George Barna has been persuaded by his own research to be a spiritual revolutionary! He sees that all are in a spiritual battle and that God will use “a remnant sold out to Him” to bring about radical spiritual transformation. Many have been reading George Barna’s research and books for years. But there is something different about his latest book, Revolution. This is more than research. Barna has changed the direction of his life – personally committing to being a spiritual revolutionary. I was interested in meeting him – to hear him explain why. He shared these 9 insights:
1. UNIQUE VISION: God has a unique vision for all – and Barna believes he is personally called to be a catalyst for moral and spiritual transformation. 2. PROFESSIONAL FRUSTRATION: Research indicates that little transformation takes place in most conventional churches – but it is taking place in other venues and relationships. 3. PERSONAL DESPERATION: Having experienced God among spiritual revolutionaries Barna couldn’t continue in local churches where most do not connect with God. 4. SPIRITUAL INTIMACY: We will not be able to excuse our lack of spiritual development by blaming the local church – we need to make choices and find environments for growth. 5. PRACTICAL FRUSTRATION: Local churches rarely use the spiritual giftedness (perhaps especially the leadership gifts) of believers – and spiritual revolutionaries choose to address that! 6. DIFFERENT MODELS: Those who have the gift of understanding the times in which we live (1 Chron 12:32) recognize that there needs to be different models and expressions of local church. 7. JESUS IS THE HOPE OF THE WORLD: God wants us to be part of a community of faith, but gives us freedom in how we connect with each other and Him. Our hope is not in institutions. 8. WE ARE TO INFLUENCE OTHERS FOR HIM: With local churches having so little influence in their communities for God, Barna is now looking for where God’s called out people are making an impact. 9. FAMILY RESPONSIBILITY: Local churches may be loads of fun for kids, but parents have the privilege and responsibility of leading their children to Jesus. They must choose the best resources.
What do you think? In what way would you radically change the direction of your life on the basis of these insights? ?
I can understand the frustration of George Barna in his passion to help churches help people gain spiritual intimacy. He has studied so many churches that have failed to do this. We certainly need spiritual renewal and need to be a greater spiritual impact in our communities. I have to endorse what Barna has been recommending for children. We must help parents take spiritual responsibility for their children. This means we need to assess what we presently do at church for and with children and make major changes. We cannot afford to be complacent – Childhood is the time God designed the brain to build life time beliefs, values and attitudes. What beliefs, attitudes and values are you helping your children develop?
Thanks Julie. George Barna’s book ‘Transforming Children into Spiritual Champions – why children should be your church’s #1 priority” is excellent. Do you have a short review of this book, Julie? We could post it for others to see. A lot of church planters are very involved in ministry to kids – and your questions re values are critical. And we want to take this back into families. I also think parents of older kids (like young adults) could do well to re-think ‘church’ with their families.
‘Transforming Children Into Spiritual Champions’ – “Based on original research among children, parents and churches, George Barna reveals his discoveries about the significance of ministry to children – and what is required to help them become transformed for Christ. In addition to describing why ministry to young people may be the single most strategic ministry activity, he outlines what children need to become spiritual champions, how parents can provide such nurture, and the appropriate role of the local church in this developmental process.” Find more at http://www.barna.org .
Is Barna’s conversion story available as an audio or video podcast? Sounds very interesting?
Did he come across as defensive, peter, or were many of the attendees of like mind?
I see that a DVD of the conference presentations is available from http://doableevangelism.com/store/revoluntion-conference-dvd/ – and other resources at the conference blog http://www.revolutionconference.com/blog/. I hope you find something there, Zane.
No, I didn’t find Barna defensive. However, he came across as more than just the researcher on this one! Not all agreed with him – however, I found him relaxed and sure of his commitment to personally being a revolutionary. Barna believes the local church is experiencing the most significant recalibration – with “millions” leaving (or about to leave) to find new environments for faith, transformation and witness.