Thursday, April 14, 2005

"Out of Church" movement growing


"TREND: Significant increase in out-of-church Christianity"

A nationwide survey conducted by the USA based Barna Research
Group indicates that the number of unchurched adults in America
continues to grow by nearly a million people annually. Interestingly,
many of these unchurched people are spiritually active. One out of
every five reads the Bible in a typical week; six out of ten pray to
God each week; and nearly one million unchurched adults tithe
their income - that is, donate at least 10% of their annual household
revenue to non-profit entities.

The religious media play a part in their spiritual life, too, with four
out of ten absorbing Christian content through television, radio,
magazines or faith-based websites during a typical month. In
addition, one-quarter of them have conversations with one or more
friends who held them accountable for carrying out their faith principles.

Having studied church attendance patterns for more than twenty
years, researcher George Barna suggests that the consistent
resistance to church life in recent years is indicative of a historic
shift in the nation's spiritual vision. "A large and growing number
of Americans who avoid congregational contact are not rejecting
Christianity as much as they are shifting how they interact with
God and people in a strategic effort to have a more fulfilling
spiritual life. This suggests that we are on the precipice of a new
era of spiritual experience and expression."

Barna expects the percentage of adults who are unchurched to
grow during the coming decade. "However, the emergence of a
national body of spiritual leaders who are assisting unchurched
people in their quest for spiritual depth through means and
relationships that are outside the usual institutional vehicles is
significant. We anticipate substantial growth in the number of
people who are not connected to a congregational church but who
are committed to God and to their faith."

See the BARNA website-

1 comment:

Andrew said...

good post!

being a kiwi, you have probably read Alan's book "A Churchless Faith"

nice to meet you!

btw - if you allowed anonymous comments (in blogger dashboard), i could sign off as myself.

andrew jones