Donna Hostetler, May 13, 2015
The big city calls to me. I love the theater, the window shopping and Garrett’s Popcorn in downtown Chicago. I love the richness of the architecture, old and new, the variance of the buildings and the diversity of the people, thousands of people.
Looking at the city view today from the suburbs gives me a different perspective and I realize how small it is in God’s eyes and yet He sees each and every single soul in the streets. He loves “each of us as if there was only one of us.” The faces I pass by also remind me of the vast lost and beckons us to do everything we can to reach them.
An article by Nate Cohn on May 12, 2015 in the New York Times, Big Drop in Share of Americans Calling Themselves Christian states “The Christian share of adults in the United States has declined sharply since 2007, affecting nearly all major Christian traditions and denominations, and crossing age, race and region, according to an extensive survey by the Pew Research Center.” The article also stated, “The decline has been propelled in part by generational change, as relatively non-Christian millennials reach adulthood and gradually replace the oldest and most Christian adults. But it is also because many former Christians, of all ages, have joined the rapidly growing ranks of the religiously unaffiliated or “nones”: a broad category including atheists, agnostics and those who adhere to “nothing in particular.”
This information is not surprising as we have watched decline in churches nationally but certainly concerning. It begs the question, are we excelling in every way we can to be innovative and connect with the unchurched or de-churched? Or, are our programs focused on experiences for the Christian and “Christianese” in language? Do we evaluate our ministries through the eyes of a non-believer? What are their takeaways from our worship service? Did they connect with anyone?
It’s easy to be discouraged about statistics but we are called to pursue the lost. It is our passion to help churches objectively evaluate and strategically consider growth engines to reengage those outside our doors. Can we help you?
“Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” Hebrews 12: 1