[anzac] BARNA on "OUT OF CHURCH" Christians

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From: "REVIVAL List" <prophetic@...>
Date: Fri, 30 Sep 2005 00:18:30 -0500
"REVOLUTION" - An Extract.
-From George Barna's pre-manuscript of a forthcoming book.

As we journey together, I want to show you what our research has 
uncovered regarding a growing sub-nation of people, already well 
over 20 million strong, who are what we call Revolutionaries.

What "established systems" are they seeking to "overthow or 
repudiate" and "thoroughly replace," in Webster's words?

They have no use for churches that play religious games, whether 
those games are worship services that drone on without the 
presence of God or ministry programs that bear no spiritual fruit.  
Revolutionaries eschew ministries that compromise or soft sell our 
sinful nature to expand organizational turf.  They refuse to follow 
people in ministry in leadership positions who cast a personal 
vision rather than God's, or who seek popularity rather than the 
proclamation of truth in their public statements, or who are more 
concerned about their own legacy than that of Jesus Christ. They 
refuse to donate one more dollar to man-made monuments that 
mark their own achievements and guarantee their place in history. 
They are unimpressed by accredited degrees and endowed chairs 
in Christian colleges and seminaries that produce young people 
incapable of defending the Bible or unwilling to devote their life to 
serving others.  And Revolutionaries are embarrassed by language 
that promises Christian love and holiness but turns out to be all 
sizzle and no substance.

In fact, many Revolutionaries have been active in good churches 
that have biblical preaching, people coming to Christ and being 
baptized, a full roster of interesting classes and programs, and a 
congregation packed with nice people. There is nothing overtly 
wrong with anything taking place at such churches.  But
Revolutionaries innately realize that it is just not enough to go with 
the flow. The experience provided through their church, although 
better than average, still seems flat.  They are seeking a faith 
experience that is more robust and awe-inspiring, a spiritual 
journey that prioritizes transformation at every turn, something 
worthy of the Creator whom their faith reflects...

Revolutionaries zealously pursue an intimate relationship with God, 
which Jesus Christ promised we could have through Him...

In this book I will describe what The Barna Group has learned about 
this under-the-radar but seminal renaissance of faith that will 
remake the religious contours of this country over the coming quarter-century.

[Barna goes on to predict the complete re-shaping of the way 
people experience "church" in America]:

Whereas "Christian community" has generally been limited to the 
relationships facilitated within a congregation, the Revolution is 
bursting open the walls of the  worldwide Church to birth a truly 
international network of relationships...

The U.S. will see a reduction in the number of churches, as 
presently configured (i.e. congregational-formatted ministries).  
Church service attendance will drop...  Donations to churches will 
drop...  Churches' already limited political and cultural influence 
will diminish even further at the same time that Christians will 
exert greater influence through more disparate mechanisms.  
Fewer church programs will be sustained in favor of more 
communal experiences among Christians...

To some, this will sound like the Great Fall of the Church.  To 
Revolutionaries, it will be the Great Reawakening of the Church.  
New scenarios do not mean mayhem and dissipation.  In this 
case, they represent a new day in which the Church can truly be 
the Church--different than what we know today, but more 
responsive to and reflective of God.
-------------------------------------------------
'Roger' [from the Denver House church Gathering] adds:

When I consider how widely read Barna is by traditional church 
leaders, I predict this book (due out in October) will rock some worlds.

The New Revolutionaries:
I have so much to write, having returned from the House Church 
conference in Denver, and so little time right now.  One highlight 
was Thom Black, from the Barna Research Group, who shared 
some incredible facts about what is happening in the church of 
America.  I will quote from Wolfgang Simson (who was at the
conference) who summarized this information in his Friday Fax:

"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.

We received a pre-manuscript of this book and it will rock the 
church world. Barna describes this growing group of Christians 
that no longer attend traditional churches as "revolutionaries."  He 
goes on to describe them in a very positive light.....
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George Barna's website- www.barna.org
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