Americans with No Religious Affiliation on the Rise
The latest report by the Pew Forum revealed that the percentage of Americans with no religious affiliation now stands at nearly 20 percent. This has risen over four percent since 2007. This consists of 33 million people with no religious affiliation and 13 million atheists and agnostics.
Since 2007 there has also been a 10 percent drop in the percentage of people who seldom or never attend religious services.
Age is a significant factor in the religiously unaffiliated. A third of people in the 18-29 age bracket have no religious affiliation, while only 9 percent of people 65 and older are unaffiliated.
The growing percentage of religiously unaffiliated people can be viewed partially along racial lines. Since 2007, the percentage of blacks and Hispanics has not changed statistically; however, the percentage of whites who are religiously unaffiliated has risen by 5 percent.
Furthermore, the Pew Forum discovered that the majority of religiously unaffiliated people are not actively seeking a church to join. 70 percent of them say that the church is too concerned with money and power. On the other hand, 78 percent of them also say that the church brings people together and strengthens community bonds.
With these findings in mind, there are some things we can do as followers of Jesus…
1. Realize that we are the seekers, not the religiously unaffiliated. Jesus told his followers to “go”. Instead of building a church building with the notion that “they will come” to us, we need to actively and intentionally go to our communities.
2. Target young people. The younger generations are the ones with the largest percentage of religiously unaffiliated. They will also dictate the future of the church. Therefore, we need to intentionally seek to develop relationships with them.
3. Communicate the love of Jesus. If we share the love of Jesus by serving others with no strings attached and by being transparent with them, it will show them that we are more concerned with their souls than money, rules and politics.
Source: Pew Research Center