How would you describe our region’s profile when it comes to matters of faith? And what exactly is the value of faith to a community? If you’ve ever searched for sources of local information on religious subjects, you know they’re difficult to find.
In 2016, our Foundation began a relationship with the Barna Research Group, the nation’s leader in religious research, to add two key resources to our area. First, we asked Barna to conduct a randomized telephone survey of adults in Vanderburgh and Warrick Counties in Indiana and Henderson County, Kentucky. This survey serves as the baseline on local faith beliefs and practices with the intention of repeating this survey every five years. From the initial study, we learned that 8 out of every 10 adult residents identify as Christian. We also learned some fascinating things about how local Christians practice their faith, what they want from their churches, and more.
There are opportunities to be sure, but generally speaking, we have some very giving and community-minded Christians in the Tri-State. In fact, nearly every single Christian said it was their responsibility to help meet needs in the community. These discoveries caused us to ask - how can communities best cultivate and leverage this good-will to create positive impact?
To help address this question, we asked the Barna Group to develop a second resource - a white paper. This paper examines the potential benefits of having such a large and committed Christian population core and highlights areas of opportunities. It helps characterize the three key priority areas for the Foundation’s Christ-Centered Living funding area – Gospel Received, Gospel Learned, and Gospel Lived through examples and empirical data. And it describes parts of the country where Christians are mobilized around issues they care about - working collaboratively with others who care about the same things, even despite differences in denomination or beliefs.
Armed with local research and lessons learned from other areas of the country, we hope that these resources will help inform the ways you work together and ultimately the ways in which you share Christ with your community. To learn more about these resources and about the Foundation’s Christ-Centered Living funding opportunities, click here.