I recently heard a pastor say, "We do not live in a Christian nation. We live in a nation that has some Christians in it...but it is not a Christian nation."
Whether you agree with that statement or not, it is evident that we are quickly sliding away from being able to classify ourselves as a "Christian nation." Yes...it still says "In God We Trust" on our currency, but fewer people seem to actually be trusting in God.
- 4% do not believe in God
- 8% identify as agnostic or atheist
- 13% disagree that faith is important
- 18% do not pray
- 27% have never made a commitment to Jesus
- 29% disagree that the Bible is accurate
- 32% have not donated money to a church
- 33% have not attended a church
- 41% agree that Jesus committed sins
- 47% do not feel a responsibility to share their faith
- 57% have not read the Bible
- 79% have not volunteered at church
- 81% have not attended "Sunday School"
- 81% have not attended a small group
- 89% have not participated in a house church
Don't let these stats depress you. God is still at work...in an amazing way. Some of the greatest churches in the history of our nation are being built right now and they are doing it by reaching post-Christians.
Here's what it takes...
Unbelievers want to see Christians that are genuine. Not perfect...but with a sincere faith that translates into every area of their lives. Nothing validates a person's faith more than living it out every day.
No one wants to give their lives to misery. When believers look like they were baptized in pickle juice, who would want to be a Christ-follower? We must let the joy of the Lord rule our hearts so people can see it in our faces and be attracted to it.
The Holy Spirit is the one who convicts of sin and draws people to the Father. As we spend time with God, His anointing falls upon our lives and empowers us to reach people. Take a look at some of the churches that are effectively reaching people and you will see that it's not because of their talent or cool music or hip pastors...it's because of the anointing of God resting upon their ministry. Above all else, beg...beg...beg...beg...beg...beg for God to anoint your ministry.
Are you willing to accept people where they are? Can alcoholics, adulterers, people living together, homosexuals, drug addicts, agnostics, prostitutes, thieves, etc. come and feel loved and welcome? Will you give them time and space to belong before they believe? Notice I didn't say "approve" but "accept." There is a difference.
In past generations, the public in general had some knowledge of the Bible. But as we move farther and farther away from Christianity as a nation, you will find that people have little to no knowledge of God's Word. You will have to start at square one, teaching them who God is and how He sent His Son, Jesus, to redeem us.
As the culture around us gets darker with each passing generation, the brighter the light of the Gospel can shine. The Gospel is what changes lives. It is the hope for the world! Our greatest opportunities to share the Gospel and reach people area ahead.
The Post-Christian Generation...yes...you can reach them. The Gospel still works if we will acquaint people with it.