The Barna Research Group released the results of a nationwide survey last week indicating 40 percent of Christian parents (with children under 18) admitted that they were not being spiritually challenged.
George Barna, co-founder of The Barna Group, said the study’s findings are reflective of the rapidly declining spiritual condition found in American culture.
“Many of the same people who claim that their faith is very important to them and that they are absolutely committed to Christianity also say that they face no spiritual challenges in life,” he said. “Americans focus on what they consider to be the most important matters; faith maturity is not one of them.”
Of the Christian parents who said they do feel challenged on their spiritual journeys, the majority said the two main struggles were developing their children spiritually and personally investing more time in praying and reading their Bible.
Other spiritual struggles included the need for more church involvement, exhibiting faith-driven behaviors, coping with sickness, having a deeper faith and dealing with the decline of moral values in the media. Barna encourages church leaders to address these issues by having intimate relationships with church members.
“Ministry is most effective when it addresses the specific needs of each person on a one-to-one or few-to-one basis,” Barna said. “The data underscore the importance of people knowing and ministering to each other in a very direct and personal way, recognizing the uniqueness of every person and their journey.”