New George Barna Research: ‘Dangerously’ Low Percentage of Americans Have a Biblical Worldview

Well-known social science researcher George Barna introduced brand-new research about Americans’ worldview on the American Pastors Network’s (APN, www.americanpastorsnetwork.net) popular, live, daily radio program “Stand in the Gap Today” last week.

APN President and “Stand in the Gap Today” host Sam Rohrer said the program was aptly named “The True Deficit: Americans with a Biblical Worldview.”

“In recent days, many more than before have become deeply concerned about the country’s national debt, as the government is set to spend $2 trillion to provide needed aid to Americans affected by the coronavirus pandemic,” Rohrer said. “Yet I would suggest that before budget deficits, before deep political infightings and before the moral crumblings of our culture, there is first a deficit in our relationship with God—a deficit of spiritual understanding and a deficit of how to view life and living from God’s perspective. This is the root of our national and cultural problems, the root of our pandering politicians and salivating citizens who only wish for more and bigger government, the root of our complacent churches and passive pulpits.”

Throughout the program, Rohrer and Barna discussed the key findings of “The American Worldview Inventory,” which Barna led in his role at the Cultural Research Center (CRC) at Arizona Christian University (ACU). The research is the first wave of what will be an annual survey. The assessment is based on 51 worldview questions, examining both beliefs and behavior, which were provided to a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults.

Barna has called the research the “most sophisticated nationwide survey of worldview conducted in the United States.” Results include the following:

  • Although 7 out of 10 Americans consider themselves to be Christian, just 6% actually possess a biblical worldview.
  • Just one-fifth of those attending evangelical Protestant churches (21%) have a biblical worldview, as compared to one-sixth of those attending charismatic or Pentecostal churches (16%). The study finds even smaller proportions in mainline Protestant (8%) or Catholic (1%) churches.
  • The number of American adults holding a biblical worldview has declined by 50% over the past quarter century.
  • Regarding the youngest adult generation, the numbers are even more startling. A mere 2% of those 18 to 29 years old possess a biblical worldview.

“The fact that fewer than one out of five born-again adults hold a biblical worldview highlights the extensive decline of core Christian principles in America,” Barna said.

Among the differentiating factors between the new study and previous research, he noted, is the more robust measurement of action.

“In the American Worldview Inventory, we measure not just beliefs, but also the application of those beliefs—our behavior—because people do what they believe,” Barna added. “If you truly believe something, you integrate into how you live, and your lifestyle reflects those beliefs. As a result, our research always balances examining both what we believe to be true with how we translate such beliefs into action.”

Going forward, Barna will be a regular monthly guest on “Stand in the Gap Today.” He has filled executive roles in politics, marketing, advertising, media development, research and ministry. He founded the Barna Research Group in 1984 (now The Barna Group) and helped it become a leading marketing research firm focused on the intersection of faith and culture before selling it in 2009. He has written more than 50 books and his work is frequently cited as an authoritative source by the media.

 

Photo by Bill Oxford on Unsplash

How Do Americans Feel About the Church Experience?

Going to church on Sunday morning with family has been part of the American culture for generations. But Sunday morning traditions are changing, along with attitudes and habits, as well as wants and needs, regarding church attendance.

For these reasons, the American Pastors Network (APN) is particularly interested in new Barna Research on “Five Trends Defining Americans’ Relationship to Churches.” Some of the trends include “church hopping,” differing opinions on the value of church, expectations about the outcomes of going to church, the importance of church on younger generations and the perception of the Church’s relevance to the community.

APN President Sam Rohrer says the drastic changes in people’s connections to their churches dramatically impact pastors.

“Nearly every pastor in America will likely report that the nation’s ‘church culture’ has shifted significantly over the past 20 years,” Rohrer said. “No longer is a deep, family connection to a local church the norm. In a society where we experience on-demand technology and up-to-the-minute communication, the wants and needs of churchgoers have changed as well. This affects pastors, not only in how they lead and preach, but in how they work to engage people to spread the message of the Gospel.

“Because of these cultural shifts,” he added, “pastors experience challenges that are new and foreign to many of them. It can be a constant struggle to ‘figure out’ what people want when they attend church. What moves them to action and what causes them to stay and be engaged?”

For decades, Barna has conducted research specifically on churches and church leaders, uncovering what they and others believe about their role in the church, as well as shedding light on their concerns and aspirations for both the local church. The most recent study on trends is part of Barna’s State of the Church 2020 project, a year-long examination of the spiritual and religious trends that define American life.

The five uncovered trends include the following:

  1. Nearly 2 in 5 churchgoers report regularly attending multiple churches. Declining church loyalty—or “church hopping”—is becoming more common, Barna says. While a majority of churchgoers tends to stick with a single congregation (63% churched adults, 72% practicing Christians), a sizable minority is at least occasionally attending other churches, including nearly 2 in 5 churched adults (38%) and one-quarter of practicing Christians (27%).

 

  1. Churchgoers are divided on the value of church. Another element of the churchgoing landscape is the paradoxical perceptions that churchgoers hold of church itself, Barna reports. Says Barna President David Kinnaman, “Those who frequent worship services do so largely because of personal enjoyment, but many churchgoers also readily admit that they believe people are tired of church as usual.”

 

  1. Churchgoers experience—and have come to expect—positive emotions and outcomes by going to church. Overall, churched adults say they leave worship services feeling inspired (37%), encouraged (37%), forgiven (34%), as though they have connected with God or experienced his presence (33%) and challenged to change something in their life (26%), every time.

 

  1. Church membership is still a common practice and is correlated with positive outcomes—but its importance is declining among younger churchgoers. Of those who attend church at least every six months, a little over half (54%) report being an official member at their place of worship, with 37% reporting they regularly attend but are not members. Practicing Christians show deeper commitment, with 71% noting they are members and 26% claiming regular attendance without membership. Generationally, Boomers are more likely than both Gen X and millennials to be formal members of their congregation, with nearly 7 in 10 churched Boomers (68% vs. 48% churched millennials and 51% churched Gen X) confirming membership. Younger generations of churchgoers were also more likely to mention “not applicable,” which suggests that the category of membership isn’t even part of their church’s nomenclature.

 

  1. The perception of the Church’s relevance to the community is under question—especially among non-Christians. While practicing Christians firmly believe that Christian churches have a strong community impact (66% very positive, 28% somewhat positive), the rest of the U.S. population is not as sure. Only 27% agree that churches have a very positive impact—the same percentage who say it has no affect at all. Non-Christians, meanwhile, are inclined toward indifference (39% no impact) or more willing to see harm in churches’ local contributions (8% very negative, 10% somewhat negative). These numbers challenge the church’s place in society, Barna says.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

How Will Millennials Raise Children in Today’s Complex Culture?

What’s on the heart of America’s pastors? What are their concerns, fears, worries and aspirations for their churches?

New Barna research sheds light on these very questions, and the American Pastors Network (APN) is using the information to get a better sense of the priorities of the pastors they serve.

The research found that of all pastoral concerns, the top—at 51%—was reaching a younger audience.

APN President Sam Rohrer says this revealing response is likely due to several reasons.

“It’s not surprising that pastors are most concerned about reaching the young generation,” Rohrer said. “From a very practical standpoint, they are the future of the church. They will be making business, education and political decisions for years to come. Secondly, additional Barna research shows that the number of millennials who hold a biblical worldview is miniscule, at just 4%. Therefore, there’s an urgency to bring this young generation back into the church’s fold and to equip them with the tools needed to know their own faith and share it with others. And third, pastors have the serious task of ministering to young adults who are raising children of their own in a very complex culture. As these young families grow, a biblical worldview and sound faith is of utmost importance.”

For decades, Barna has conducted research specifically on U.S. church leaders, uncovering what they and others believe about their role in the church, as well as shedding light on their concerns and aspirations for both the local church and the church in the U.S.

The recent findings are part of Barna’s State of the Church 2020 project, which discovered the following insights when presented with a list of possible challenges facing their church today:

  • Half of Protestant pastors noted that “reaching a younger audience” (51%) is a major issue for their ministry. Just over one-third of pastors (34%) marks this statement as a top three concern for their church, with 12% noting it as the top concern.
  • Half of pastors also agree that “declining or inconsistent outreach and evangelism” is a major issue facing their local church (50%). Of all the pastors who affirm this statement, 2 in 5 (40%) say it falls within their top three concerns, with 14% agreeing it is their largest concern.
  • “Low spiritual maturity among churchgoers” (27% in 2017 vs. 8% in 1992) has been an increasing pain point for pastors over the years. Meanwhile, the practice of evangelism has fallen out of favor even with young adults who are practicing Christians.
  • Overall, other top concerns include “declining or inconsistent volunteering” (36%), “stagnating spiritual growth” (34%), “declining attendance” (33%), “biblical illiteracy” (29%), “declining or unpredictable giving patterns” (28%), “lack of leadership training and development” (23%), “not reflecting the demographic of the community” (21%) and “divisions within the church” (12%).

Five Moral Principles of Marriage for National Marriage Week

For Christians, says American Pastors Network  President Sam Rohrer, defending marriage between one man and one woman may seem easy. Whether examined historically, physiologically, emotionally, economically or morally, biblical marriage is best.

“But the moral argument is strongest because it precedes and underpins all others,” Rohrer says.

As the nation observes National Marriage Week Feb. 7-14, APN hopes all couples—married or soon-to-be-married—will consider five moral principles of marriage that Christians must not only understand and live out but also nurture and defend in the culture.

  1. Marriage is God’s idea.
    God’s plan is best because God alone is Truth, Creator and Judge.

“Our opinion on marriage doesn’t really matter,” Rohrer says. “We have no vote, but we do have a choice. As the Source of all Authority, God’s plan for male and female, marriage, human sexuality, children and family prevails. Only He has the right to legitimately define it and to demand that we observe it.”

  1. God’s plan establishes biblical marriage as foundational for strong families.
    Biblical marriage is the cornerstone of authority in human society.

“God’s foundation for societal order is upheld first by the pillar of family authority, then civil, then church authority—all nurtured by God’s purpose and limitation for each,” notes Rohrer. “No nation can be blessed by God without strong families. No family can be strong without a strong marriage at the center. And no marriage can be strong without following God’s plan for marriage.”

  1. No other combination besides one man and one woman works in God’s plan.
    This principle presumes one man and one woman, united and committed, as one flesh—before God.

“Therefore,” Roher adds, “no government possesses the authority to legally alter or redefine marriage or family. It has no more moral or jurisdictional authority to redefine marriage than to declare natural law invalid or declare immoral actions, such as theft, murder or rape, moral.”

  1. To preserve the integrity of marriage and the family, it must be kept holy. 
    Heterosexual infidelity, sex outside marriage, homosexuality or marriage between multiple men or woman all violate God’s order.

“No violation or variation of marriage or engagement in human sexuality, other than within the bounds of marriage between one man and one woman, is acceptable without bringing predictable consequences to individuals, communities and nations,” Rohrer says.

  1. Ephesians 5 gives truth about marriage.
    God declares that physical marriage between one man and one woman is holy and mirrors the spiritual relationship between Christ and the Church.

“God’s plan of redemption through Jesus Christ and His relationship to the church is the picture of true love and unity between God and man—and why all efforts to redefine God’s design is a direct attack on God Himself, His plan of redemption and Jesus Christ,” Rohrer concludes.

Rohrer adds that the American Pastors Network emphasizes the authority of Scripture for deciding all issues, including marriage, and urges pastors and parents to defend and live out God’s model in their pulpits and in their homes.

In this vein, APN hopes thousands will join the ministry for its national prayer movement called “52 Tuesdays,” in which the faithful from around the country will come together to pray for the moral and spiritual renewal of our nation every Tuesday leading up to Election Day 2020.

This dedicated season of prayer not only addresses the important 2020 presidential election but also other topics close to Christians’ hearts, such as marriage and family. Prayer warriors nationwide can add their name to the growing “52 Tuesdays” list here.

‘Stand in the Gap’ Television Show from American Pastors Network Now Airing on Pure Flix

The “Stand in the Gap” television program from the American Pastors Network, which is already reaching millions of potential viewers on several networks, is now available to about a quarter of a million additional households after debuting on the Christian entertainment streaming service Pure Flix on Feb. 1.

“Stand in the Gap TV” considers transcending complex and divisive cultural issues, seemingly difficult to navigate, from a biblical worldview perspective while bringing clarity to cultural confusion and making sense of the nonsense around us.

APN President Sam Rohrer and “Stand in the Gap TV” co-host said the new platform allows many more faith-minded families to consider cultural issues from a biblical perspective.

“The American Pastors Network is thrilled, humbled and honored that our ‘Stand in the Gap TV’ program now has the opportunity to reach so many more Christian families through Pure Flix,” Rohrer said. “Families with a biblical worldview are searching for programming that will strengthen their faith and help them to defend their beliefs on a variety of issues in our complex culture. We give God all the glory for opening doors to grow ‘Stand in the Gap’ programming through the American Pastors Network.”

The first “Stand in the Gap TV” series available on Pure Flix will be episodes in the “Crisis: Immigration” series, which began streaming Feb. 1. This series that focuses this misunderstood and emotional issue—one that is no longer political but also religious—may be found in the “Recently Added” lineup of programming or subscribers may search for “Stand in the Gap.”

Additional “Stand in the Gap TV” series to air on Pure Flix will include the following:

  • “The Battle For Israel”—Feb. 15
  • “Islam in America”—March 1
  • “Prayer & American Revival”—April 1

Besides the “Stand in the Gap TV” programming, Pure Flix will air “Stand in the Gap Minute” videos weekly on its Facebook Watch and Facebook Uplift & Serve pages. Viewers will be pointed toward the PureFlix.com home page to watch the videos with short snippets of biblical truth on a variety of topics.

Pure Flix’s mix of family-friendly and Christian entertainment includes movies for all ages, kid’s animated titles, documentaries, inspirational and much more. All titles are delivered in the highest resolution possible with a user-friendly experience on a variety of devices. Learn more about a free trial of Pure Flix here.

Pastors and Churches Must Understand Biblical and Moral Responsibility of Safety

In the wake of a tragic church shooting in Texas just after Christmas that left a congregation and a community devastated, many churches are beginning the new year on a somber note when it comes to considering safety and security.

Following other sad and shocking acts of violence in churches over recent years, the American Pastors Network (APN), the largest national network dedicated to equipping pastors to be a voice for truth in the public square, took a lead in helping pastors and church leaders work through a perplexing societal problem.

“Unfortunately, church security is now a pressing matter in our nation,” said APN President Sam Rohrer. “No longer can we fully count on the peaceful and serene sanctuary of the church. It’s clear that those with evil intentions, whether against the church itself or those inside, have sought to steal and kill and destroy, as we witnessed at West Freeway Church of Christ in a Fort Worth, Texas, suburb. We live in a culture where our churches must seriously think about how to keep people safe. Just as a shepherd carries a staff to guard his sheep, so must every pastor employ ways to protect his flock.”

Rohrer and other APN leaders have developed 10 recommendations for churches to consider when it comes to the important matter of church security.

  1. Understand the biblical and moral responsibility of safety. It is the duty of pastors and church leadership to do all they can to protect the lives of those in the congregation.
  2. Develop and train a security team. Dedicate certain individuals, whether staff or volunteers, to undertake the important issue of security. Train these personnel how to identify potential threats and how to de-escalate potential threat situations. During services or functions, outfit the team in plain clothes.
  3. Perform a risk assessment. Where is the church vulnerable in its facility and grounds? Consider a community threat assessment as well.
  4. Implement security protocols. Consider these suggestions: 1) Lock doors after services begin; 2) Post security team members at entrances; 3) Conduct a regular, annual re-assessment of the security plan.

 

  1. Install security cameras. Consider video surveillance to document and record potential threats or incidents.

 

  1. Establish a medical response team. Mobilize medical personnel already within the congregation who can take action if injuries ever occur.

 

  1. Evaluate the legal parameters for security measures. Research insurance requirements and conduct a liability assessment. Identify state civil laws regarding security measures, which can vary from state to state.

 

  1. Create an evacuation plan. Be sure the security team knows how to best evacuate churchgoers of all ages and mobility ranges, and consider creating another key team to assist. Practice the plan through drills.

 

  1. Involve local law enforcement in the security plan. Tell local police departments and other emergency responders about the security plan, perhaps through an evening meeting. They may be able to offer additional suggestions or protocols.

 

  1. Communicate the new or existing security measures with the congregation. Members will appreciate knowing the church has a plan to keep them safe.

Photo by Sarah Noltner on Unsplash

American Pastors Network: Israel and U.S. Share Commonality of Political Turmoil

While many Americans dread the drama leading up to American presidential elections every four years, Israel is heading for its third election in less than one year.

And the American Pastors Network (APN) says the two nations currently share at least one commonality—political turmoil. APN follows news about Israel closely, especially as it relates to American politics and American Christians—and in light of the fact that Israel will be one of the most important 2020 election issues. In fact, APN focuses on Israel at least once a week on its daily “Stand in the Gap Today” radio program, which airs on about 400 stations nationwide, as well as addresses news coming out of the Middle East from a biblical and constitutional perspective.

“If we think Washington, D.C., and the American political system is in turmoil—and it is—the Israeli political system is perhaps in greater turmoil, having been unable to form a working parliament and now being forced to proceed to a third general national election in less than 12 months,” Rohrer said. “For Israel, however, this government crisis continues in the midst of imminent war with Iran and it’s coalition members. This developing situation is significant for Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu and the entire Middle East. Earlier this month, the world marked the two-year anniversary of President Trump declaring the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Linked together and with other facts, Biblical prophecy is literally coming alive before our eyes.”

Since the historic move in May 2018 to dissolve the parliament when Benjamin Netanyahu was unable to form a majority government, each succeeding month has been historic, Rohrer noted. Moving into a second election in September, then still unable to form a government, the nation now moves to a third election scheduled for March 2.

“What is also troubling,” Rohrer added, “is that Israel sits at the precipice of war with Iran and its Islamic neighbors, the acting prime minister is being hounded by his political enemies and is under indictment for bribery, and there is no one at the moment who seems posed to be able to rule the nation. Understanding that Israel is even in existence because of a miracle of God Himself, many may wonder if the disfunction and concerning status of the Israeli government is unknown to God. Unfortunately, there appears to be no reason to believe that another election will produce any different results. This is a serious and significant political crisis for Israel.”

Additionally, Rohrer said, Netanyahu’s enemies have seemed to fuel the current crisis with legal challenges and allegations of bribery against him. Yet, even in the midst of this, Netanyahu has been very bold and continues to warn the world about Iran.

According to The Times of Israel, Netanyahu said on Dec. 1, that “While the Iranian regime is killing its own people, European countries rush to support that very murderous regime.”

“The enemies of Israel—led by Iran—must be taking advantage of this situation,” Rohrer said. “Another report indicated that Iran is building massive tunnels in Syria for the storage of Iranian missiles. The Pentagon is also considering sending thousands more U.S. military personnel to the Syrian/Iraqi border to fortify resistance against Iranian expansion. This continued military build-up has both geo-political and prophetical meaning.”

With ongoing headlines from Israel, Rohrer added that American Christians should remain supportive of Israel and pray for peace.

“Christians should be more engaged, more passionate and more prayerful when it comes to Israel,” he added. “We know God draws people in and calls them to be involved and that the American connection to Israel is blessed by God. Therefore, we should also link these two nations together and their impending elections in prayer. If Christians don’t have a heart for Israel, they should. If they don’t have a heart for our own country, they should.”

American Pastors Network: God Calls Churches, Pastors and People in the Pews to ‘Stand in the Gap’ for Life

While Christians are called to protect God-given life every minute of every day, the month of January places an important, historical significance on this biblical charge. Since Jan. 22, 1973, when the landmark Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in America, upwards of 60 million babies have lost their lives.

During Sanctity of Human Life Month in January, the American Pastors Network (APN) is reminding churches, pastors and people in the pews of their responsibility to stand up for the unborn. After all, says APN President Sam Rohrer, Scripture reminds believers that a child is developed in God’s image at the point of conception.

“While politicians often debate pro-life laws based on the point of conception, Scripture reveals God’s view of life in its earliest words,” Rohrer said in this week’s “Stand in the Gap Minute” radio series. “Genesis 1:27 notes that God created people in His image. This includes life from the point of creation—or conception. The issue is not the timing at which life is sacred, but the fact that all human life is sacred from the moment of creation. For example, how many know that a newly developing child’s heartbeat exists at just 22 days? This is before most women even know they are pregnant. We dare not turn a blind eye to those created in God’s image. Rather, God’s Word repeatedly highlights the value of human life. We are created on purpose and for His purposes.”

Rohrer went onto say that this realization takes on a new meaning when humans are aware that God participated in every moment of their creation. The Christian foundation of the pro-life movement is based on God’s view of our lives, and Psalm 139 reveals key details.

“God ‘forms’ our inward parts,” Rohrer said. “He ‘knits’ us together in the womb. Verse 16 of this Psalm notes, ‘Your eyes saw my unformed substance.’ God’s view is exceedingly more detailed than the greatest ultrasound! Because God values our lives at such an early stage and with intricate detail, we can conclude we are to care for children in the womb with a similar attitude. The preborn child deserves our highest protection and greatest devotion. 

“Therefore, God’s people must not grow weary in standing for life,” he added. “We must take a clear stand for those whose lives need our help the most. Likewise in Scripture, Proverbs 31:8 commands us to ‘Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.’ Though the original context addresses those in poverty, the principle also applies to protecting preborn children from abortion. These children cannot speak for themselves—but we can and must! When we are afraid or doubtful that our voices don’t matter, we must reconsider. Every time we speak up, we give another child a better chance to live. Yes, God is calling us to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.”

Rohrer also noted that even though upwards of 60 million American children have been murdered in the security of their mother’s womb since Roe v. Wade—or one abortion every 30 seconds—some good news has emerged. Between 2011 and 2017, the number of abortions declined by 19% in the United States.

“One important factor is the number of local volunteers serving in pregnancy care centers,” Rohrer added. “Despite little change at the federal level during this time, individuals across our nation have helped mothers facing difficult pregnancy situations. It reminds me of the woman who anointed Jesus with oil. Though others mocked her, Jesus responded, ‘She did what she could.’ When you and I ‘do what we can’ to save lives, our seemingly small actions result in tremendous impact. How we live today matters, and God’s Word indicates our action is vital.”

Rohrer concluded by pointing to Jeremiah 1, where God called the prophet with the words, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.”

“God has a plan for our lives,” Rohrer said. “However, the scourge of abortion continues to destroy countless lives each year before they can impact our world. Who knows how many scientists, artists, ministers and other world leaders have disappeared through legalized murder? We dare not passively watch as our nation continues to destroy those created in His image. Indecision is a decision to allow abortion to continue. Yet we can serve together to make a difference. God’s people must lead the way in saving lives. Don’t wait. Lives are counting on it.”

Photo by Chayene Rafaela on Unsplash

3 Blessings from God in 2019

While God’s blessings are immeasurable all throughout the year, the American Pastors Network (APN) is looking back on three particular areas where the Lord has guided the ministry and allowed it to make nationwide impact.

President Sam Rohrer said APN has watched God move in profound ways in 2019.

“The way the Lord has guided the American Pastors Network has been an incredible yearlong journey, and we sincerely hope this will be an encouragement to all to trust Him more deeply in 2020,” he said. “What began less than a decade ago as a ministry of support and encouragement to pastors in my home state of Pennsylvania has become something far beyond any personal expectation.”

First, God blessed the ministry through far-reaching radio impact.

“By God’s grace,” Rohrer said, “our ‘Stand in the Gap’ radio programs are aired on over 700 different stations nationwide, reaching millions of listeners with programming that cuts through the shrill noise of our culture with commentary that reassures listeners so they can ‘look up’ in times like these.”

APN’s daily radio program, Stand in the Gap Today,” airs live from noon to 1 p.m. ET, when Rohrer and his co-hosts invite cultural experts to the show and discuss a variety of pressing topics and headlines from a biblical and constitutional perspective. Archived programs can be viewed herefind a station here. Rohrer also hosts the daily short radio feature, “Stand in the Gap Minute” and “best of” shows from the week are broadcast on “Stand in the Gap Weekend.”

Second, God gave APN an unprecedented platform that has provided hundreds of thousands of television viewers with 30 minutes of weekly, challenging programming with “Stand in the Gap TV.”

“In early 2020, APN will make a major announcement that many of our ‘best of’ programs will be given nationwide placement to some 1 million television subscribers,” Rohrer shared.

Stand in the Gap TV,” reaching millions of potential viewers on several networks, considers transcending cultural issues, seemingly difficult to navigate, from a biblical worldview perspective while bringing clarity to cultural confusion and making sense of the nonsense around us. Each week, “Stand in the Gap TV” focuses on root problems and applies biblical principles so God’s people can know the truth.

Third, with APN’s firm belief in God’s power to heal and restore our nation, the ministry has launched a nationwide plan to enlist 10,000 prayer warriors to commit to praying every Tuesday until Election Day 2020 for the moral and spiritual renewal of America.

“APN invites all to add their names to the roster and begin receiving specific prayer requests and updates on this ‘52 Tuesdays’ initiative,” Rohrer said. “Prayer is the answer, and we’re expecting God to move mountains through Christians’ prayer commitment with the American Pastors Network through November 2020.”

“52 Tuesdays” is a dedicated season of prayer for the important 2020 presidential election. APN is encouraging prayer warriors nationwide to add their name to the growing “52 Tuesdays” list.

Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

Why Do Young People Participate in Church and What’s Missing? Their Answers May Surprise You

Politicians, professors and pastors have all spent considerable time trying to figure out the hearts and minds of millennials—how they will vote, how they relate to the culture and how they worship.

Now, a new Barna study sheds some light on why young adults participate in a community of worship and what they feel is missing from church.

The American Pastors Network (APN) is particularly intrigued by the survey because of the ministry’s interest in the future of the Christian church in America.

APN President Sam Rohrer said the need for pastors to understand millennials is crucial.

“Most pastors realize our nation is in trouble,” Rohrer said. “Without a doubt, it’s divided. The enemy is within the gate, trying to collapse our current administration and destroy our constitution, but when we learn that 4% of millennials hold a biblical worldview so necessary to supporting a constitutional republic here in the United States, the concern, in many regards, is even greater. This issue of millennials and millennial values is paramount in the country, so studies like these help us focus on exactly where the opportunities as well as the problems lie.”

The Barna survey of over 15,000 18- to 35-year-olds across 25 countries found that about 6 in 10 Christians in the study say they participate in their community of worship to grow in their faith (63%) and learn about God (61%). Other motivations also relate to relevant teachings (40%), wisdom for how to live faithfully (39%) or wisdom for applying scriptures (35%). This desire for spiritual instruction persists even though 4 in 10 Christians in this age group (39%) say they have already learned most of what they need to know about faith, and nearly half (47%) say church teachings have flaws or gaps. Others attend for the worship and music (37%), sacraments (14%), or readings and recitations (15%), while still others cite obligation as a reason to attend.

But a relatively surprising factor may be that young people say the top thing missing from their church experience is having their friends in attendance.

While the majority of responses isn’t as large as the reasons for church attendance, nearly one-fifth (18%) said their friends are absent from their church experience. “This may be partly due to the fact that religious affiliation and engagement has generally declined among younger adults, particularly in secular contexts—but regardless of the religious climate in which these Christians live, friends are still identified as the main thing missing,” Barna reported. Relatedly, social gatherings outside of services (14%), relationship workshops (14%) or support groups (13%) are also among the top things lacking from young Christians’ church experiences.

Rohrer works closely with “Stand in the Gap TV” co-host and millennial pastor Isaac Crockett, and the two will be discussing APN’s new yearlong “52 Tuesdays” prayer initiative—a dedicated season of prayer for the important 2020 presidential election now less than a year away. The weekly television program reaches millions of potential viewers on several networks.

Especially as young Americans will be concerned with the election, APN is encouraging prayer warriors nationwide to add their name to the growing “52 Tuesdays” list and join APN’s Stand in the Gap Today” radio co-hosts from noon to 1 p.m. EST on local stations each Tuesday or by tuning in live online. During the final segment of each Tuesday program, listeners can pray with the hosts, as well as during their own prayer time.

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