There has been a lot of talk lately about the large number of people identifying themselves as “religiously unaffiliated.” As Christians, this should give us pause; however, we need to be careful that we don’t turn into Chicken Little. The sky is not falling.
Ed Stetzer wrote an excellent article describing the numbers behind the headlines. What the headlines don’t tell us is that committed Christians (or what I call disciples) are not leaving the church.
So, there has not been a huge drop in Protestant church attendance. Over the past 40 years, according to the GSS, the share of Americans who regularly attends a Protestant church has only declined from 23% to 20%.
What we are seeing is more non-Christians marking “unaffiliated” rather than marking Christian because they aren’t Jewish or Muslim. Millennials are honest and authentic. They are also the largest generation in America, right now. Their honesty is being expressed through marking “unaffiliated.”
If we measure Christian faith with a connection to Christian church, this is not a collapse of Christianity, but perhaps we are seeing an outbreak of honesty in how nominal believers respond to survey questions.
My concern is about those who are marking “unaffiliated.” I’m concerned about the fact that the church is not accomplishing the mission of God.
Read the article and discuss how your congregation can do a better job of carrying out the mission of God. Start with asking, “What is it going to take to interact with Millennials and share the message of Jesus with them?”
Check out the full article here: No, American Christianity is not dead – CNN.com.