George Barna, a Christian statistician, say's that 20 somethings are the least likely people in America to attend a church service. This is no real shock as churches around the country have really struggled to reel this age group into lasting service in the church. College is an obstacle as well as juggling schedules, but what bothers me is the fact that so many of the reason's that the 2,000 plus polled gave for not attending had nothing to do with theology. It was things like school, work, etc. Some said the church had nothing to offer them, some said churches were outdated and irrelevant to society. These were the alarming statistics to me. School and work...Whatever. There are campus churches, and there are bodies in the college towns to get involved in. The Church should be first, not attended if you have some extra time and aren't tired from a long week. But to say the church is irrelevant is sad and misguided. The vast majority of the world's services are performed by that "irrelevant" Church. People are fed, crippled are cared for, homeless are sheltered, addicts are counseled and held accountable, hospitals are run, food programs, children are adopted, abortion is fought, art is made, and I do not have the time to write the rest. These are all services necessary for our civilization to function. Christ is at work in all of these things. To say the Church is irrelevant is ignorant. To say that it offers you nothing is an incorrect way of looking at the Church. Do you leave your family because they offer you nothing, or perceive it that way? No. You get involved and care for them, such should be done with the Church. We all know the famous speech by President Kennedy, when he says "And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country."
The same should be said of our churches. We have the tendency to blame the church when we are confronted by people for sin or for our wrong thinking. He hate to be told we are wrong because we are proud, so some of us get angry, shake our fists to the Church and walk away, citing the Church's judgement. We then preach how the Church is close minded and judgemental all because we are too proud to be confronted. Whether the confrontation came in love or not, if it is true, it is true. Jesus was not always gentle in his criticism, He was loving, but He was also sharp at times. Like responding to Peter with, "Get behind me Satan." Truth is truth. Get over it.
Then there are those that cite the Church as boring or just not my style. Wow. Read the Bible, the service described was not packed full of entertainment. They were readings from scrolls. Sounds fun. But it was never all about the format, it was the relationships, and I fear these are what people fear the most and avoid.
Then there are those that never give anything they don't like the idea of, a fair shake. reject it from the get go, and say really dumb things about people who worship.
The point is, the Church is Jesus' bride. His most beloved work. His blood.
How can we walk away and say such things? People are imperfect, but the Church is perfect and should be our greatest mission.
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