So the George Barna research group has presented it’s 2006 most significant religious findings. It makes very interesting and sobering reading.
Here’s a summary:
- 15% of those who regularly attend a Christian church ranked their relationship with God as the top priority in their life.
- Pastors believe that 70% of the adults in their congregation consider their relationship with God to be their highest priority in life. Do the math!
- Three quarters of all teenagers have engaged in at least one type of psychic or witchcraft-related activity in the past year.
- Involvement in a house church is rapidly growing, although the transition is occurring with some trepidation: four out of every five house church participants maintain some connection to a conventional church as well.
- The main way that pastors/clergy/leadership evaluated the churches spiritual maturity was in terms of the extent of volunteer activity or ministry involvement.
- Most churched young people disengaged from organized religion during their twenties.
- Seven out of ten parents claim they are effective at developing the spiritual maturity of their children, but the Barna survey among 8-to-12-year-olds discovered that only one-third of them say a church has made “a positive difference” in their life.
- One-third of 8-12 year olds confess that prayer is very important in their life but more of them would prefer to be popular than to do what is morally right.
- The majority of the population don’t know who the 5 highest-profile Christian leaders are. Clearly there is a Christian subculture that is seperate from mainstream culture
Barna also stated that if people’s faith is objectively measured against a biblical standard of how faith is to be practiced, Americans are spiritually lukewarm.
I’d like Barna to do some research here in the UK – maybe it would be too depressing.