According to a poll conducted by ACS Technologies here, more than half of Americans list themselves as “Christian”. That is quite a lot, however, it is 15 million fewer persons than in 2011. In an article sharing the data, it states that the combined populations of New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles are a little over 15 million. Imagine a world where, in 2011, every single person in those cities was Christian, and now none of them are. That is quite a change.
Increasingly, newer generations are less inclined to follow what they see as the Christian religion. They still have interest in Christ and what it means to follow him. They have just lost their taste for an organization that isn’t following the very one it proclaims as its Lord. Younger people want very much to transform the world. For them, the truth of entrenched beliefs doesn’t matter as much as the truth of loving, lifting, healing, feeding, and ensuring justice. These are the things they see Jesus doing in the scriptures.
What does that mean for our churches? Well, that brings us back to stewardship. How will we manage our church’s money, time and abilities to be more like Christ? Is our ministry, like Jesus, or for that matter John Wesley, one that is in the world or in the building? Are our staff and volunteers supporting things Jesus did in the world, or things we are used to having in our church? Does our budget reflect traditionalism or the living tradition of what Jesus handed down to us? Are our church meetings taken up with lots of things that matter to us, but perhaps don’t matter to a hurting world?
These are stewardship questions. When churches get these questions right, they get their witness right. The light of that witness is what our communities need to see. Keep working to make sure your church’s leadership team is focusing on Jesus, and the stewardship of following him.
If you would like information to help your congregations with stewardship and giving, your Foundation is here to help. Contact us here or call us toll free at 877-391-8811.
For more good stuff Follow and Like us on Facebook.
Director of Development
United Methodist Foundation of Indiana