% of children growing up in Christian homes will keep their faith as adults.

The majority of people who come to faith do so by age 19. New research from 2017 shows that 40% of practising Christians say they became a Christian aged 0-4. 16% were aged 5-10 and 20% aged 11-18.

Mums and dads are the most important influence on faith

A child attending a church group for one hour a week would need to keep going for 421 years to equal the same amount of time they would spend with a parent before the age of 10.

95% of parents thought it was their responsibility to teach their children about the Christian faith. 78% of church leaders agreed with this.

Despite 95% of parents believing that they are primarily responsible for their child’s spiritual development, they also think the Church is better placed to actually do it.

And 92% of parents felt they should be doing more.

Many parents are not confident about passing on faith

Just 36% of parents surveyed felt very confident in nurturing their child’s faith. How confident a parent felt made a big difference to their views on helping their children spiritually.

For example, 64% of more confident parents often or always look for opportunities to nurture their children’s faith. This compares to just 9% of the less confident group of mums and dads.

Family time being spent on other activities is the biggest barrier

When asked what stops them from focusing on faith at home, parents listed the top five reasons as:

  • Family time devoted to other activities: 32%
  • Not having enough time to spend with my child: 30%
  • Needing help knowing what to do: 24%
  • Worrying I’ll do it wrong or put them off: 23%
  • Thinking I’m not a good enough example: 18%

“In a word: BUSYNESS. Or another word: LAZINESS. Sometimes I blame busyness, but I find the time to check the Chelsea scores … Sometimes I really do need to stop clearing the kitchen up while the kids are up (so I can watch TV when they are in bed) and spend time nurturing their faith while I can.” Dad

Mums and dads find praying with their children is the most helpful way to inspire children's faith

51% of parents said that prayer was the most helpful activity in nurturing their child’s faith.

42% felt that talking about God was particularly helpful, and they would welcome ideas to try and make faith part of everyday life.

Other helpful activities included:

  • Talking about faith
  • Listening to or singing Christian music
  • Sharing Bible stories

Churches want to help

70% of church leaders and 69% of children’s workers said they would appreciate ideas to help parents see the importance of nurturing faith at home.

Starting to talk about faith at home makes a big difference!

Just by taking part in the research questionnaires, parents found they thought about ways they could share their faith more at home. After talking to other parents as part of our qualitative research, parents said they were more likely to try the following activities:

  • Listen for God: 35%
  • Bible-based app or game: 33%
  • Find God in everyday life: 30%
  • Do good deeds: 21%
  • Be creative: 18%
  • Explore nature: 16%

“This project has made me realise that i need to make an active decision to nurture faith in the family; it won’t happen by itself. I need to make time and opportunities for this nurturing and not let the opportunities that arise, from the kids themselves, go to waste. Seize the moment!” Parent

Find out more

For an overview of our research for parents, download the Did you know? leaflet below.

For a more thorough overview of the research, our methodology and more on what church leaders and children’s workers said, download the full Faith in our Families booklet.

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