(from FotF’s Pastor’s Weekly Briefing)

Barna Research has released their most significant findings of the past year. The following dozen were selected:

  1. Only 15 percent of those who regularly attend a Christian church ranked their relationship with God as the top priority in their life. On average, pastors believe that 70 percent of the adults in their congregation consider their relationship with God to be their highest priority in life.
  2. Three out of every four teenagers have engaged in at least one type of psychic/witchcraft-related activity with fewer than three out of every ten churched teenagers receiving any teaching from their church about elements of the supernatural.
  3. Just 21 percent of adults consider themselves to be holy; by their own admission, large numbers have no idea what “holiness” means and only one out of every three (35%) believe that God expects people to become holy.
  4. The growing movement of Christian Revolutionaries in the U.S. distinguished themselves from an already-select group of people — born-again Christians — through their deeds, beliefs and self-views. Revolutionaries demonstrated higher levels of community service, financial contributions, daily Bible study, personal quiet times each day, family Bible studies, daily worship experiences, engagement in spiritual mentoring and evangelistic efforts.
  5. Involvement in a house church is rapidly growing and four out of every five house church participants maintain some connection to a conventional church.
  6. The only measure of spiritual health used by at least half of all pastors was the extent of volunteer activity or ministry involvement.
  7. Tracking of young people showed that most of them had disengaged from organized religion during their twenties.
  8. A comparison of people’s faith before and after the September 11 terrorist attack showed that after five years, none of the 19 faith measure studies had undergone statistically significant change.
  9. Seven out of ten parents claim they are effective at developing the spiritual maturity of their children, but the 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 contend that prayer is very important in their life; most of them would rather be popular than to do what is morally right.
  10. Just one out of every six people believe that spiritual maturity is meant to be developed within the context of a local church or within the context of a community of faith.
  11. Five of the highest-profile Christian leaders — Rick Warren, Joel Osteen, James Dobson, Tim LaHaye and T.D. Jakes — were unknown to a majority of the population.
  12. The proportion of adults who are born-again has risen dramatically in the past quarter century, from 31 percent to 45 percent.

For more information on this year-end report, visit Barna.org.

(I think #11 is a GOOD THING for the most part.)

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