Some Americans spend a lot of time at church. Some do not even bother. Is there something Americans do share in common?
An older George Gallup poll indicates that 70% of Americans say churches and synagoges are not effective in helping people find meaning. That is tough to swallow. Americans who answered his poll show more decisiveness than they do in pre-election President pollsl.
Thankfully, Mr. Gallup asked the "duh" question. What are your needs? Check out the top six responses:
1. To believe life is meaningful and has purpose.
2. To have a sense of community and deeper relationships.
3. To be appreciated and respected.
4. To be listened to and heard.
5. To feel that one is growing in faith.
6. To receive practical help in developing a mature faith.
May I say that "Church" is not the problem? Tossing out church does not speak to these needs any more effectively than simply maintaining church. In fact, Community is what people are seeking. Espescially community that provides meaning and deep relationship. Actually, I am encouraged that what people want is a maturing faith that provides direction and relationships.
What do you think of this poll? Do you agree or disagree? Most of all, tell me what YOU believe you need.
Gallup Poll, from 1992 Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches