What is the Foundation of Trust?

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The validity of the gospel message is independent of individuals or institutions; however, when those who share the good news are not trusted, the gospel is questioned. Globally, there is a perceived rise in distrust that is dynamically shaping cultures, as the world asks, ‘What is the foundation of trust?’ 

The following section explores the context shifts in trust across a variety of institutions and generations.


Numerous studies show that civic trust is declining and polarization is increasing around the world.

Institutional Trust

Especially among youth, trust in institutions to solve societal problems is waning as trust in the agency of individuals increases.

Religious Institutional Trust

When global individuals were presented with a religious leader and a scientist giving the same message, the vast majority of the world found the scientist more credible than the religious leader.

Youth Sources of Trust

Globally, youth display high levels of trust in family members in regards to their spiritual formation.

Cultural Influence

In a survey of 1,500 global Christian leaders asking about the influence of the church on their region, the results overwhelmingly point to the church’s lack of influence on global culture.