STUCK-IN-THE-MUD Christians got a wake-up call this week.
By “stuck-in-the-mud,” I mean
- stuck in their tradition of going to church every Sunday morning
- to zone out while the preacher recites another Bible story
- that might have been interesting to sheepherders
- who thought epilepsy was demon possession.
By “wake-up call,” I mean tick-tock on a countdown to zero.
If you read the front-page news this week, you saw the Pew Research Center’s stats on the walk-off from Christianity…and religion in general.
Let me put it to you this way, in round numbers – with legs.
When my Dad got back from fighting Nazi’s with General George Patton in the Battle of the Bulge, only one in ten Americans checked “None” for religion.
My generation doubled that by the time I finished high school and we were well on our way to losing the Vietnam War. From about 10% “None” to about 20%.
My kids’ generation nearly doubled it again by the time they finished high school, a few years before we launched the Iraq War we shouldn’t have fought in the first place. From about 20% “None” to almost 40%.
Well, I’m a little nervous about grandkids now…and the next war.
Are we going to double our walk-off again – to 80% “None,” with Chinese becoming the new English after World War Three?
I’m a layman. I’m no expert in church growth. But if these numbers are true, almost nobody seems to be an expert in church growth.
Instead, we Christians are experts in church shrinkage.
So let me speak to our expertise about how to shrink a church. Because we’re really good at this.
- From preachers, we prefer to hear what we already believe. Better bored than surprised.
- For music, we bring in karaoke, Christians Got Talent, or Broadway without the soul. Missing notes. Nailing notes. Either way they’re just notes.
- In church on Sundays, we excel in pretending, we’re comfortable in our plastic skins, and we love the ring of our hollow words.
We are becoming the Church of the Old Farts.
Does anyone else find it funny that what it took to get the church going in the first place was the sound of a “rushing wind” (Acts 2:2)?
That’s what Spirit means in Greek: Pneuma. It means Wind.
A Holy Wind.
That Wind drove people out and about, somehow moving them to get real – to help each other.
They shared their stuff.
“They sold whatever they owned and pooled their resources so that each person’s need was met” (Acts 2:45).
But that’s back when the church was young.
Random book winners this week
- Abby Novak
- Belinda Tiong
I give away free books each week to randomly selected subscribers to my free blog and quarterly newsletter.
Abby and Belinda are random this week.
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