God & Church
Unfortunately many think God & church are one and the same. But worse yet, they think that THEIR church and THEIR denomination is the representation of God and all others either fall short or are cults- worse yet NEW AGE! The words cult and New Age are religious X-files where everyoone is placed that don’t think like you do.
A new survey of who is “churched” for whatever that means was just released. The Phoenix, Ariz.-based Ellison Research said the most common definitions “often don’t tell a complete story about how Americans attend religious worship services.”
In a survey of more than 1,000 adults, 29% of Americans do not attend religious services at all; 10% attend only on religious holidays; 9% attend occasionally; 19% attend between one and three times a month; and 33% attend once a week or more. So, we have 1/3rd of Americans attending church on a weekly schedule
The study also analyzed family history of attendance and parental religious involvement. The study estimates that 43 million adults typically categorized as “unchurched” will visit a church or place of worship at some point during the year, and suggested that this should be the focus of outreach for congregations.
What most recent surveys have in common is the fact that church is no longer providing the spiritual needs of a large group of people. People are leaving the church to find a spiritual journey for God. The institutional church is more focused on providing programs, rock-star praise & worship, and offering the amenities of your local mall or country club (10% dues as well) than leading people into a spiritual experience.
People need a spiritual community to work out the dynamics that such a journey entails as well as just the psychological feedback. And, they are finding it. Churches should be leading people into a deeper reality of God and the Spirit rather than trying to vie for competition with the entertainment world or becoming an expert in sin management courses.
God is not a church, nor a denomination, and the church is not God, but it should be the vehicle that helps one find the reality of God. Recent national surveys indicate that’s not happening. 🙁
As a spiritual-futurist my commentaries and articles deal primarily with an interpretation of current events in light of macro-universal forces at play.