God is Back
That is what John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge say in their book, "God is Back: How the Global Revival of Faith is Changing the World." I didn't read the book, the title long enough. However, I came across an April 7th Wall Street Journal article by John and Adrian that was titled, "God Still Isn't Dead."
The article pointed out that religion has actually grown because of not having state sponsored religion. I would call it "religious capitalism." They would say that a church will survive only when you get souls in the pews.
The article gave two statistics that caught my eye.
1. Did you know that 83% of the citizens in Mass. in 1683 confessed to no religious identification? So much for our country founded by only Christians. The authors explained that we as a country have come a long way from our infant years as a nation. We now have close to 75% today who claim to be Christians.
2. Did you know that a fifth of the "atheists" in a recent Pew Survey said that they believed in God. Huh? The authors believe that this statement shows that many of the atheists are more concerned about the fusion of religion and political power than really saying there is no God. They would rather call themselves an atheists than have any religious affiliation.
However, the best paragraph in this article about churches in America describes my desire for life giving churches here in Omaha.
"The churches act both as a storm shelter for people who feel overwhelmed by social change and a community for people who feel atomized. Above all, there is the search for spiritual meaning that has haunted man through the ages."
I don't toss and turn trying to figure out new ways to market church to the masses or how to get souls in the pews. The reality is it is people. It is "satisfied customers" reaching out to others and inviting them to a church that offers hope, a storm shelter, a relational connection and a place to find spiritual meaning through Jesus Christ!
May the campuses of Christ Community be that place of hope, shelter, relationships with God and others. May you and I tell others about a place where, "no perfect people are allowed."
On the journey,
Sarpy Campus Pastor