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Study: Millennial Christians Value Speaking in Tongues More Than Any Other Generation

Barna has released another round of findings from its State of the Church survey, this one focusing on how different generations feel about Sunday morning services. Keep in mind, of course, that most of this data was compiled in the pre-Covid “Before Times,” but it’s still an interesting look at how the idea of what should and shouldn’t be part church is changing. And one big change is how younger Christians feel about charismatic worship.

Christian millennials are far and away the most likely age group to value speaking in tongues in church — a practice known as “glossolalia.” A full third of Christian millennials said that speaking in tongues is “an important expression that should be a weekly part of their worship experience.” Only a fifth of Gen X Christians and 14 percent of Boomer Christians agreed.


In every other Sunday service practice Barna asked about, Christian millennials were the least likely to value it. From worshipping through song to prayer to liturgy and even communion, millennials were the least likely to say it mattered.

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Ethnic and racial minorities were far more likely than their white peers to value weekly praying in tongues (32 percent vs. 13 percent) while white Christians were more likely to value liturgy ( (49 percent vs. 36 percent) and communion (49% vs. 33%).

You can read the whole report here.

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