Don’t Miss These Two Huge Barna Findings for Small Group Ministries

I tweeted the link to Barna’s July 31st report yesterday.  I’m not going to go into the whole report here, but I wanted to point out two huge findings in their latest research.

The report compares “Americans’ descriptions of themselves from the early 2000s until now, illuminating how much American life has changed in the past decade, and how Americans see themselves moving forward into the future.”

There are many fascinating details in the report, but there are two related findings we dare not miss:

  • Ten years ago, 10% of Americans saw themselves as lonely.  Today, that number has doubled.
  • The desire to find a few good friends has also increased and in certain key demographics there has been an even larger increase.

Think about the implications of those two findings.  And you might think, well the loneliness number only moved from 10 to 20%, but think about it doubling in 10 years!  That is a huge statistical move with real challenges and opportunities for all of us.

Here are two paragraphs you’ll want to read:

One of the greatest self-perception changes over the past decade is in how Americans see themselves in relation to others. For all the technological advances in the past decade, the desire for human connectedness remains. Ten years ago, slightly over one out of 10 Americans self-identified as lonely. Today, that number has doubled—a paradoxical reality in the full swing of the social media age.

But while loneliness among Americans has risen, the desire to find one’s place among a few good friends has likewise increased—from 31% a decade ago to 37% today. Leading this charge today in finding friendship are Millennials (47%), Hispanics (47%) and never-married single adults (44%)—all higher than the national average.

You can read the full article right here and you should because there are a number of other findings that should influence our work.  A decreased commitment to getting ahead in life, an increased concern about the future, an increase in serious debt, and increased stress should all be on our radar.  Read the rest of the article right here.

What do you think?  Have a question?  You can click here to jump into the conversation.

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