Saturday, May 19, 2012

Cultural Christianity is Struggling

There appears to be a discrepancy between the ocial statistics on the decline of Christianity among the next generation and the spiritual realities many churches are experiencing. Though some churches are having a difficult time reaching the next generation, other churches are seeing great results. Many Christian leaders are realizing that real Christianity may not be in as much trouble as cultural Christianity.

This is especially true among those in the twenty-something age bracket. Ed Stetzer’s research discovered, “The percentage of 20-somethings attending weekly worship services has been rising since 2000, after a serious dip in the mid-1990s.”  Stetzer went on to confirm, “The 2008 data showed another uptick, bringing attendance among evangelical 20-somethings back to what it was in 1972. Among non-evangelicals there was indeed a decline.”

It appears that massive numbers of young adults are abandoning non-evangelical churches and being drawn to evangelical ones. Stetzer concludes, “Listening to some commentators, you might conclude that young adults had left the church. But that is not what the data tells us.” Many young adults who were not completely committed to the Christian faith have stopped identifying themselves as Christians. At the same time, a smaller number of young adults have become more committed to their faith, but they are expressing it through involvement in churches that are more evangelical in theology. This results in a statistical decline overall but a much more passionate faith for those who remain.

Adapted from Terry Dorsett’s book, Mission Possible: Reaching the Next Generation through the Small Church, published by CrossBooks, a division of Lifeway Christian Resources.


  1. This article hits the nail on the head. The gates of hell cannot prevail against the real church. But culture church loyalty is often a path straight to hell.

  2. The Gaithers said it in music some years ago: "Let the church be the church. Let the people rejoice!"