New reports are out from the Pew Research Group showing that the amount of Americans who declare that they are not affiliated with any kind of religion grew from 16% in 2007 to 23% in 2014. When asked what religion they identify with about a quarter of American’s choose “Nothing in particular.” This group has been referred to as the “nones” and they are expected to continue growing rapidly. This trend of Americans walking away from faith “is big, it’s broad and it’s everywhere” says Alan Cooperman, the Pew’s director of religious research. Cooperman says that the research reveals, “Overall, there are more than four former Christians for every convert to Christianity.”
If you’re like me, someone having a “religious affiliation” doesn’t matter much to you, but people having a relationship with God and following Jesus means everything. It matters to me not because I care about the level of “market share” for my group, but because I know we were made for a relationship with God, and that only Jesus can give us true and eternal life and hope.
So what’s the answer to this problem?
Love Is The Answer.
That’s what the Bible says. Right? We’re told that God sent Jesus not to condemn the world but to save the world. Why? Because He loved the world. (John 3:16-17). We’re taught to, “Above all, keep loving” (1 Peter 4:8) and “Above all these put on love” (Colossians 3:14) and “Let all that you do be done in love” (1 Corinthians 16:14). And Jesus said that the way the world will know Him is by our love (John 13:35).
What people really need is truth and love.
What Christians have to offer the world is real truth and real love.
The problem is that too many Christians focus on sharing the truth. They want to convince others that they’re wrong. No one woke up this morning wanting to be told they’re wrong. But everyone woke up this morning wanting to be loved. Pushing love on people opens them up to truth. Pushing truth on people closes them off from being loved.
The trend in America away from faith in God may seem irreversible, but it’s not. Nothing is impossible with God. The task is daunting, and it will only happen if the most powerful force in the universe is applied to it – the unconditional and perfect love of God.
So, who can you love, in the name of Christ, today?
And in what big way can you join God’s loveolution and point people to Jesus?
Above all else, do that.
You can pre-order my new book, God For The Rest Of Us on Amazon or on Barnes & Noble.
You can attend my church’s conference on how to reach the “nones” – VaultConference.com