A new Barna survey for the American Bible Society shows 47% of adults in the U.S. believe the Bible has too little influence in society today; 16% believe it has too much influence.
However, about half the population also sees little difference between the Bible and other religious texts: 46% believe the Bible, the Koran, and the Book of Mormon are different expressions of the same spiritual truths.
The number of people who actually read the Bible has declined: 55% read the Bible to be closer to God, down from 64% in 2011.
Older people are more likely than younger adults to hold the Bible in high regard. Asked whether they believe the Bible contains everything a person needs to know about living a meaningful life,
- 62% of seniors (over age 65) agreed
- 54% of boomers (age 47 to 65)
- 44% of busters (28 to 46)
- 34% of millennials (18 to 27)
Turns out 'one' is not the loneliest number, it's multiplying rapidly. And presenting new challenges to churches built on a 'family' model.
• 32.7 million Americans live alone, up from 4 million in 1950.
• Half are between 35 and 64; one-third are 65 or older.
• The most 'single' cities: Cleveland, Denver, San Francisco, and Seattle, with 40% or more of adults living alone. But the 4-in-10 ratio is common in many places across the nation.
"The rise of living alone represents the greatest social change of the last 60 years that we have failed to name or identify. This is like finding an island—an island with a society that nobody had studied before," says NYU sociologist Eric Kleinenberg.
Single people are indispensible to our economy, he says. "They go out into the world like no one else does, and they spend time and money in bars and restaurants and cafes, in gyms and clubs. They are the ones most likely to go to public events."
But do they go to church?
For church leaders: How will we find and connect with single people? If only one-sixth of those living alone are under age 35, why do 'singles' ministries target mostly young adults? How will we get this potentially great force working in the Kingdom?