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New Study; The Link between Fun, Family and Faith, Barna Group

A new study from the Barna Group reveals the secret to having fun in our families. The Barna Group worked with Lutheran Hour Ministries for this study, and they call the study the link between fun and faith in our homes. In this study they have interviewed only Christian families and what they do and how they live in their households. They found out that the families who prioritized quality time and those that prioritize faith were connected.

The Barna Group says that families that are active like welcoming guests, watching TV, sharing breakfast, and other activities or routines are common in homes that also take the time to read the Bible, pray or talk about God. Today many households are divided because they have so many personal and business distractions, so they don’t have the time to spend together. There is a much higher percentage of Christians who participate in prayer, reading the Bible and spiritual conversation while at the same time having a high percentage of spending time together like eating dinner. You can see in the graph below the importance of spending quality time with our families.

We need to have intimacy and relationship in our family which is a springboard to be able to talk about spiritual things. If we want to hold on to family, we need to hold on to God! We must invite Him into our home, and we also need to look at what we are allowing in our home. There are things that we may need to get out of our home so that the Lord can dwell with our family and us.

The Barna Group continues the study developing a custom metric by showing key behaviors like spiritual practices defined here as praying every day or two and reading the Bible weekly all together. Spiritual conversations defined here as talking about God and faith at least weekly all together. Hospitality defined here as welcoming non-family guests regularly, or at least several times a month

Based on these metrics, we created four key categories to describe practicing Christian households: Vibrant (25%), Devotional (33%), Hospitable (14%) and Dormant (28%).

Vibrant households stand out from the other groups in a range of behaviors—including in their commitment to togetherness and play. They have meaningful, fun, quality time with both their housemates and extended household members (which often include children). In fact, half call their household atmosphere “playful.” Every day or so, members of Vibrant households come together for games (32%), singing (31%), reading books (26%) or playing sports together (23%). They share meals (63% eat breakfast together, and 75% eat dinner together) as well as their feelings (59%) on almost a daily basis. Vibrancy also correlates with group discipline, like working on the house or yard together (34% every day or two) or hosting household or family meetings (68%).

“Devotional households, relatively distributed across different types of living arrangements, are not far behind, re-emphasizing the strong connection between housemates who are intentional about faith activities and housemates who are intentional about any activity. One-quarter plays games and sings together (23%), and one-fifth (21%) reads books together, though just 12 percent of Devotional households play sports together. While Devotional groups stop short of inviting others into their household, they do choose to go out to gather regularly with their church community (84% and 83%, respectively, attend church weekly).

“Hospitable households align closely with other spiritually Vibrant traits. By definition, these two groups regularly welcome others into their homes several times a month, whether close friends (56% Vibrant, 58% Hospitable) or neighbors (28% and 26%, respectively). Christians in Hospitable households, one-fifth of which live with roommates, are less interactive with those who actually share their homes (17% play games together, 12% sing together, 10% read together), but they are still very likely to report having “friends who feel like family” (86%).

“Dormant households, which see a large share of roommate contexts or couples living alone, are least associated with either fun or faith formation. They are significantly less likely than the other groups to play games (9%), sing (5%), read books (5%) or play sports together (3%). And though a majority (68%) says they have close friends in their life who feel like family, they are still the group least likely to maintain this strong sense of community.”

Many people are looking for family so much so that many businesses are setting up their stores to look like a living room. As the Church, we need to be the example of family for the world by being a successful family; we must have God in the center of our lives. Also, as the Church, we are called to share our lives! We can eat together, do life together, and serve each other! At VFN Dream Center that is what we do! We do life together including every month we come together and eat and fellowship at a monthly gathering outside of us meeting every Sunday. We want to invite you to join us if you are in the Gulf Coast area and you can also join us live online Sunday! Find out more HERE!

“Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.” 1 Thessalonians 2:8

We must lay our lives down for one another because it is important for a family to thrive by everyone serving each other. We can’t be self-focused! Maybe you have noticed when we get self-focused the more miserable, we get. Let’s step outside of ourselves, our agenda and deny ourselves and live for our family; our physical and spiritual family. How does this impact your life? Where do you see yourself and your family according to these statistics? We want to hear from you! Write to us at [email protected]. Greg and John shared in this segment.

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