There Is Skepticism about Churches’ Contributions to Society
by David Kinnaman, president of Barna Group and co-editor, with George Barna, of the book Churchless, from which this data is taken.
Although many of the churchless hold positive views of churches, a substantial number also have no idea what Christians have accomplished in the nation, either for the better or for the worse. When the unchurched were asked to describe what they believe are the positive and negative contributions of Christianity in America, almost half (49%) could not identify a single favorable impact of the Christian community, while nearly two-fifths (37%) were unable to identify a negative impact. Of those who could identify one way Christians contribute to the common good, the unchurched appreciate their influence when it comes to serving the poor and disadvantaged (22%), bolstering morals and values (10%) and helping people believe in God (8%). Among those who had a complaint about Christians in society, the unchurched were least favorably disposed toward violence in the name of Christ (18%), the church’s stand against gay marriage (15%), sexual abuse scandals (13%) and involvement in politics (10%).
Reflecting on Change
“Our research suggests a growing indifference toward churches among the unchurched,” says David Kinnaman, president of Barna Group and co-editor, with George Barna, of the new book Churchless, from which this data is taken. “The gap between the churched and the churchless is growing, and it appears that Christian communities of faith will struggle more than ever to engage church outsiders in their neighborhood, town or city.”
In His Grace;
Bob W. <><
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