Tuesday, January 22, 2013
We want those nones!
NPR had a pretty good series last week, found here: http://www.npr.org/series/169065270/losing-our-religion. All week they highlighted the Pew Research Center's findings on the rise of the "nones." Find it here: http://www.pewforum.org/unaffiliated/nones-on-the-rise.aspx .The nones make up a growing demographic in American life; they have no religious affiliation. Many times the nones, are not at all antagonistic about religion, though they are ambivalent. We want these people. But we should try something the church has never really tried before: friendship. Instead of trying to make these nones like us, why don't we listen to them? Instead of making fun of them for being "spiritual but not religious" why don't we trust that the Holy Spirit blows where it wills without us controlling it. Try reading John 3:8 and think about how God might be moving in these nones. Many are discouraged by the rise of the nones, but I see it as a tremendous opportunity for the Church, and I don't think that I am being blindly optimistic. Instead I see the rise of the nones as a important time for Christians to really be authentic, and to be authentic is to be vulnerable. Share your story, share your doubts, share your life with Christ, in all its colors. Invite a none to the funny little celebratory meal that we have on Sundays. Don't explain it all, as if you could. Invite a none, let the party wash over them. And then talk.