Book Review: Households of Faith

Households of Faith by Barna Group

I blogged about a month ago about some new resources floating around my denomination that sparked my attention.  I ordered them and have finished the first part of them, this book Households of Faith.  It’s not so much a book as a collection of statistical data resulting from questions posed to 2347 practicing Christians.  The resulting data has been organized by Barna into four types of Christian homes:

  • Vibrant – engage in spiritual practices & conversations and practice hospitality
  • Devotional – engage in spiritual practices & conversations but don’t regularly practice hospitality
  • Hospitable – are very hospitable but participates in either spiritual practices & conversations but not both, or practices neither
  • Dormant – don’t practice hospitality or engage in spiritual practices or conversations

This book provides the statistical data and interpretation for some discipling materials that I’m reading now.  The idea is how to equip Christians to better build homes that include spiritual practices, spiritual conversations,  and engage in hospitality, the idea being that these things can be built on by anyone at any stage of life even if they haven’t been formative aspects of their home previously.

If you like statistics, you’ll enjoy this book.  If charts and graphs are your thing, you’ll love this.  To me, a non-statistician, most of the survey data didn’t seem to be significant.  While there were slight differences, more often than not the responses were very close between varying stages of life, types of households, etc.  By viewing the results as a spectrum to draw broad conclusions from it makes sense, but personally it’s not very compelling.  It doesn’t surprise me that spiritually vibrant homes embody these particular aspects because those aspects seem rather Biblical to me.  In which case, while the statistical data is nice, it’s hardly surprising, and therefore not as necessary beyond telling us what we should have already gleaned from Scripture.

This is not a necessary preface to the discipling materials based on it other than recognizing that there are statistical supports to the approaches used in the discipling materials.





One Response to “Book Review: Households of Faith”

  1. Book Review: The Spiritually Vibrant Home | Living Apologetics Says:

    […] book related to an original spark of interest in possible discipleship materials.  The first book I reviewed here, and is mostly raw statistical charts with some basic explanation.  I had expected this book to be […]

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