Have you ever heard the saying that Christianity would be a lot more appealing if it weren’t for Christians? Have you ever spoken to someone who likes the basic themes in Christianity, but when it comes to church—forget it? It’s like someone automatically connecting Christianity to rules, shame and judgment instead of love, grace, freedom and hope.
Statistics say that a clear majority of people in America believe in God. One poll I read suggested that number to be anywhere between 85 and 92 percent. No wonder the rest of the world thinks of us as being a far more faithful nation than we see ourselves!
But other polls suggest there are fewer people than ever going to church. Gallup pollsters once reported only 40% of Americans attend church every Sunday, but as far back as 2006 that number was questioned by at least one group from an Episcopal study at Samford, indicating only about 20% actually attend.
So have people rejected the methods of Christianity, even if they still hold to the basic belief that God exists? Why are so many content just to believe in a Creator, without getting to know Him better?
What I do know is that somehow the methods we’re using to help others know God doesn’t seem to be as effective as they could be. I’m afraid I don’t have the answers, but I do know one place we can pray about it. A friend of mine, fellow author Vicki Hinz, has set up a brand new site called Pray It Forward, where we can offer prayers for our country. It’s not political, it’s simply a spot for those of us concerned about the future of America to go and say a prayer and make a stand in the name of our faith.
One other thing that seems obvious: we need to check our own methods the next time we want to share a message! The world was changed by one man: Christ. Other individuals have impacted the world, too, like the Apostle Paul and Martin Luther and in science individuals changed history by understanding our environment, like Newton and Einstein.
We don’t have to be Billy Graham to change our own little worlds, all we need to do is make sure those around us don’t throw out our message because of our methods.