Friday, August 03, 2007

A Roman Catholic Observation of the House Church Movement

Researcher says mainline US denominations losing members to “new form of church”

Is there a “transformation shift” going on in American Christianity? George Barna, founding director of the Barna Group, a Ventura-based firm that researches religious trends, says there is. “We predict that by the year 2025 the market share of conventional churches will be cut in half,” he told the July 23 Los Angeles Times. “People are creating a new form of church, and it’s really exciting.”

Barna has written a book, Revolution, about this “new form of church,” which goes by various names -- house church, living room church, underground church – but basically marks a departure of many Christians from conventional church structures, such as parishes or the mega-church. People gather in homes in small groups averaging anywhere from a dozen to twice that number, where they worship, pray, and engage in Bible reading. A 2006 Barna Group survey estimated that 9% of U.S. adults attend house churches every week, nine times the number that did so in the 1990s

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