I see two reasons this first point is developing: (1) Unbelievers don't know to read the Word, and (2) believers don't know to read the Word. Unbelievers (as I once was) don't realize the Bible has a message. They really believe it is a nice book to be respected; but overall they have no idea why. Believers who ignore the Word (as I once did) do so because man's traditions have blurred Holy Truth. We struggle to see His thoughts for the bombarding of historical figures (past and recent) who had large (self)authoritarian voices.
Preachers, teachers, elders, and parents, we will do well to heed Barna's observations. The Group is giving us a clue...an important clue. Stay with the Word.
FYI, the other five of the megathemes are:
- Christians are becoming more ingrown and less outreach-oriented.
- Growing numbers of people are less interested in spiritual principles and more desirous of learning pragmatic solutions for life.
- Among Christians, interest in participating in community action is escalating.
- The postmodern insistence on tolerance is winning over the Christian Church.
- The influence of Christianity on culture and individual lives is largely invisible.