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LifeWay survey examines top 10 issues facing families

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–A two-round survey conducted last November and December by the Internet strategies department of LifeWay Christian Resources found that modern families struggle with a variety of issues ranging from an anti-Christian culture to materialism.

In November 2005, the Internet strategies department of LifeWay, an entity of the Southern Baptist Convention, began soliciting participation in an online research project, the “Top 10 Issues Facing Today’s Family.”

From the initial list of responses, LifeWay compiled the 20 most frequently submitted answers and sent that list to the original survey respondents. During January, those participants used the same Internet survey tool to rank their top 10 from among those 20 issues.

Based on responses, the top 10 issues facing today’s family are: 1. Anti-Christian culture; 2. Divorce; 3. Busyness; 4. Absent father figure; 5. Lack of discipline; 6. Financial pressures; 7. Lack of communication; 8. Negative media influences; 9. Balance of work and family; 10. Materialism.

Overall, more than 2,000 people from around the country offered their opinions in the survey, making this survey pool even larger than the one that contributed to last year’s research project, “Top 10 Issues Facing Today’s Church.”

LifeWay began revealing the results of this year’s survey in early March with the announcement of materialism as the No. 10 issue. Each week, the Internet strategies department unveiled another topic in ascending order along with an extensive list of resources and information addressing that issue.

Ministry areas throughout LifeWay are offering materials such as articles, movie clips, dramas, websites, sermons, Scripture passages and illustrations intended to aid ministry leaders in helping others or directly assist families facing the problems.

“This was an opportunity to put forward the best our organization has to offer related to the top issues as identified by the survey participants,” said Michael Epps Utley, marketing coordinator in Internet strategies. “LifeWay exists to provide biblical solutions for life, and this survey gave us some additional insight into the solutions people are looking for in order to address key challenges among their families.”

Some of the survey results proved somewhat surprising, Utley said. For instance, it was expected that substance abuse would rank in the top 10. Instead, unexpected issues such as busyness (No. 3) and lack of communication (No. 7) received a majority of votes.

“We were a little surprised to see anti-Christian culture rank as the No. 1 issue,” Utley added. “But when we took a look at the rest of the list, we realized that today’s anti-Christian cultural mentality could be considered a contributing factor when it comes to these other issues.”

LifeWay plans to unveil issues 11-20 with a special bonus announcement May 15.

“Obviously, numbers 1-10 tell us a lot about what people are dealing with, but 11-20 were revealing as well,” Utley said. “People took the time to give us their opinions and we wanted to return the most thorough and helpful response as possible.”

Reports and resources compiled to address the top 10 issues are available online at www.lifeway.com/top10.

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  • Brooklyn Noel