Sunday, April 20, 2008

Church Drop Outs

Life Way Resources, the research and education arm of the Southern Baptists, recently released some research on the very high number of Boomers who are dropping out of church. The numbers are quite high but let me offer a word of encouragement.

Many would be open to returning to church.

Church members and formerly churched people are alike in their deep-seated yearnings, according to respected theologian John Stott. He told Christianity Today ... that even in a secular (perhaps we could say formerly churched) culture, people are still looking for three things:

1) transcendence-something beyond, i.e. worship and the reality of God;

2) significance-identity, perspective; and

3) community-love and fellowship that puts "skin" on an invisible God.

The Apostle Paul told the Corinthians something similar in 1 Corinthians 13:13: "Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love." (HCSB)

Comment: Our series on "Dialogue Prayers" is focused on those three items. For too long Evangelicals have offered only morality with little if any transcendence; service without real significance and large group attendance without fellowship. We need to make sure church is more than a rock concert or an impersonal gathering of a mob.

What do you think? Do you agree with Dr. Stott or think he is wrong? Be sure to comment.I want to hear from you.

Gary Sweeten
Sweeten Life Systems


paula clare said...

Hi Gary,
Since I believe I could far too EASILY become one of those "drop outs" I have to admit that I agree with Dr. Stott. Our pastor just this morning preached about how our identity, our significance comes from God, not external sources/places. I was in tears for a good part of the message. It touched me SO MUCH to know that the God of the universe created me JUST AS I AM to be a significant force for the Kingdom of Light...I am humbled and in awe of such a challenge.

Paula Clare

Gary Sweeten said...


I think having the knowledge of our identity is pretty much the basis of peace and healing. Just think, God chose me! He placed me in His forever family. WOW!

I feel like singing the doxology.