‘Either we will rise to meet these challenges that have been placed before us, or we will stand before God’s throne with the spiritual blood of our nation and its young people on our hands’
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A new study from famed pollster George Barna revealed three out of four adults say they want to grow spiritually and are open to a “spiritual higher power.” Barna CEO David Kinnaman pointed out this positive perspective towards religion should motivate the Church to reach younger generations with the Gospel.
“We have an unprecedented opportunity to share Jesus with a world in need,” said Kinnaman. “In a culture that has generally downgraded the reputation of Christians and relegated Sunday worship and other church-related activities to the sidelines of society, teens remain refreshingly open to Jesus as an influence in their lives.”
Judge Phil Ginn, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES, www.ses.edu), noted that in the face of a society that can be hostile towards the Gospel, the “window of opportunity” might be short-lived; therefore, Christians must rise to the occasion and fulfill the Great Commission while the harvest is plenty.
Ginn commented, “David Kinnaman acknowledged that since the year 2000 the number of practicing Christians in the U. S. has nearly dropped in half. Nonetheless, there is both a significant amount of hope as well as a tremendous challenge for Christ followers in many of the findings. Here are some of the salient details of this groundbreaking research.
- 75% of the adults involved in the study still have a desire to grow spiritually with 40% being ‘more open’ to God.
- 77% believe in ‘God’ or ‘a higher power.’
- 80% of Gen Z and millennials believe a supernatural dimension exists.
- Overwhelmingly, Christian teens today say that Jesus still matters to them with 76% claiming that ‘Jesus speaks to me in a way that is relevant to my life.’
“While noting that ‘supernatural’ doesn’t always mean faith or Christian-based, Kinnaman says that participants in the research are more open to that which truly satisfies. Based on this discovery he explains, ‘We have an unprecedented opportunity to share Jesus with a world in need.’ He then adds this one poignant conclusion: ‘The challenge facing the church and parachurch ministries is whether they are ready and able to meet the spiritually open — where they are, as they are.’ The reality is that the established church in America is not able or yet willing to meet these souls where they are and as they are — because our actions to this point show that we are simply not up to the task.”
Ginn continued, “At the risk of being self-servient, meeting people where they are — as they are — with the Gospel is precisely what we have been doing at Southern Evangelical Seminary for over 30 years now. By equipping believers and skeptics with truthful and satisfying answers to their honest faith questions, our staff, faculty, and graduates have been on the front line, not only of defending the historic Christian faith but giving people the hope of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ who is the truth.
“There is a window of opportunity open in America. How long it will stay open is beyond our knowledge, but suffice it to say that our time is at hand. Either we will rise to meet these challenges that have been placed before us, or we will stand before God’s throne with the spiritual blood of our nation and its young people on our hands. Southern Evangelical Seminary is prepared to not only train laborers, but to lead out into the harvest. With God’s help, we will not be standing still while such an opportunity awaits us. Perhaps it is time the other believers joined us before this window closes for eternity.”