Posted by: smstrouse | November 3, 2012

Seriously: Tell Me Why You Don’t Go to Church

I ask this with all seriousness:  if you are someone who doesn’t belong to a church or who doesn’t attend the one you do belong to, why not?  I’m asking, not because I want to try to get you to come to my church or accept my brand of religion, but because I really want to know. There are so many studies and books and articles floating around about the end of the Christian era, the decline of the mainline church, and the rise of the ‘spiritual but not religious’ population.  And they’re all very interesting and helpful to a point in figuring out how to be a parish pastor in the midst of this re-formation.

What’s also interesting to me is that at the same time I hear a lot of people expressing a longing for community, a place to ask the questions of the meaning of life, and a way to be of service.  That used to be the church. And I get the reasons why things aren’t the way they used to be – and in many ways shouldn’t be the way they used to be. But for those churches who have become more progressive, both theologically and socially, the questions still remain: how to get our message of inclusivity and radical hospitality out there, how to create a diverse community of spiritual seekers who are  ‘living the questions,’ how to be a healthy church of the 21st century.

So I’m interested in opening up a dialogue. I want to hear from you: the good, the bad, the indifferent. Why do you go to church?  Why don’t you go to church?  Why do you go to church sometimes?

Tell me your ideal of a healthy spiritual community.  I’m listening – seriously.

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