A nationwide survey conducted by the USA based Barna Research group indicates that the number of unchurched adults in America continues to grow by nearly a million people annually. Interestingly, many of these unchurched people are spiritually active. One out of every five reads the Bible in a typical week; six out of ten pray to God each week; and nearly one million unchurched adults tithe their income - that is, donate at least 10% of their annual household revenue to non-profit entities.
The religious media play a part in their spiritual life, too, with four out of ten absorbing Christian content through television, radio, magazines or faith-based websites during a typical month. In addition, one-quarter of them have conversations with one or more friends who held them accountable for carrying out their faith principles.
Having studied church attendance patterns for more than twenty years, researcher George Barna suggests that the consistent resistance to church life in recent years is indicative of a historic shift in the nation's spiritual vision. "A large and growing number of Americans who avoid congregational contact are not rejecting Christianity as much as they are shifting how they interact with God and people in a strategic effort to have a more fulfilling spiritual life. This suggests that we are on the precipice of a new era of spiritual experience and expression."
Barna expects the percentage of adults who are unchurched to grow during the coming decade. "However, the emergence of a national body of spiritual leaders who are assisting unchurched people in their quest for spiritual depth through means and relationships that are outside the usual institutional vehicles is significant. We anticipate substantial growth in the number of people who are not connected to a congregational church but who are committed to God and to their faith."