What is the role of friendship in discipleship community? Historically (see 1 Thessalonians 2:8) and currently, U.S. Christian adults see friendships as foundational to healthy discipleship. Disciplemaking involves actively helping someone else grow closer to Christ, requiring those involved to look outside themselves. This article shares recent data from Growing Together—created in partnership with The Navigators—to explore what percentage of Christian adults view their spiritual lives as entirely private and how friendships with other Christians can support discipleship.
Even before the pandemic, traditional metrics of church health were becoming less concrete, thanks to growing dropout rates and trends like “worship shifting.” That's why Barna and our partners at Gloo have been building the The State of Your Church project to provide pastors and church leaders with a more holistic framework for understanding the health of their congregations.
What can one person do to help address racial injustice in America? Beyond Diversity, a recent Barna study created in partnership with the Racial Justice and Unity center, offers trends on Americans’ fluctuating motivation to address racial injustice and highlights ways congregants, as well as whole congregations, can pursue justice in their communities.
This article is an excerpt from Benjamin Windle's latest work, Digital Church in a Lonely World, published as the first Barna Ideas release. Barna Ideas is a series committed to exploring new models, new methods and new mindsets for the future of the Church. Windle's full work, which explores the seven ingredients necessary for church community in an increasingly digital and lonely world, is available both in Barna's online store and on Barna Access Plus.
What barriers keep Christians from being part of a discipleship community? For the new book Growing Together: A Three-Part Guide for Following Jesus and Bringing Friends on the Journey, Barna partnered with The Navigators to study how Christians can be and make disciples today. While the majority of Christians experiences some form of relational investment in spiritual growth, two in five (39%) aren’t engaged in discipleship at all.
As researchers, Barna Group often gets a big picture look at data. Yet, while the biggest picture allows researchers and leaders a chance to know what’s going on in the world, their communities and their churches, it takes people who are daily serving within local churches to help pastors connect the dots from the larger overview to practical application. That’s why Barna is delighted to partner with Benjamin Windle (pastor, speaker and author) as part of our efforts to explore new models, methods and mindsets for the future of the Church.
What does it look like to be comfortable in the act of talking about one’s Christian faith in an era where skepticism is high and evangelism is unpopular? Today’s article specifically takes a look at recent findings from the Reviving Evangelism in the Next Generation study, paying special attention to how Gen Z defines a comfortable evangelist and how non-Christians in this generation prefer to be approached when Christians are witnessing to them.