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According to a Pew Research poll of 35,000 Americans 18 years and older, 78.4% say they are Christians. That’s an impressive number…until you start to break it down. That’s what Ed Stetzer has down in his article, MissionTrends: 4 Trends for Churches to Consider.
Stetzer says that of the Americans who say they are Christians 25% are Cultural Christians. These individuals say they are Christians because they aren’t Jewish, Muslim or Buddhist. However, their brand of Christianity has no impact on lifestyle or decisions.
Another 25% are what Stetzer calls Congregational Christians. These individuals have a loose connection to a church, possibly through a parent or spouse. They normally attend church on holidays. However, like Cultural Christians, faith has little impact on their lives.
Stetzer calls the final 25% Convictional Christians. These are people who have trusted in Jesus Christ alone as the only way to have a relationship with God. Their faith impacts their daily lives.
Stetzer notes that things are changing. While the percentage of Convictional Christians is remaining the same, the numbers for Cultural and Congregational Christians are declining. More and more people are reporting that they have no religious affiliation. According to Stetzer, here’s how that decline will impact Convictional Christians:
The next 20 years are going to be a challenge for convictional Christians and churches in many places. We will be engaging in cultural conversations often as the minority we truly are.
Certainly things are changing in our culture and changing fast. The questions to Convictional Christians are these:
Are you prepared to speak with true conviction and confidence?
Are your children being spiritually prepared for the next 20 years?
Are your grandchildren being prepared for the challenges of their generation?
Are you ready? Are you grounded?
The Bible Chapel provides a twelve-week discipleship study called Living Grounded to help believers know what they believe and why they believe it. I believe this back to the basics approach is what every believer needs to live confidently and with true conviction. If you are interested in finding out more about Living Grounded, visit: http://www.biblechapel.org/next-steps/living-grounded/.