Less than Half
News came out this week that, per Gallup, fewer than half of Americans belong to a congregation (and that's not just counting Christian churches).
Only 47% do.
Now, it can be claimed that one can be "spiritual" without being "religious" and "spiritual" and/or "religious" without attending church.
However, I would argue that those claiming that are at best mistaken, more likely rationalizing to excuse their choice and, at worst actively leading people into sin.
But, that's not the purpose of this sermon…and I am not claiming that somehow we who do attend are better people; we all have the same disease, just different symptoms.
Instead, can we just agree that that is an extremely concerning statistic? That, out of love for our fellow U.S. humans we should hope to reverse the trend?
A natural question would be, "Why has congregational membership declined?" and, together, we probably could come up with a pretty comprehensive, accurate list.
I would suggest that, in the end, it's because we love our sin…and all the other factors are just making it easier for us to embrace our fallen natures and not feel like we have to change but, again…
That's not the purpose of this sermon.
Instead, let's chat a bit about one factor in the falling away of Americans…the reality that people don't think they need Jesus.
And, together…let's try to answer the question…