I just finished the book Revolution by George Barna.
This book is written by George Barna a highly-acclaimed statistician who has done extensive research and written dozens of book primarily dealing with trends within the realm of Christianity and the Church.
In his latest book Barna addresses what he see's as the religious transformation he see's in Christians over the next couple of decades.
The positive trend he notices is that more Christians will try to live God centered lives that actively try to place God at the center of all that they do 24/7. Obviously, church leaders would not complain about the concept of Christians who are actively seeking out God, BUT Barna thinks that a revolution is occurring where Christians will do this in ways that will minimize the role and importance of the modern day Church.
Barna is very positive about the decreased stature of the church (little "c" church), not because he thinks the church is bad, but because these "Revolutionaries" will find ways to be about the larger kingdom of God (the Church) in ways that stretch beyond the four walls of the local church.
Barna says "Revolutionaries" are passionate about intimate worship, faith-based conversations, intentional spiritual growth, servanthood, resource investment, spiritual friendships, and family faith.
Barna realizes while church can often aid in the venture of these passions, many other opportunities are available for nurturing these passions and a "Kingdom of God" oriented life.
What Barna recognizes is valuable and real, I can see it in the various faith communities that I have the opportunity to engage in and come in contact with. I think that in a ever growing marketplace of ideas and opportunities our time is too valuable to misallocate our valuable resources, like time.
I value the fact that my church intentionally strives not to be "program driven." It is not that my current church views programs as bad, but rather that our lives are already very busy, and we don't need "church" busying up our lives. Now, instead, if we are to live lives that are honoring to God, instead we must allow the God (in his crazy God ways) to come-in to all other aspects of our lives.
It is very personal faith to live that way...no longer can we blame our church for our own spiritual failings or unconnectivity, we instead have the opportunity to take responsibility for our own faith in every aspect of our lives.
Barna presents a unique vision and picture for what he see's happening in contemporary Christianity. I think many Christians and church leaders would be disheartened by Barna's message because they might see it as heretical to take "church-as-we-know-it" out of the equation, but while at times I have doubts about the perspective on church Barna presents, I also value the active spiritual life that he portrays.
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