VENTURA, CA – George Barna may be one of the most often quoted laypersons by pastors and Christian educators. His creation of the Barna Group in 1984 has grown to be recognized as the leading social research entity in the fields of faith and religion in America.This April 28, the Barna Group will release its “State of the Church 2020.” The information initiative will launch with a free webcast facilitated by pastor Cary Nieuwhof. The Barna Group will be – and, in fact, has been – releasing various in-depth reports of the state of the church each month during 2020.
“We firmly believe in the work of the local church, and we want to see people and pastors flourishing and their churches thrive. We want to help you better understand and measure what matters for the sake of Gospel transformation.”
What’s on the Minds of America’s Pastors?
The organization’s first report was released on February 3rd. The title, “What’s on the Mind of America’s Pastors,” was not a question. It is the answer to the question. It reveals the matters of most significant issues expressed by pastors concerning the church at large as well as their own local ministries.
Responses regarding local ministries were much more diverse than those relative to Christianity at large across America. The most commonly shared problem at the local level was the need to reach the younger generation. Slightly more than half the pastors surveyed cited this issue.
On the national scale, the methodology revealed significantly different results, with a majority agreeing on seven issues perceived as a threat to the Christian Church.
- Watered-down Gospel teachings (72%)
- Culture’s shift to a secular age (66%)
- Poor discipleship models (63%)
- Addressing complex social issues with Biblical integrity (58%)
- Prosperity Gospel teachings (56%)
- Reaching a younger audience (56%)
- Political polarization in the country (51%)
Given that these concerns are on a national level, it is reasonable for this writer to assume that addressing complex social issues with Biblical integrity’ might ought to be at the top of the list.
Our faith is in real danger if nearly 60% of pastors are reluctant to teach Biblical truths regardless of current cultural issues. In fact, half reported “feeling limited in their ability to speak out on moral issues because people will take offense.” Another 40% felt pressure “to speak out on moral and social issues that they’re not comfortable discussing.”
If nothing else comes out of this report, the bottom line is that our country needs pastors, leaders, and lay believers who are wholly committed to Christ and to Him alone, regardless of changes in culture, politics, and morality.
The truth of the Word of God never changes. Pray for integrity and boldness for Bible-believing pastors in America. The Lord has called them to their position. Pray that He will empower them. Finally, pray for our country, that the Lord will protect our religious freedom, and that we will use that liberty to lead the lost to Jesus.
To read more news on Christian Ministry on Missions Box, go here.
- Christian Headlines, ‘Watered-Down’ Gospel in U.S. Is Major Concern for 72 Percent of Pastors
- The Barna Group, What’s on the Minds of America’s Pastors
- The Barna Group, Introducing the State of the Church 2020