"Significant increase in out-of-church Christianity." Barna
This was sent to my by Andy Zoppelt, some of which was printed in Charisma:
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...
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."
One more confirmation of this... We received some unasked for help from a local Christian radio station on the upcoming House Church Conference. This broadcaster, who personally attends a traditional church, told us why he wanted to help out. He said that the vision of their radio station is to connect people with God, AND to connect people into fellowship with other believers. Through their ministry, they have become intensely aware that there is a growing segment of Christians who have been to church for years and yet are no longer finding satisfaction being connected to a typical congregation, AND there is a large segment of younger people who are spiritually seeking but have absolutely no interest in stepping through the doors of any type of organized church. This broadcaster felt that the simple/house church movement was a significant alternative that could assist them (the radio station) in their vision of effectively connecting people into fellowship.