The Barna Group just released a study that looks at some of the disconnects between what Christians believe and how they live. You can read the full report by clicking here, but here are the main disconnects:
- 81% of Christians say Jesus is important to them; but only 18% are committed to developing their relationship with Jesus.
- 64% of Christians have confessed their sins to God; but only 12% realize how devastating their personal sin is.
- Lots of Christians participate in “normal” religious activities every week; but “less than one out of ten have talked about their faith with a non-Christian, fasted for religious purposes, and had an extended time of spiritual reflection during the past week.”
- Most Christians feel “comfortable” in their church; but their comfort level is only surface-deep, with no accountability nor confession.
As a pastor, I place the responsibility for these disconnects squarely on the pastors. On me.
Unless pastors are teaching this stuff—and living this stuff—the disconnects will always remain.
Gregory the Great (ca. 540-604) wrote, “There are some who investigate spiritual precepts with cunning care, but what they penetrate with understanding they trample on in their lives: all at once they are teaching the things which not by practice but by study they have learnt; and what in words they preach, by their manners they impugn. Whence it comes to pass that when the shepherd walks through steep places, the flock follows to the precipice.”
I’m challenged by this, and I’m going to spend some time in prayer this week regarding these disconnects. I want to take a good look at what I’m teaching and living, and allow the Holy Spirit to correct what needs to be corrected.