Spiritual Conversations in the Digital Age


I’m thrilled to tell you about the launch of our most recent study at Barna. This study has been more than a year in the making and takes a look at one of the most important topics I can think of right now: how are people talking about God?

In my own life, my travels and our research, I have witnessed an erosion of spiritual and religious language. As church attendance and belief has diminished around the country, so too have people’s conversations and, even, ability to talk about spiritual matters. When people are thinking and talking about God less in their everyday lives–when the public imagination is no longer engaged with spiritual ideas–we can be assured church attendance and belief will continue to decline.

So what’s happening here? Why are Americans—even Christians—so reluctant to talk about their faith? How has technology affected this trend? And what will it take to bring God back into the conversation?

These were the main questions we wanted to answer in this new study. And, wow, was the research revealing.

In the pages of our new report, done in partnership with Lutheran Hour Ministries, you will find hundreds of insights into the characteristics of today’s spiritual conversations: online, in person, in families and churches. You’ll discover the barriers that keep people from talking about God—and the commonalities shared by those who are having spiritual conversations.

I believe—and I know you do too—that Christ’s followers have something essential and meaningful to share with their families, neighbors, friends and those they come into contact with. This research will help churches come alongside believers and empower them with confidence to talk about their faith. In doing so, we hope to see Christians begin to make the connections between their everyday, ordinary life and the faith that sustains them. And to tell others the good news of Jesus.

Let the conversation begin.

— Roxanne Stone, Editor in Chief

 

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