There was a time when denominations and religions were carefully defined and kept at a distance from others. A defense of the faith had more to do with proving that your differences were superior and correct and little to do with uniting the body of Christ across borders.

Those who do not embrace organized religion but consider themselves to be spiritual are growing in number. However, they may in fact be embracing disorganized religion. Somewhere in the mix, we need definition and containment. You cannot be haphazard about truth.

I am not religious, but I am spiritual’ is often a reactionary statement to the excesses and failures of church in general. 

It may be that we have spent too much time studying our dysfunction instead of praying and living out the change that God calls for. It’s true that fewer Canadians attend church every week, but that is only part of the reality.

In his 2012 Project Canada Survey, Reginald Bibby made the following statements:

 No less than 2 in 3 people across the country say that their religious or spiritual beliefs are important to the way they live their lives.

 What’s more, 1 in 2 report that that they engage in personal religious or spiritual practices at least once a month.

Bibby concludes that it’s not just a case of Canadians opting for spirituality over organized religion. “Obviously some are. But our research has found that as many as 6 in 10 people who seldom attend services are open to greater involvement.
However, they also tell us that they need to find that groups address their central spiritual, personal, and relational needs – beginning with good ministry to their children.”[i]

Did you catch that last statistic? 60% of those who seldom attend services are open to greater involvement. They’re not attending because their needs are not being addressed, starting with good ministry to their children.

Can we do anything to strengthen the value of church gatherings and ministries? Absolutely! I think it starts with rediscovering what greatness is.


Wayne Greulich said…
I think it starts with rediscovering what the New Testament says about regeneration, being a disciple of Christ, and the design and functioning of both individual believers as well as the assembly of believers (Christ's Church).
Far too much, the church has followed secular organization, business models, and worldly methods and programs. Far too often, the church seeks "numbers" and getting people to "repeat a prayer" "inviting Jesus into their hearts," rather than preaching the Gospel, which leads to godly repentance and regeneration by the Holy Spirit - and then making disciples of Christ (those who do as Christ did, say what Christ said, seek the Father's will and daily direction and then obey, as Christ did; those who have died to self, who take up their crosses daily and follow Christ wherever and however He leads, etc.).
It's time to get back to the Word of God and the foundation laid for the Church by Christ and His Apostles. It's time to rediscover these NT truths (and others) through the eyes of the Holy Spirit, rather than through the eyes of our biases and culture (even the "church" culture).
Only when those claiming Christ become ACTIVE disciples of Christ and BE the Church of Christ, will those who are truly seeking God find Him in the lives of those who are Christ's ambassadors in this world.