Spiritual Homelessness describes the trend that has many have taken to, describing themselves as “spiritual , not religious”. This means they do not wish to declare membership in a Church. Culturally, there seems to be a rise in people’s interest in faith, and it is evident through the growth of websites, as well as the bookshelf space at your Barnes and Noble. Yet, the numbers of people who join a Church continue to decline. Why is that?
The Psalmist describes the Lord as “our refuge through all generations” (90:1). Despite this many have not found a home within the Lord. Others have not found a home in the Church because they primarily see their faith in individualistic terms, namely “Jesus and me”. The Spiritually Homeless, not unlike the Prodigal, have either rejected or never been fully engaged in the “Jesus and we” lifestyle of a faith community.
LifeWay Christian Resources surveyed 1,200 eighteen to twenty-nine year-olds and found 72% describe themselves as “really more spiritual than religious.” Thom Rainer from LifeWay reported that among the 65% of those who call themselves Christian, “many are either mushy Christians or Christians in name only”. Rainer also mentioned that, “Most are just indifferent. The more precisely you try to measure their Christianity, the fewer you find committed to the faith.” These results lead me to believe that Spiritual Homelessness may very well become pandemic. Rainer even goes so far to suggest that the Millennial generation may “see churches closing as quickly as GM dealerships.” The thought should sadden us all, and we must demand that we find a way to close the gap, and close the disconnect between the Lord and our youth.
Everything about adolescence suggests that it is temporary and transitional. A student endures four years of the high school experience before possibly commencing to such transitory places as a two year college, a four year college, or the even more transitory gap year. If a young person is fortunate to have a job, they are not very likely to imagine themselves in that same job throughout the remainder of their life. This is where youth ministry comes in, and can really contribute in helping young adults during their transitional times.
For Discussion: What does a committed Christian look and sound like? Please comment below with your critique clarifications, and responses. <image source>
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