A majority of U.S. teens involved in a local church youth ministry volunteer their time at least several times a year.

“A little less than one fifth of teens (17 percent) volunteer once a week, one-quarter (25 percent) volunteer at least once a month, another one-quarter (26 percent) volunteer once every few months, and about one-third (32 percent) say they volunteer less often than that,” according to Barna Group research.

Local church ministries were the most prevalent form of volunteering chosen by teens, with 42 percent doing so.

By comparison, 35 percent of teens volunteered with hunger and homelessness initiatives, 31 percent in education and 28 percent in environmental projects.

More than one third (36 percent) of teenagers have commitments to volunteer on a regular basis.

“The importance of the church when it comes to volunteering is a testament to the power of local congregations in galvanizing young people to serve their communities and the world,” Barna noted.

“Parental involvement and encouragement seems to be a key factor in teen service. Teenagers who attend church with their parents are more likely to participate in service with their church (60 percent of teens who attended church with their parent participated in service projects, versus only 16 percent of those who did not).”

The full report is available here.

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