Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Is Church Cutting It

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


Anonymous said...

I agree with you.

The Church provides its members with a needed sense of community, and deep relationships. But, you have to remember the level of intimacy required for this to happen. This is such an odd world in which we can anonymously post our most personal thoughts on an internet journal literally for the world to read, yet be uncomfortable to share our faith with a neighbor we have know for years. One of the greatest obstacles the church may face is the self-obsession of today’s world. The people Mr. Gallop spoke with may have wanted to be “appreciated and respected”, but would they be reciprocal. To follow Christ you must give up of yourself. Be the servant. That goes against a lot of today’s mores.

And, yes I am speaking from my own personal failures.

The Church, as a body of believers, stands strong, rooted in the gospel. The key will be how we as Christians take that gospel out of the church building and bring it to the outside world.

Brady Bryce said...

So what do you NEED or seek in life? How would you asnwer Gallup's poll?

Anonymous said...

I'd have to go with #6

"To receive practical help in developing a mature faith."

In my opinion faith is the cornerstone for the other five. Of course, that’s just my opinion.

But, since you asked me what I NEED in church, well I need to know God is always there. I need to know his hand is on my family. I need to know that when the world comes crashing in, God stands silently beside us all.

That is why I need faith.