January 29, 2016

American Christians Still Show Up And This Matters

In a recent interview with Ed Stetzer, Greg Smith from the Pew Research Center said,
"... the data also show very clearly that even though the religiously unaffiliated are growing, the vast majority of American adults continue to identify with a religion, primarily Christianity.

Among those who do identify with a religion, they are just as observant as the first time we did this study. There’s no evidence of decline whatsoever in the religious observance of the big majority of American adults who identify with a religion.

One way to illustrate this stability is to look at the number of highly religious people there are in the United States. The number of highly observant American adults really has not changed very much in recent years."
In other words, the people still sitting in your pews are committed.

I had a conversation with my friend Mike Angell last night. We chatted about how difficult it is for many church leaders to call their congregations to action. Church leaders recognize that they are leading a volunteer organization. It's hard to ask people to give of their time, especially if you're the one getting paid to show up.

But here's the reality: these people are still showing up. They will continue to show up. Few of them will change their behavior because of the empty pews around them. They aren't asking the questions of those who left–or never came in the first place. They will keep coming even when there's a moral failure of a leader or the roof is falling in.

Their commitment isn't in question. Your ability to lead is in question.

Cultivate an imagination for what could be, share it, mold it in community and invite people to contribute, participate and make it happen.

They are still showing up because they care. Treat them like they do. They will still be here when you're gone. Help make the investment of their time and yours worthwhile.