An article from the 2/1/17 Weekly Update by Tim Keller
According to a recent study by Duke University, they are growing in numbers. They are self-identified as “Nones”, meaning that they are not affiliated with any religion. Some are Atheists, some are agnostic, all are uncertain if God really exists.
Just to give a bit of perspective, there are 19 million more “Nones” today than there were in 2007. At 56 million strong, in just a decade they have come to outnumber American Catholics and mainline Protestants. Less than 50 percent of young adults ages 18-30 are sure God exists. That means in just a few years the largest “religion” in America will be those who are affiliated with no traditional religion.
Can you hear the clock ticking?
Current trends are carrying the traditional church into a sphere that it has never seen before in American history. The very foundations of life as we know it are evolving and the transition is going to be hardest on those who have seen the past and consider it glorious.
Just as the Israelites sat down and wept at the dedication of the new temple because they could still remember the glory of the old one, the older Christians in America are going to look around soon and weep over what once was and what now is. The methods and styles that we have embraced for decades are not working with the next generation. It is imperative that we place our forms and structures under the microscope in order to evaluate them and potentially alter them.
Are you ready for some good news? There’s still time left on the clock. The Church of Jesus Christ has not run out of time, or more importantly, opportunities to do something about the current landscape.
What must we do to turn an ugly situation into a positive one? What changes are necessary in order to tap into the growing mob of those who doubt the existence of God and choose not to connect with any church or religion?
In the coming weeks we’ll be taking a closer look at what the local church can do to take advantage of the seemingly negative status and move toward changing the story.
It won’t be easy and it will require a deeper faith than many of us have ever experienced, but if we truly value the lives of 56 million of our fellow countrymen, it will be worth the trip.