In a column in Huffington Post, Christian Piatt discusses the why behind the exodus of the young from church.
Here’s my favorite paragraph –
Alisa Harris’ memoir, “Raised Right: How I Untangled My Faith from Politics,” reflects on the apparent cultural, spiritual and economic desert time in which we find ourselves. We have witnessed the carnage of a financial system that was intended to perpetually buoy a nation, but whose “invisible hand” has instead crushed the dreams of millions. We’ve watched as the two-headed political serpent attacks itself until it is impotent. We’ve seen religious figures scandalize their institutions empty, as a generation walks away in search of something more relevant to their daily struggle.
Church attendance has fallen dramatically over the last twenty years. In 2005, Protestants represented half those practicing a religion in the United States for the first time.
What’s going on?
I see two trends. The mainline Protestant churches continue to bleed membership. The evangelical movement has hit a wall in recruitment and can neither maintain its growth and or maintain its current numbers. The second trend is new. I suspect that it has a great deal to do with the impact of the political action on a church organization. It is probably a delight to go out and organize precincts handing out conservative literature instead of sitting through a boring sermon, after all, politics is a lot easier than Christianity. But for many the Christian call remains a powerful inducement and a church that acts as a political action committee has little time for gospel issues.
I do not see these trends reversing although I suspect the mainline bleed has to end at some point.
- Christian Piatt: ‘God Is’: From Biblical Literalism To A Mystical Understanding Of God (huffingtonpost.com)
- Jonathan Merritt: What’s In A Name? A Lot If You’re The Southern Baptist Convention (huffingtonpost.com)
- Why Are Christians Leaving the Church? Turns Out It’s the Churches’ Fault (patheos.com)
- Retail’s Afterlife: The Mall-ification of the American Church (dailyfinance.com)
- The Barna Group – Six Reasons Young Christians Leave Church (connecttofammin.wordpress.com)