Most Adults Do Not Change Religious Beliefs
A new study released by Barna research revealed that most adults do not change their religious beliefs after the age of 13. Only 7 percent of adults indicated that they had made any kind of religious changes in the past five years. The age of those who made the most significant religious changes in their lives were between 18 and 26 years old.
What ministry implications can we draw from this?
1. Intentionally make disciples of younger people. They are the most open, malleable, and least set in their ways. This does not excuse us from seeking other age groups, but we need to target younger people before they become hardened and cynical towards religion.
2. Connect real-life issues to Scripture. Barna said, “religious leaders are not provoking people to think deeply and practically about the major issues of life and culture from a religious perspective.” When people are struggling in life, it is our responsibility to lead people to develop a personal relationship with Jesus. His power and love can satisfy spiritual cravings!
3. Be more bold in our approach. Too often, we preach and teach a watered-down version of the gospel that does not require much personal introspection or sacrifice. Barna said, “Much of the personal reflection and even conversation related to faith relate to deriving a greater sense of comfort and support from their religious beliefs, traditions, and relationships.” Following Jesus is not comfortable! It demands a life of sacrifice and service. Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Matt. 16:24). Jesus is not calling us to lead a half-hearted, tepid existence. He wants all of us! Sometimes, people respond well to a challenge. They need a goal and a direction in their lives, and they want to know that they can make a difference. As I say, we need to live dangerously!
What can you do to connect with people who need Jesus?
Source: Barna Research