A LifeWay Research survey revealed conflicting views on whether Christians believe they need community for their faith.
According to the study from the Center for Church Revitalization at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, 65 percent of respondents who attend Protestant or non-denominational churches at least once a month said they can have a relationship with God without other believers, CBN News reports. However, the survey also found that 75 percent said they need other believers for their faith.
"I believe this is primarily a discipleship issue," said the Center's Kenneth Priest, adding that there is a “spiritual apathy” in the church because of a “lack of pastors and spiritual leaders equipped to effectively preach and teach a text-driven life application of God’s Word.”
"The needing, yet not needing' responses demonstrate an internal turmoil of individuals desiring community, but not seeing the church as the place to have those needs met," Priest added.
Scott McConnell, of LifeWay Research, believes that Christians do need each other.
"Americans don't like to admit they can't do things themselves," he said. "That is true of Christians as well. The biblical metaphor of the body illustrates that believers should both value and depend on each other.
“Solo Christianity is an inward desire to seek after spiritual matters without the realization biblical community is what will fulfill the desire they are seeking,” he added.
Among other results of the survey:
- 41 percent of those attending a Southern church said they strongly agreed they needed other believers in their lives compared to 35 percent in the Midwest and 33 percent in the Northeast.
- Churchgoers from ages 18 to 34 are more likely to strongly agree they need other believers (42 percent) than churchgoers 65 and older (34 percent).
- 38 percent of women are more likely to strongly agree in having a community of believers than men were likely to agree (33 percent).
Photo courtesy: Getty Images/J. Hersh Photography
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.