A recent Barna survey found that only 25% of “practicing Christians” live in households that they termed “spiritually vibrant.”
As a part of a new “Household of Faith” report Barna partnered with the Lutheran Hour Ministries and surveyed 2,347 adults and teens who claimed to be practicing Christian. Their goal was to determine how families practiced their faith together, and not just as individuals.
Those surveyed said “their faith is very important in their lives and have attended a worship service within the past month.” The Barna survey identified three elements that classified a home as “spiritually vibrant.”
1. Spiritual practices which were defined “as praying every day or two together and reading the Bible weekly, together.”
2. Spiritual conversations which meant “talking about God together at least weekly.”
3. Hospitality, defined as “welcoming non-family guests regularly, or at least several times a month.”
Of course, Christianity is defined more broadly by the Barna Group that we would define it Biblically. But the survey does raise an important question for all us to claim to have a Christian home. Is Your Home Spiritually Vibrant?
Vibrant is defined as active. Dynamic. Energetic. Vital. And stimulating. The Bible teaches that our faith is to be vibrant.
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says” (Jas 1:21)
“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” (Jas 2:26).
“Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds” (Heb 10:24).
“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (1 Cor 15:58).
Sometimes we read these passage in an abstract way. Or in a vacuum. And speak of them as pertaining to the “work of the Church.” Yet, the church is composed of individual Christians. And the home is made of up of individuals. So, shouldn’t active, vital faith be practiced in the home?
Christianity ought to begin in the home. In was in the home that I first learned about God. Was taught to pray. Learned respect for authority. Developed self-discipline. Was instructed in righteousness. And observed what a Christian marriage is all about.
I also learned that life isn’t always fair. Problems, difficulties, and troubles come with the territory. Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I learned how to accept adversity and cope with it.
My parents not only taught what was right, but modeled it in daily living. A day never passed without hearing my Dad pray. He took seriously the command, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph 6:4).
Bible lessons were a priority before play time. And worship was not something we attended a time or two a month. Sunday morning and evening worship as well Wednesday Bible study were a regular part of our lives. Even on vacation. Attendance was never questioned.
But there was more than attendance. There was participation. Involvement. And engagement. Not only in the assembly itself, but in the activities in which we engaged throughout the week.
Guest were frequent in our home. All were welcome. Preachers. Elders. Deacons. More than once I can remember my father bringing home a visitor for Sunday dinner.
I know this is not everyone’s experience. And I feel bad for kids today who see their parents as “Sunday morning only” Christians. Where faith is not practiced, taught or shared throughout the week. In fact, I have seen the sad sight of a father sleeping during the worship service next to his wife and children. This unspoken message speaks louder than the preacher’s sermon to wide eyed little children.
Take a moment to stop and reflect. Think about your home. Your children. Your example. Your commitment to Christ. Your faith.
Is your home spiritually vibrant?
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman