A Barna Finding
At the end of each year George Barna does year end wrap up… “Barna Lists the 12 Most Significant Religious Findings from 2006 Surveys”
At the conclusion of his article (linked above) he lists the themes he observed.
Here’s his third theme… “if people’s faith is objectively measured against a biblical standard of how faith is to be practiced, Americans are spiritually lukewarm. Very limited effort is devoted to spiritual growth. Most Americans experience ‘accidental spiritual growth’ since there is generally no plan or process other than showing up at a church and absorbing a few ideas here and there. Even then, few people have a defined understanding of what they are hoping to become, as followers of Christ.”
I don’t know about you, but to me that is a scary truth.
Some observations… first I’m not sure many people know what they want to become in general. Most people float through life. Not a lazy life, that’s not what I mean… I just believe a lot people bounce through life… from experience to experience. Whether it is a job hunt, a boyfriend/girlfriend hunt, wife/husband, etc.
So to say that few people don’t know what they are hoping to become as followers of Christ doesn’t surprise me much.
My second thought is this is a personal problem, but how much of the problem lies with the church or more mature Christians not mentoring new or young Christians along a path to maturity. Showing them the way, or modeling the way a person grows into holiness and maturity found in Christ.
There was a point in my life where I would think or say to myself that I was never taught that. I was never taught or told to have an accountability partner. I was not taught to have a quiet time. I didn’t know that Hosea was told to marry a prostitute… okay scratch that one (although I didn’t really know that until later). But at some point in our walks with Christ we have to stop blaming someone else. Some day we have to put on our own clothes, start using the toilet and get rid of the diapers and start taking some responsibility for our own relationship with Jesus.
SO… some interesting stuff there in Barna’s research. As we move along with paseo, I know we’ll have some things in place to help people move toward maturity. We also have to instill a sense of personal responsibility too.
What a ride we’re on.