By now you may have heard about the latest survey tracking religious trends in America. (If not go here and read all about it. This is also a related story, but with a broader viewpoint.) It is just more bad news about the erosion of Christian values and faith in America. The survey reveals fewer of us claim to be religious and few churches are even holding their own against the decline.
For those of us in Churches of Christ we can follow the Christian Chronicle’s ongoing effort to address this decline in our fellowship.
For those of us who are have made our life’s work in ministry none of this is new. Recently I have noticed an increase in church bulletin articles addressing absenteeism- especially for Sunday night and Wednesday gatherings. I have also noticed several articles discouraging lateness. Seems when we do come- we come late.
Overall, it just dovetails into the survey data. Religion and church matter less to us. It is simply not the priority it once was.
As sad as this news should be to us, I still believe it also holds great opportunities. The further our culture moves away from the values of Christ, the greater the impact these values can actually have. Now is definitely not the time to give up, now is the time to stand up.
But since the landscape has so changed around us perhaps our greatest challenge in all of this is in learning just how to stand.