Huge Financial Scandal Uncovered
In December 2003 the Barna Research Group released a study that found only 4% of Americans hold a biblical worldview. That equates to about 4,000,000 of 108,000,000 men 15 years of age and older (unadjusted for gender).
How did it come to pass that only 4% of Americans hold a biblical worldview? How is that possible? Given the billions of dollars spent each year to advance and maintain Christianity, how could that happen? Given that nearly 40% of Americans claim to be born again, how could this be?
What Is The Problem?
Picture the disciple-making effectiveness of a church on a continuum. On one end of the continuum is a church making no disciples. On the other end of the continuum is a church that disciples everyone. Mentally put an “x” where your church stands…
If we had an “x” for all 350,000 churches in America, we would expect to see a normal bell curve distribution like this…
Unfortunately, that is not what we find. Instead, only 16% of churched people are in discipleship [69% in small groups and 20% in Sunday school] (Barna, 2000). Assuming about 39,000,000 men in church, 16% equates to about 6,000,000 men in discipleship (the 16% figure does not adjust for gender).
So how does it happen that only 4% have a biblical worldview? It’s simple cause and effect: Only 6,000,000 men are in discipleship, so only 4,000,000 men have a biblical worldview. Makes perfect sense. So regrettably, the distribution we find is not normal. It is skewed….
That only 4% of Americans have a biblical worldview, given the billions of dollars spent by the church every year, amounts to a financial scandal of unprecedented proportion. What have we (the church) been doing with all the money? What has the church been doing with all the paid and volunteer man hours? It’s obvious that whatever we have been doing, it hasn’t been making disciples!
What Can We Do About It?
If you think like a businessman, you can see a tremendous opportunity here! The church has been “under-managed” in disciple-making. It should be ripe for a turnaround. Small efforts should produce disproportionately large gains. There should be a pent up demand of people who want to be disciples.
Can you think of any greater need in the church than for a discipleship reformation? We need Christian leaders and entrepreneurs to see, and seize, the opportunity to bring a discipleship reformation to the church.
SUGGESTION: Print this email for your leadership team or small group and answer these discussion questions:
1. “That only 4% of Americans have a biblical worldview, given the billions of dollars spent by the church every year, amounts to a financial scandal of unprecedented proportion.” AGREE/DISAGREE. Explain your answer.
2. How effective is your church in making disciples who hold a biblical world view? How can you improve?
For the glory of Christ and no other reason,