Friday, January 1, 2010

Barna: Year-in-Review Perspective

From The Barna Group's research in 2009, here are 4 predominate themes that emerged regarding religion (read the full article here):
  1. Increasingly, Americans are more interested in faith and spirituality than in Christianity.  "Being a Christian or associating with the Christian faith is not as attractive to Americans as it used to be." 
  2. Faith in the American context is now individual and customized. "Only one-third (34%) [of adults] believe in absolute moral truth."
  3. Biblical literacy is neither a current reality nor a goal in the U.S. "By the time most Americans reach the age of 13 or 14, they think they pretty much know everything of value the Bible has to teach."
  4. Effective and periodic measurement of spirituality is not common at this time and it is not likely to become common in the near future. "It may well be that spiritual evaluation is so uncommon because people fear that the results might suggest the need for different growth strategies or for more aggressive engagement in the growth process."
We don't share this to decry the state of our culture.  Rather, we exhort you to consider what YOU must do to lead your children towards a life of discipleship in Christ.  Prayerfully consider these questions that could help you counter the above themes:
  1. How do your children see you model a life of discipleship?  Do you tell them what the Holy Spirit is teaching you, and do they see life change in you? 
  2. Do you make decisions regarding church, giving, service, etc, based on your personal preferences, or do you first examine God's word and submit to His authority?
  3. Do you regularly study the Bible and apply it to your life? Are you teaching your children how to apply the Bible to their lives?
  4. Are you in Biblical community, where you are loved, encouraged, and held accountable?  Who in your life can and will tell you who you are NOT?
We would love to come alongside you to help you figure out how these questions might apply to your family.  Leave a comment here, or email us at

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