There’s nothing quite like a dreary Barna Group research report to put a damper on one’s day. I started reading the “Six Megathemes Emerge from Barna Group Research in 2010” study hoping that the megathemes would be positive, not a total downer. But this isn’t the case. I know that research is research, but still, it puts a damper on the “Christmas cheer” and anticipation of Jesus’ birth that Christmas is all about. If anything these themes inspire me to do more to tell people about my faith and encourage them to ask questions about who God is.

The report starts off with a bang, “1. The Christian Church is becoming less theologically literate.” Then delivers a one-two punch, “2. Christians are becoming more ingrown and less outreach-oriented.” Number 3 isn’t much better, “3. Growing numbers of people are less interested in spiritual principles and more desirous of learning pragmatic solutions for life.”

Fortunately, number four is encouraging: “4. Among Christians, interest in participating in community action is escalating.” I’ve seen this point true in my own church and community as people have banded together to support helping victims of the sex-trafficking industry through the Courage to be You nonprofit.

Number five is not surprising, “5. The postmodern insistence on tolerance is winning over the Christian Church.”

But number six is a whammy, “6. The influence of Christianity on culture and individual lives is largely invisible.”

I would encourage you to read the full report and pray about these issues that face today’s Church. How can we rally and make these “megathemes” a call to action? How can we aim to do more to share the love of Christ and turn people toward the Gospel message of redemption and hope? Prayer, prayer, and more prayer. God bless.