I’m writing this hoping that you’ll go read this report by the Barna Group.  If you’re a a Christian in American culture or, especially, if you’re a spiritual leader, I believe this report is very important to you.  But, if you’re not into that sort of thing, just skip right over this post.

I’m an Analyst

Culture TubesIn my day job as an analyst, data is very important to me.  People can come to me all day long and tell me that they feel like they know what we should do.  And, you know what?  They might be right.  But at the end of the day, we don’t set out to transform our business based solely on how things feel.  We make decisions – sometimes multimillion-dollar decisions – based on careful research, insight, and planning.

This is my approach

So, this is often also my approach to living my faith.  To living Christianity.

Don’t get me wrong – I care how things feel.  I know that sometimes the Holy Spirit can give us insight into culture, transition, and courses of action that defy data.  But I also hesitate to believe everything that I feel, particularly if it stands in stark contrast to reality.  (I think there’s some balance in there that I’m trying to hit)

The Barna Group

That’s part of what I so appreciate about the Barna Group.  They take the time to do the research. Their insight is not just hard data.  But it’s also not simply based on feelings.

Six Megathemes in 2010

One of the recent reports the Barna Group published has pointed out six megathemes in Christian culture in America.  While, alone, none of these may necessarily take us by surprise (in fact, we might have expected some of them), to see them in print and validated by research was certainly startling and a little disheartening to me.

Here are just a couple of the megathemes.  You’ll have to read the report for the rest of them.

  • Growing numbers of people are less interested in spiritual principles and more desirous of learning pragmatic solutions for life.
  • The influence of Christianity on culture and individual lives is largely invisible.

I care about the Church.  I care about Christianity.  I care about God’s glory and about our lives (individually and collectively) being formed into the image of Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.  I care about discipleship and influencing our culture.  And I care about you.

Read the Report

I urge you to read this report and to think long and hard about the state of your walk of faith, about Christianity, about Christian culture in America, and about the people around you.

Let me know what you think of the report.

Photo by: Hey Paul

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