I had the opportunity to attend the Jesus Now Summit in Dallas, Texas in December 2022.  This summit was hosted by the Barna Group, in partnership with He Gets Us and Gloo.  About 100 evangelical leaders gathered to learn about the opportunities and challenges of evangelism in our generation.  The attendees heard presentations about the history of Christian movements and the opening for a fresh movement of God in our generation.

The Barna Group shared some intriguing research data.  The results of the study showed some encouraging news that there is a rising spiritual openness in our nation.

In an October 2022 Barna survey of 2,000 U.S. adults, three out of four (74%) say they want to grow spiritually. Additionally, the same proportion (77%) say they believe in a higher power. Nearly half (44%) say they are more open to God today than before the pandemic.

Barna has been tracking the state of Christianity for nearly four decades. Though the trajectory of Christian commitment in the U.S. has been on a downward slide and is in need of urgent interventions, our new data give Christian leaders cause for hope.

Though religious affiliation and church attendance continue to decline, spiritual openness and curiosity are on the rise.  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.

We all realize that this does not mean that our churches will be filled with seekers next Sunday.  We have witnessed a continued decline in church attendance since the turn of the century.  Pastors and church leaders must prayerfully consider the need to connect with people in our communities.  We must also learn that significant ministry of the Gospel will take place outside the doors of the church.

We can join in the prayer of the believers in the 1st Century.

“…enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. (Acts 4:29)”

This involves faithful Biblical preaching and teaching in our churches.  It requires that faithful discipleship of people who will build their lives on the truth of the Gospel.  God’s Word encourages us to always be ready to share our faith.

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. (1 Peter 3:15)

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