I ran across a story this week that talked about the findings of a LifeWay Research study. It basically says that the “unchurched” (a particularly stupid word) see Christian churches as full of hypocrites and overly judgmental. One of the quotes is that 44% said that “Christians get on my nerves.”
This study simply confirms what the Barna Group has found in surveys over the last couple of years.Their studies show that non-Christians and Christians who don’t attend a church (the “unchurched”) think that Christian churches are hypocritical, judgmental, overly political, and old-fashioned stick in the muds.
Will Christian churches, their pastors and their members take heed of this type of research and figure out a way to live Christ-like lives and engage in Christ-like ministries that will show the world that love of God and love of neighbor are indeed the greatest commandments? I doubt it… too much money, power, property and influence is tied up in the running of even the smallest of churches.
Both LifeWay and Barna note that people are interested in spiritual matters and open to talking about spirituality. Unfortunately, the modern Christian church is not interested in either. They simply want people to take an oath to support the creed of their particular flavor of Christianity, donate their money, fill the pews and vote the way the leadership of the church deems appropriate.
Somehow I think if Jesus came to visit us in 2008 he would live and teach among the “unchurched.”