John 15: 16 – 17 “You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. This is my command: Love each other .” – NLT
Some simple facts about what is happening to the local “church”. Attending church on Sundays used to be a way of life for most Americans. But we’re living through the biggest communication shift in 500 years. Church has become less of a priority – especially for those younger than 40 years of age.
Only 2 in 10 Millennials believe church attendance is important. 59% of Millennials who grew up in the church have dropped out at some point. If present trends continue, the percentage of the population that attends church in 2050 is estimated to be almost half of 1990’s attendance — a drop from 20.4 percent to 11.7 percent. (stats from Barna Group)
The community of believers that once held the community together is no longer as valuable to the essence of life in the community as it once was. There is no value in coming, I can just watch it online when I get time. There is no identity to a believers life because we no longer volunteer, offer ourselves to mature in our faith, and reach out to those in need.
Young adults who continue their involvement in a local church beyond their teens years are twice as likely as those who don’t to have a close personal friendship with an older adult in their faith community (59% vs. 31% among church dropouts). Community has become a thing of the past, and yet it was the very glue that held the early church together, and created a passionate set of believers in Jesus that changed the world. How can we change our hearts and minds, love one another, and be the community that our world needs?
“Rather than confining the life of faith to Sunday mornings where it can be kept safe and predictable, or to a ‘personal relationship with Jesus Christ’ that can be managed from the privacy of our own home, ministry should cultivate a deep, holistic discipleship that touches every aspect of our lives.” (John Pattison, co-author of Slow Church)
– Pastor Mike
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