Who are you talking to when you flip open the mic or type a thought on social media? Current research provides some interesting facts on American's faith and practices. Here's a glimpse of our audience:
1) American = Christian. Kind of. According to Christianity Today (The Exchange, 2/14/17), about half of Americans call themselves Christians … but it's just a title. Only about 25-percent of the population calls itself Christian and lives like it. Note: Pew Research finds the number higher – 71% refer to themselves as Christian. (4/26/17)
2) Christians love Jesus, but not the Church. The latest Barna Group research finds that many American Christians believe faith is important, but haven't been to church in the past six months.
3) People still think of Clergy in positive terms. Sixty-six percent of Americans feel religious leaders bring value to the public. (Barna Group, 3/16/17)
4) More education = less religion? A new report from Pew Research finds that only 46% of college grads say religion is “very important” in their lives, while 58% of high-school-only grads say it is “very important.” (In America, Does More Education Mean Less Religion? Pew Research, 4/26/17)
5) Americans are more positive toward religion today than just a few years ago. Jews, Catholics and Mainline Protestants enjoy the highest ratings, while Evangelical Christianity and Hinduism are close behind. (Americans Express Increasingly Warm Feelings Toward Religious Groups, Pew Research, 2/15/17)
What can you do with this reasearch? View it as a tool to help find content that will connect with people who are aware of – and in some cases – connected to Christianity … but may not have realized the power of the Gospel and the realities of the risen Christ. As a media personality, you may be able to reach people who may not respond to a more “formal” presentation of the Gospel. So use this platform to support our churches and show our audience the difference Christ can make in our lives. Be relevant. Be real. And shine a light.