Politics and Policies; Are we really doing what it takes to reach the unchurched? Survey numbers would indicate, NO!
Back in 2008 Lifeway Research, who is the research arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, did a survey with “unchurched” adults. They found that 72% say that “God, a higher or supreme being, actually exists.” However, the survey also found that 72% also say the church is “full of hypocrites.” Another 44% agreed with the statement that “Christians get on my nerves.”
They defined the “unchurched” as someone who had not attended a religious service for a period of time up to six months. And according to the General Social Survey which is conducted every two years by the Nation Opinion Research Center the number of Americans who say they never go to church raised from 17% two years ago to 22% in 2008. That number for 2012 is now at 19.6 who claim to never have attend a church, 3.3 claiming to be agnostic, and 2.4 claiming to be atheist. The long term trend in a religious affiliation has for the most part declined from 62 % in 1972 to 51% in 2010 according to records and that number was expected to continue to decrease.
According to the survey 86% said they believe they can have a “good relationship with God without belonging to a church.” And 79% say “Christianity today is more about organized religion than loving God and loving people.” Think about that last statement, “more about organized religion than loving God and loving people.” Can you see that, I can! We concentrate so much on rules, regulations, bylaws, committees, and other nonsense, that many churches have lost their main focus, loving God and loving people. I dare to say that most churches are losing just as many out the backdoor as they are bringing in the front door. Why, politics and policies. We have to be real and accept the normally unaccepted and get down to people loving people from all backgrounds, trials, tribulations, and faults.
Listen people, we have to, let me repeat that one more time, WE HAVE TO take the politics out of the church….period!!! People would rather have the one-to one approach and find it more attractive and don’t want to go to an institution to fix their problems. Most people today have already heard the basic Christian message. The big question is: “Do you have a take that is authentic and engaging in a way that works for the unchurched?” Most churches don’t, why, because they are too busy focusing on politics, policies, and the buddy system and not on reaching the lost and dying! Just my two cents worth!