the shape of leadership

More Christian Families Gather for TV Than Prayer

Barna reports on household activities

Practicing Christian families in the U.S. are more likely to watch television and movies together than pray together, according to a recent report from Barna Group.

About 81 percent of adult and teen Christians who live with other household members watch TV programs and movies with the people in their home at least weekly. A mere 5 percent never view such media together.

By comparison, 73 percent pray with household members at least weekly. And 11 percent of practicing Christians say they never pray with family.

Eating dinner together is the most common family activity for practicing Christians.

Eating dinner together is the most common family activity for practicing Christians, with 86 percent gathering around the table at least weekly. However, dinnertime conversations may not always go deep, since only about three-quarters (74 percent) share feelings with household members at least weekly.

About half of practicing Christians (51 percent) pray with household members every day or two. Meanwhile, 53 percent watch TV or movies together every day or two, and 68 percent eat dinner together every day or two.

While it’s positive news that families are spending time together — and even praying together — there is room for improvement. People have been hearing for years about the importance of family meals, and they seem to be getting the message. Churches must similarly encourage families to make a habit of coming together for prayer and devotions.

Barna defines practicing Christians as those who self-identify as Christian, say their faith is very important in their lives, and have attended a service within the past month.

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