Monday, March 11, 2019

Barna: 72% of Christian Homes are "Not Spiritually Vibrant"

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Barna Research released a study Friday that reveals the Christian Family in America has some work to do if we really believe what we claim to believe.

So, what makes a home spiritually vibrant?

Be informed.

The Barna survey, co-sponsored by the Lutheran Hour Ministries, found that only 25% of professing, practicing Christians live in households that regularly pray, and practice Bible reading together.

The goal of the poll was to examine how Christian homes practiced their faith together, and not as individuals. Christians who lived alone were not included in this study. According to Barna, practicing Christians are "self-identified Christians who say their faith is very important in their lives and have attended a worship service within the last month."

Sadly, most practicing Christians do not live in spiritually vibrant homes.

Barna asked 2,347 Christians about 3 elements of their house's faith practice.

  • Spiritual Practices--defined as praying every day or two together and reading the Bible weekly together.
  • Spiritual Conversations--defined as talking about God together at least weekly.
  • Hospitality--defined welcoming non-family guests regularly, or at least several times a month.

Only 25% of practicing Christians live in households where these 3 elements are practiced, as defined.

Only 33% live in homes that regularly follow "spiritual conversations" while 14% live in households that practice only hospitality. A total of 28% of practicing Christians live in homes that never follow these practices.

Definition of a "vibrant" Christian household.

Barna found that:
"Vibrant households stand out in that they have meaningful, fun, quality time with both their housemates and extended household members....Vibrant households come together for games ( 32%). They share meals---63% eat breakfast together and 75% eat dinner together. They share their feelings about things (59%) on almost a daily basis. Vibrancy also correlates with group discipline 34%--- like working on the house or yard together. And 68% host household or family meetings every couple of days."

The study also found---not surprisingly that,
"Given that welcoming others is part of the definition for this group, it’s not surprising that friendships play a great role in Vibrant households, with close friends (56%), as well as neighbors (28%) coming over several times a month. They lead the way in claiming friends who are so close as to feel like family (91%), with whom they might share deep conversations (55%) or prayer (58%). They are also more likely to depend on others (especially moms or grandmothers) for help with finances, childcare or other household needs."

Barna also reports that,
"Members of Vibrant households learn positive spiritual lessons and behaviors together through intentional, reverent moments between household members. Spiritual coaches are remarkably consistent in Vibrant homes. Among this group’s distinguishing traits is the presence of someone who shares about God’s forgiveness (76%), the Bible (73%) or traditions (69%). More than seven in 10 have a household member who sets a spiritual example (73%) or encourages church attendance (71%). And though somewhat defined by their spiritual behaviors as a household, respondents in Vibrant homes are also highly involved in other personal spiritual practices, like reading the Bible on one’s own (76%) or attending small groups (51%) each week."

There has never been a greater effort to dismantle the family than we are experiencing today. The attack on family is endless. Activists try to redefine the traditional model of family (that God designed Himself), redefine human sexuality, redefine marriage, and even redefine God's creation of male and female--And call it "progress."

Hopefully, this study can provide a helpful guide to improve the function of our families and capitalize on the tremendous potential that God has given the family unit.

Be Informed. Be Blessed. Be Prayerful.