Is it our desire in Christian schools to develop Revolutionaries? George Barna, in his latest book, Revolution, has coined this term to define a “new breed” of Christians who are responding to our age of revolutions (information, technological, sexual, global, etc.), to our materialistically focused society, and to our “whatever” postmodern mindset.
He defines Revolutionaries as:
“…devout followers of Jesus Christ who are serious about their faith, who are constantly worshipping and interacting with God, and whose lives are centered on their belief in Christ.” They demonstrate “complete dedication to being thoroughly Christian by viewing every moment of life through a spiritual lens and making every decision in light of Biblical principles. These are individuals who are determined to glorify God every day through every thought, word, and deed in their lives.”
At the same time he presents evidence that this group, 20 million strong and growing, does not particularly find the institutional church where they want to be. He wonders why the local church is not more transformational and why these Revolutionaries may not opt for involvement in the local church. He notes some troubling signs, according to his research, about churched Christians (a few selected highlights):
- 8 out of every 10 believers do not feel they have entered into the presence of God during the worship service.
- Only 9% of all born-again adults have a Biblical worldview.
- Fewer than 10% of churched Christians donate at least 10% of their incomes to churches and other non-profit organizations.
- The typical believer would rather give money to an organization than personally assist in alleviating the needs of the disadvantaged.
- A large majority of churched believers rely upon their church, rather than their family, to train their children to become spiritually mature.
- Most Christian parents do not believe they are doing a good job at facilitating the spiritual development of their children.
What is significant for us, as we consider how to strengthen ties between the school, home, and church, are his predictions about the future:
By the year 2025, only one-third of the population will rely upon a local congregation as the primary or exclusive means for experiencing and expressing their faith; one-third will do so through alternative forms of a faith-based community; and one-third will realize their faith through the media, the arts, and other cultural institutions.
Unfortunately, as far as we can determine, the family will remain a mere blip on the radar screen when it comes to serving as the conduit for faith experience and expression, remaining central to perhaps 5 percent of the population.
What do these predictions mean for us as we nurture faith with students and seek to partner with churches and homes?