Recent studes show that churches across the country are seeing once-faithful members disappear from their midst. Why are so many Christians remaining committed to the faith yet dissatisfied with and disconnected from the established church?
Religion reporter Julia Duin has collected the research and added insights from her own interviews with disillusioned followers and visits to numerous churches. She reveals and explores a number of crucial factors underlying this shift, including irrelevant teaching, the neglect of singles, the marginalization of women, and a lack of authentic spiritual power. She also delves into trends such as house churches and postmodern or emergent congregations. Her careful analysis and thoughtful reflection will help church leaders examine how they can better serve those in their congregations and communities who are struggling to find a spiritual home.
So, here’s the question I’ve been asking friends, colleagues, and church members for the past few weeks: Fifty years from now, will we still be getting up on Sunday mornings, knotting our neckties, getting into our cars, and driving to some central location to sit in a pew, say our prayers, sing some hymns, and hear a sermon, or will church either a) evolve into something else or b) disappear altogether?
I’d be interested to hear your responses, especially if you think church will evolve into something else. What will it evolve into, and how can we anticipate that and get there ahead of the curve? You can either vote by clicking one of the boxes on the poll below, or share your thoughts by clicking on the word “comments” just beneath that.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving—I’d be grateful.