Never. Not in a million years. Have you said those words? Sure, we all have. My list of “I nevers” include the following:
I never eat liver. (Actually, there is a lot on my “I-will-never-eat” list. Karla says, “I’m finicky.” I say, “I’m choosy”).
I never run out of gas again (I learned my lesson over Christmas).
I never cheer for the Ohio State Buckeyes. Never. Never. Never.
(I used to say, I would never see the Lions win a Super Bowl, but the feisty Motor City Kitties have left me hopeful for 2023).
There are a few politicians on my never-vote-for list. There are other “nevers” too. But one thing NOT on my list is “church.” Sadly, those that say they “Never” attend church is growing (see chart).
The numbers show a rather dramatic increase caused by the pandemic. Will historians write the death of the American Church as we know it was caused by Covid? (Listen I do not believe anything can kill the Church. Not Jesus’ Church. Even the “gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” That being said, it could very well be that the church as we had known it prior to 2020 will not survive).
The numbers are startling. One in three people you see say they never go to church. 43% of people under 30 never go. That is a particularly scary number in that historically the great number of those accepting Christ were under 30. Now 43% say they never go to church. When/where will they find Jesus if they never go to church?
The numbers on the chart should cause us to re-think our approach, re-imagine our message and take a good long look at what we are saying and how we are saying it. “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” clearly does not apply. Something is broken. The way we have done things in the past, will not work today.
I wish I had the deepest answer to this dilemma, I don’t. But I do think, we need to get back to the message of Jesus. Not backbiting. Not moral failures among leaders. Not politics. Not all the things that distract us. Keep on the message of Loving God (always). Loving People (without exception).
It’s getting back to the basics:
1) Jesus changes everything.
2) We Grow Better when we are together.
3) We must be the best neighbors.
That’s it. It’s praying that God’s will would be done and His Kingdom would come on earth as it is in heaven. It’s working like everything depends on us, and praying (knowing) that everything depends on God.