Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Institution May Be Dying, But the Need Is Not

From Huffington-

Of course, there's another major institution that everyone includes in such doom-and-gloom scenarios: the church. Though America is still broadly considered a religious nation, statistics reveal a major shift. A recent Gallup study was headlined, "Most Americans Say Religion Is Losing Influence in U.S.; But 75% say American society would be better off if more Americans were religious." For many years, mainline denominations have lost members at alarming rates, but recently more conservative churches have been suffering the same phenomenon. No matter what denomination or faith tradition, organized religion is declining.

And yet people still yearn for a connection to their spiritual core, a relationship with the reality beyond themselves. They believe there is something more in life than the physical, but they are finding other ways and platforms to find it and satisfy their need. Thus we hear endlessly about the "Nones," those who in personality profiles select no particular brand of religion, but rather consider themselves "Spiritual But Not Religious." Such people can be very frustrating to those of us still involved in the institution, and we all know some of them.

For centuries, the church has been the primary delivery system for Christian faith and spirituality, but now people are finding fulfillment in other ways, individually and communally. So, like the automotive magazine industry and all the other struggling institutions, the church is "scrambling to find the right way to connect to an audience that has fractured and fragmented to numerous different platforms."

More here-

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