The conservative research and polling group, Barna, have encountered a separate group of folks in the US who do not attend church. We are most all aware of the group Spiritual, but Not Religious (SBNR). The largest segment of the folks that identifies as SBNR are the Millenials. However, the Millennials have dropped out of most religions, not just Christianity. But the Barna Group has found that there is another group of unchurched folks and they are not Millennials and they are not SBNRs. Have you heard of the group that Love Jesus, but Not the Church (LJNC)?
Barna Group developed research/polling tools to use in our increasingly secular culture where almost 50% don’t affiliate with the Church. There is a group out there in the US who have religious beliefs and aren’t affiliating with churches. They believe in God and practice their faith on their own, apart from the Church. The largest cohort in this group of LJNC are the Baby Boomers, followed by the Gen Xers, and the majority of them are women. (See above.)
If you go over to the Barna Group website, the report is easy to read and the findings are mapped out in attractive, easy to understand graphics. It is a fascinating read! And perhaps it has food for thought for those who are among us who seek to attract folks to the Church. Or in this case, back to the Church.
One area that I was particularly interested in was the spiritual practices of the LJNC folks. The findings point to these folks shunning the authoritative sources of religious faith, such as the Bible or religious books, but incorporating a number of informal practices into their lives.
The full report is available at the Barna Group. The charts are from the report.