Barna Research is an industry leader in providing data on culture and the church that ministries and churches use to make inferences on the culture at large. Evangelical Dark Web has published numerous articles that analyzed findings from Barna research. But it was their findings on COVID lockdowns that begged a look deeper look into seeing if this company’s credibility is compromised. Barna seemed to frame much of their data collection from the premise of the Branch Covian cult than from a Christian premise. Coinciding with these findings is Barna’s fervent emphasis on the Black church.
White Christians are inundated with messaging that Black Christians are nothing like them, as though they are foreign groups from each other. So stratified data can be insightful in highlighting similarities and distinctions. But with a renewed curiosity, this was further scrutinized. While much of Barna’s data on Black churches has yet to be finalized, Barna is advertising a new partnership with Christopher Harris and his new venture, Diverse Church Job LLC.
Christopher Harris is a church growth hustler. He’s well experienced in Big Eva and does panels with the likes of Ed Stetzer. But when he’s not dipping into the church growth industry, Harris is the Executive Pastor at Crossover Church in Tampa, Florida. Christopher Harris is undoubtedly woke. Linked on the pinned tweet of his Twitter account is a Google doc where he provides a list of “resources to support the understanding of race and race relations.” In this document are several resources that explicitly promote Critical Race Theory with authors including Robin DiAngelo, Ibram X Kendi, and Ta-Nehesi Coates. Ironically, more religious woke authors like Jemar Tisby and Esau McCaulley are left out.
Christopher Harris is extremely explicit that Diverse Church Jobs exists to support racial minorities. Diverse Church Jobs seeks to operate on both ends of the hiring process. Not only do they want to help “diverse church candidates” find “diverse church jobs,” it also wants to help churches find diverse church candidates.
Barna developed a tool to analyze a person’s motivations called Trumotivate. Trumotivate is Barna’s equivalent of a Myers Briggs or Enneagram. It gathers an individual’s stories and then through a proprietary method extracts the key motivating factors of an individual. This sounds lofty, but it’s really a glorified personality test. Barna, in partnering with Diverse Church Jobs, is providing this tool for their company.
Diverse Church Jobs is not a biblical concept in that it openly promotes the sin of partiality but furthermore addresses church hiring from an unbiblical premise. Barna is also guilty of this, in that they also treat personalities as paramount when the Bible lays out explicit qualifications for pastors. Given how Christopher Harris is a proponent of the Social Justice Gospel, it is likely that his business attracts a pool of applicants who are also woke. Therefore, Diverse Church Jobs will function to place woke (false) teachers in churches. On the other side of the equation, one could foresee a large church, like JD Greear’s Summit Church, using Diverse Church Jobs to hire a minority pastor because they want to show the world they are not racist. Matt Chandler could use this firm to hire that “Black 7” over that “White 8.” The fact that Barna is not merely promoting but partnering with Christopher Harris in this venture is evidence that they have embraced Critical Race Theory and postmodernism (postmodernism is evident in Trumotivate’s emphasis on people’s stories.) Since Barna has embraced these two ideologies, the data they collect becomes highly suspect in its usefulness to God’s faithful remnant that has not been taken captive by vein ideologies.