We've all heard the statistics.  At least 50% of all marriages end in divorce.  You've heard them.  I've quoted them.  We all know them...or, do we.  Here's the scoop on what's really going on.

According to the Census Bureau, 72 percent of those who have ever been married are still married to their first spouse! And the 28 percent who aren’t includes everyone who was married for many years, until a spouse died.

No one knows what the average first-marriage divorce rate actually is, but based on the rate of widowhood and other factors, we can estimate it is probably closer to 20-25 percent. For all marriages (including second marriages, and so on), it is in the 31-35 percent range, depending on the study.

Another myth that is begging to be debunked is the notion that “Barna found that the rate of divorce is the same in the church.” Actually, the Barna Group found no such thing, and George Barna himself told me he would love to correct this misunderstanding. Because he wasn’t studying people “in the church.”

The Barna Group studies were focusing specifically on the divorce rates of those with Christian and non-Christian belief systems and didn’t take worship attendance into account.

Barna re-ran the numbers: and if the person was in church last week, their divorce rate dropped by 27 percent. And that is one of the smallest drops found in recent studies: Overall, regular church attendance lowers the divorce rate anywhere from 25-50 percent, depending on the study you look at.

Those of us who work with marriages may secretly wonder whether there is reason for our ministry if the news about the divorce rate is better than we think. And the answer is a resounding yes.
Because I have seen in the research what every marriage counselor knows intimately: Divorce isn’t the greatest threat to marriage.

Discouragement is.



    Carey Nieuwhof calls it MOONSHOT THINKING.  Craig Groeschel says it this way, "If you want to reach people you aren't reaching, you have to do things you aren't doing".  But, the reality is, the Church, even that portion of the church that thinks it is indeed innovative and thinks outside the box, mostly simply fails to realize the restrictions of the boxes we have built around ourselves without even knowing it.

     Much of the church proudly announces that it "does not do it the way we've always done it before", then, with great gusto, we proceed to do it "almost like we've always done it before".  YIPPEE!  That's the spirit that took us to the moon!

     Take a look at this video if you will...

     Where does that kind of thinking exist in the Church today?  If our goal is to keep our head above water and stay in business for another year or another decade, then the status quo will do just fine.  But, if we feel we're called to reach the world for the sake of Jesus in our lifetime, then our methodology is not only antiquated and outdated, it's just WRONG.  Yes, it's very comfortable and memorable, and it may even feel RIGHT to us...but, only to us.  Not to the world we're called to reach.  

     Fifty miles to a gallon thinking in a 500 mile a gallon world just won't work.  We need those with the courage of the Polynesian in the dug-out canoe that one day said, "Let's go that way!", even though no one had ever gone that way...and no one knew what that way held.