Barna Predicts Less Interest in “Tradchurch”

Below is an excerpt from Wolfgang Simson’s weekly Friday Fax that relates to our discussion over the last few days. Tell me what you think:

Good news for church builders: you only need half the budget! The financial challenges facing traditional Christian churches are often linked to building projects. Many undergo great tensions when considering the massive investments required, which are a burden for the members for many years. But many church building projects are not even necessary, according to a recent study in the USA. “Revolution”, George Barna’s new book, will be published in September. Barna leads a church research institute, and is currently the most-quoted person in the Christian church in the USA because of his statistical work. To summarize the book’s most important conclusions:

* The number of Christians attending local church in the USA is declining rapidly. Today, 70% of Christians attend traditional churches, but this will sink to 30-35% in 20 years;

* The number of followers of Jesus who do not attend a local church will grow from 30% to 70% in the next 20 years;

* Alternative fellowship forms (house church/simple church, post-modern churches etc.), currently home for 5% of USA Christians, will grow to make up 30-35%; another 30-35% will live out their faith in the fields of media, arts and culture; the remaining 5% of Christians attending non-traditional forms of church will have a family-based spiritual life;

* Conclusion: a minority group presently not even noticed by many will become the mainstream of North American Christianity in only two decades.

“This is a revolution, and will change not only the recruiting strategies of seminaries and Bible schools, but also radically question church building projects,” says Barna. If only half as many people will be visiting traditional congregational services in 20 years, a smaller building will suffice.
Source: George Barna in “Revolution”

The Friday Fax is originally published in German by Wolfgang Simson, and translated into English by Steven Bufton. This version © 2005 Steven Bufton. Permission is granted, however, to publish stories from the Friday Fax, provided these are correctly attributed to “The Friday Fax, http://www.bufton.net/fridayfax”.

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