Nancy Kennedy wrote an article for her syndicated column that was published by several newspapers. It is always interesting to see what is being published by media. Here is an excerpt:
They like Jesus, but not the church. That’s the title of a book I’m reading and it’s also the sentiment of an entire generation.
According to a Gallup poll, each year 4,000 new churches start, but 7,000 close. One million people leave the traditional church each year, most of them young people right out of high school. Some return, but many, many don’t.
Dan Kimball, author of the book I’m reading, talked to scores of people who were not shy in telling him what they don’t like about church and church people. In a nutshell: Churches are like exclusive religious country clubs filled with right-wing, finger-pointing, judgmental, angry gay-haters.
Sadly, some are like that and I don’t blame people for not wanting to be a part.
In the Religion feature story today, I wrote about home churches, or “simple churches” as they’re called. People who gather together because they like Jesus, but not so much the institutional, traditional church.
Dave Shirkey, who used to pastor a traditional church, is now a part of a simple church that meets in his home.
He’s not the pastor, he said, but more like a coach. When they meet, they don’t have an agenda or follow a program and everyone has an equal say. No one teaches or preaches, but they share knowledge with each other as God teaches them individually.
They just all like Jesus and like each other and want to be the church rather than attend a church.
Kennedy goes on to describe her own fondness for her traditional church. But she also acknowledges that there is an increasing number of people who are frustrated by the organized church's focus on attendance, buildings, and collections (the ABCs).
Her conclusion is: "Maybe house churches are the answer. Maybe the traditional church will change and care less about carpet color and more about people... After all, the church is God’s idea. Therefore, it will prevail. But it needs to change."
You can read the entire article here.