Lost & Found pt.2

Quotes from ch.3:

"...it is interesting to compare the younger unchurched with unchurched Americans age thirty and over... Younger folks are generally less "fed-up" with religion than older unchurched people."

"As the unchurched age and have more life experiences, their interest in organized religion diminishes."

"With all the talk of the loss of the younger generation, it seems to us that they are much more open than the older unchurched."

"Neither group has a strong belief in the One, True, Living God of the Bible, nor a strong belief that He is unique compared to other gods."

A few stats:

"The church is the only place to learn what it means to be a Christian." 9% of unchurched age 20-29 agree; 6% of unchurched 30+ agree

"If someone wanted to tell me what she of he believed about Christianity, I would be willing to listen." 89% of unchurched age 20-29 agree; 75% unchurched age 30+ agree

"If a church presented truth to me in an understandable way that relates to my life now, I would attend." 63% of unchurched age 20-29 agree; 47% unchurched age 30+ agree.


I wonder if this is evidence that the longer you're set with an opinion, the less open you are to other options... or do emerging generations have a more open mind and spirit?

It's certainly worth noting that many people who aren't open whatsoever to attending church would be willing to listen to someone (likely someone they know) talk to them about their faith in Jesus.  Kinda takes me back to the idea that many people today are into Jesus, and interested in Him, but have no interest nor respect for the church.  Maybe if Christians lived and loved like the Jesus we claim to follow it would make a difference?

Now, as a preacher/teacher in the context of church, I am certainly intrigued by the "if then" of probable church attendance based on understandable and relevant presentation of truth.  If attendance were the end goal, I would find this truly encouraging as "understandable" and "relevant" are two of my personal core values for preaching.  But attendance is just a small step towards the goal of making more, and spiritually healthy, followers of Jesus.  Actually, could it be that relevant teaching of truth from the Bible would meet the desire of emerging generations to take action?

Comments

Nance1 said…
I am sure you have heard the saying that if Jesus was living now, he would not be a Christian. I think many people today are discouraged with the hierarchy of churches. I do think there are problems in most churches. Unfortunately, I think that we really do need to be a part of a faith community in order to share with others and grow in faith. I am not sure what the solution is. I do go to church and am active in my church but I reserve the right to chose my own beliefs and to examine the structure of the church.
jrelkins said…
I think of Jesus words to his disciples "Do you not say, 'Four months more and then the harvest'? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest." John 4:35 (NIV)
If 89% say they are willing to listen are we missing the opportunity of the harvest before us? Do we even see the field? After hearing this statistic I have confronted many believers with what percentage of this age they thought would listen. I've gotten numbers as low as 1% and high as 40%. Surprise seems to be the reality of these numbers. Maybe we are on the edge of a harvest and only need to see the fields.

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