There’s lots to digest and consider in a new Barna report on poverty:
A new national survey by The Barna Group regarding people’s perspectives on poverty shows that Americans are quite concerned about what they perceive to be a significant and growing challenge facing the nation. The survey also showed that most people are actively involved in trying to alleviate poverty, although they typically believe it is primarily the government’s job to do so. The religious faith of adults appears to have a limited influence on how people perceive and respond to poverty.
One of the sentences in that introductory paragraph that jumps out at me, of course, is the sense that most people “typically believe it is primarily the government’s job” to combat poverty.
But then I ran across this paragraph, which is rather more inspiring:
Worthy of note is the divergent perspective of evangelicals. They were among the groups least likely to see poverty as a job for the government (55%) and were the group most likely to see it as a matter for churches to address (14%). The only other group that was similar was Christian Revolutionaries – the people who indicate that their highest priority in life is living for God and who possess a worldview that is based on biblical principles. Barely half of the Revolutionaries (52%) assigned poverty primarily to government agencies, while 11% said it was predominantly a church responsibility.
I’m sure I’ll have more to say when I’ve given this report a closer read. Feel free to weigh in as well.