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Key Research Findings
By Petr Cincala

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One trend mentioned by Barna that I find increasingly relevant for the fulfillment of Jesus Great Commission and of the purpose of church ------- the church's community involvement, and/or community development (i.e. to be socially active first to win people for Christ then). "Three-quarters of Americans believe that churches are a positive factor in their communities. Just 1 out of 20 adults believe that the influence of churches is negative. While the most common thing that people look to from churches is addressing poverty, churchgoers as well as unchurched residents look to congregations for a range of things." 1

I also see how teenagers approach life way differently than previous generations. As a result they get disconnected from the church fellowship despite the fact they are believing and their parents might be actively involved in the church. This is how Barna puts it: "The Christian community is struggling to remain connected with the next generation of teens and young adults. In particular, the church is “losing” many young creatives (like designers, artists, writers, musicians, and actors) as well as young science-minded students (such as medical students, engineers, biologists and mathematicians). . . The faith journeys of teens and young adults are often challenging for many parents and faith leaders, who often misunderstand how and why young people become disconnected." 2 This topic deserves more attention from the leadership and more openness for the way young ones experience God and worship him.

Written by Petr Cincala. A Center for Creative Ministry report.

1 (http://www.barna.org/faith-spirituality/543-top-trends-of-2011-changing-role-of-christianity)
2 (http://www.barna.org/faith-spirituality/543-top-trends-of-2011-changing-role-of-christianity)

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