Tuesday, February 1, 2011 6:03 AM

Who Do Teens Look Up To?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011 6:03 AM
Tuesday, February 1, 2011 6:03 AM

The nationwide sample of teenagers asked 13- to 17-year-olds to identify the person whom they admire most today as a role model, other than their parents. A follow-up question probed the reasons they define that person as a role model.

So who do teenagers name as their role models? Even while limiting the answers to non-parents, family members still comes out on top. The most commonly mentioned role model is a relative—37% of teens named a relation other than their parent as the person they admire most. This is typically a grandparent, but also includes sisters, brothers, cousins, aunts, and uncles.

After “family,” teens mention teachers and coaches (11%), friends (9%), and pastors or other religious leaders they know personally (6%). George Barna

Notice that a majority of teens indicated that the people they most admire and imitate are those with whom they maintain a personal connection, friendship, or interaction.

The interesting thing is that Pastors are at 6%. Only 6 out of a 100 pastors are admired by children 13 to 17 year-olds. This seems like a surprisingly small number.

I am almost 63, and I was baptized at 7 and I can still remember the name of my pastor…Pastor John Ziegler. If we are to make a meaningful impact on our children’s lives, we will have to get involved. Pastors need to do more than assign a Sunday school teacher or appoint a youth pastor. Knowing that 7 out of 10 children will walk away from their faith ought to call every pastor to more personal involvement.

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