Americans Tired of Typical Church, Report Shows

Researcher George Barna says a spiritual makeover is taking place as Americans approach religion and church in less traditional ways.

Half of Americans surveyed in the latest Barna Group report say a growing number of people they know "are tired of the usual type of church experience."

Two out of three adults (64 percent) also say they are "completely open to carrying out and pursuing your faith in an environment or structure that differs from that of a typical church," according to the survey of 1,004 adults. Women were more likely to agree than men.

There's a pervading sense that people are turning away from traditional religious practices and looking for other ways to experience God. Three out of four adults say "God is motivating people to stay connected with Him, but in different ways and through different types of experiences than in the past."

Protestants and Catholics are just as likely to agree.

"People are suggesting that they want more of God and less of the stuff that gets between them and their relationship with God," states the Barna report.

The report further pointed out that most Americans (71 percent) are choosing to develop religious beliefs on their own rather than accept a set of beliefs taught at a particular church.

The Barna Group attributes that statistic to growing distrust toward churches and organized Christianity, the heightened independence of Americans, and the profound access to information.

Data from the Barna report is based on a survey conducted in August 2008.

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