Hope your Lenten journey has been going swimmingly. I know that over these past few weeks, I have had difficulty sometimes keeping of with the pace of being "faithful" or "focused" on Jesus...time gets away from us, and it's hard to find time to breathe in the midst of the chaotic day.
Those of you who know me well know that I'm someone who's interested in why people come or don't come to church. I have a friend that did some focus groups this summer with people who don't go to church where he lives. He is in Chicago--a place that most Christians in America would deem a "post-Christian" city, in that people don't have brand loyalty to church much anymore as they did back in the 50's and the percentage of people actually belonging to a congregation is astronomically lower than those in the Southeast or South Central areas, where religion continues to be a major part of life. He heard again and again that they experience the church/religion as inauthentic, bogus, fake, not willing to live out what it says it's about. Interesting.
There's a book that comes on good recommendation to me called unchristian: what a new generation really thinks about christianity, and though i know y'all have TONS of time to read (NOT), I'd encourage you to pick it up sometime. Guess why greater and greater percentages of young adults aren't going to church anymore: that's right, because they think it's not authentic.
As individuals and community, how can we be authentic people? How can we provide a very SPECIFIC ministry of authenticity to the world as young adults and become a witness to those watching us as role models and those above us who claim they have the "experience" to teach us how to live? And what blocks us or makes us cower in fear from that? How can Jesus help?
I'm struggling with these questions along with you. Join us sometime soon on our Wednesday/Sunday line-up so maybe we can begin to tap into the possibilities...