I recently received an email that disturbed me. It came from the Barna Research Group (a Christian group who conducts various polls and surveys in order to recognize trends) and was titled “Americans Divided on the Importance of Church.”
I want to include an excerpt from the article which conveys the basic theme of the study.
What, if anything, helps Americans grow in their faith? When Barna Group asked, people offered a variety of answers—prayer, family or friends, reading the Bible, having children—but church did not even crack the top-10 list.
Although church involvement was once a cornerstone of American life, U.S. adults today are evenly divided on the importance of attending church. While half (49%) say it is “somewhat” or “very” important, the other 51% say it is “not too” or “not at all” important.
Later, the article added: Looking to future generations does not paint an optimistic picture for the importance of churchgoing. Millennials (those 30 and under) stand out as least likely to value church attendance; only two in 10 believe it is important.
As I read this, I was alarmed and disturbed. This study is reflective of a philosophy and mentality that is very real within America.
This concern is does not stem from a blind loyalty to the past, nor am I so firmly entrenched in tradition that I refuse to consider new ideas.
I do not deny that there are many areas and ways in which a Christian can grow in their faith (i.e. prayer, reading the Bible, etc.).
However, to disregard church as a primary (or even legitimate) means by which one may grow in their faith is tragic. Of course, this mentality may be reflective of the lack of life within many churches.
Still, not all churches have followed that trend. There are churches in America in which God is working! Those who attend are not stuck in a religious rut. They do not go just for a weekly event or to socialize with one another. They are there to experience God!
This is the type of church that I want to be a part of, this is the type of church that is revival and rapture ready, and this is the type of church where genuine seekers will grow in their faith!
Let’s be committed to making our church this type of church!
Committed to Church,