Answers to Questions We Never Asked

A recent Pew Research Center poll made headlines in the last couple of weeks. It shows, for the first time ever since recording began, that nearly one-fifth of all U.S. adults now list their religious affiliation as “none.” 20% of all adults. No religious affiliation. They’re gone, and statistically, they are not coming back.

And, according to the Pew report, a vast majority of the religiously unaffiliated say they are not looking for a religion they feel fits them. In fact, most of the “nones” responded that they felt that churches and religion in general strengthen communities and help the poor. They just aren’t interested in joining up.

As churches close, as ministries shrink, as Sunday morning in a pew starts to seem quaint instead of foundational to the greater public, it’s stressful. To me, for sure, and perhaps to you. Some days, it is enough to make many of us churchgoers sneak off to Jesus and say something like what James and John request in our Gospel Reading for today: “We want recognition, and a guarantee that things are going to work out in our favor.”

But what if Jesus has the very same response to us as he does to James and John?

Instead of “give us what we would like,” might our prayer as disciples become, “give us people to serve?”

If so, that prayer, according to the new research, is already being answered.  In fact, that is our mission field, and it is growing every single day.

%d bloggers like this: