Barna: 8 out of 10 young Christians can't apply their faith to everyday life

Pollsters look at the top six trends in faith for 2011

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“With the nation’s population so divided, expect to see these issues continue to stoke lively conversations,” said Barna.

Pollsters also found “a great deal of openness among millions of Americans to overtly supporting Christian business and brands. In fact, nearly half of all adults (including all faith groups) said they would be open to purchasing from a business or brand that operates according to Christian principles.”

A consistent theme from Barna Group’s research this year is Americans’ growing acceptance of limitations.

Will these kids stay in church?

“Compared to the experience of economic surplus of recent decades,” he writes, “residents are living within a redefined American dream. For many, this includes lowered expectations, rethinking spending habits, and relearning savings.

“One reason for their modest outlook on life is that three-quarters of adults claim to have been personally affected by the economic downturn. Another reason: Americans have come to accept that the economy is not recovering anytime soon. They are settling in for the long haul. Seven out of 10 Americans believe it will be two or more years and nearly half say it will take three years or longer. One out of 17 Americans now believes the economy will never fully recover, up from one in 50 two years ago.

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“One of the unfortunate consequences of these changes is a reduction

in charitable giving,” writes Barna. “Three out of 10 adults have reduced their giving to churches and four out of 10 have downgraded their giving to non-profits. One of the measures of generosity is tithing, or giving 10 percent or more of one’s income.

The tithing indicator, too, has dropped from 7 percent to 4 percent of all Americans. The patterns of giving and generosity suggest a tough year ahead for non-profit and church leaders.

What does it take to make church relevant?

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Related Topics: George Barna, Barna Group, Trends

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