“Nones”, as they are called, now represent 23% of the population (including over a 3rd of Millennials), about a quarter of which consists of agnostics and atheists, with the rest being those who are simply religiously unaffiliated. Just 4% of these Nones participate in religious services weekly, with 24% participating in monthly, and practically three-fourths attending rarely to never.
Only 46% of the consistently associated participate in services every week, with another 35% stating they go 1-2 times a month, and 18% reporting they go rarely to never. Among Millennials, the number is much lower; only about 27% participate in services weekly. When all groups are integrated, just 36% of Americans attend religious services on a weekly basis (and as we’ve gone over previously, substantially less of this portion is made up of males).
Current decrease aside, service attendance has been low for a lot longer than that. Gallup surveys, which peg the portion of individuals who presently go to church or synagogue weekly or practically weekly at 38%, show that even 25 years ago, that number was still only 44%. And if you check out books from the early 20th century, and even farther back, the authors remark on how a couple of individuals were going to church even then.
But there’s still an actually excellent case to be produced going. And not just for the devout or orthodox, either. Keep in mind: In the rest of this article, we will utilize “church” when describing spiritual services, as Christianity-based religious institutions are what almost of Americans would participate in, if they got involved.
We have actually discussed why men don’t go to church as typically as ladies, but why doesn’t the bulk of either sex go? A decline in belief looks like the most obvious response, and while it does explain part of the reason individuals aren’t going to religious services, it doesn’t explain everything. The overall rate of church attendance in the U.S.
Rather, it’s decreased because the population’s percentage of Nones who go to church extremely rarely has increased. Yet, contrary to popular presumption (and their unfavorable sounding moniker), Nones do not avoid all connection to the transcendent and many still evince theistic leanings: 61% think in God, 40% state they frequently experience feelings of spiritual peace and well-being, over a 3rd say religious beliefs are either really or somewhat crucial to them, and 20% pray daily.
Hence while a weakening in belief among Nones has certainly contributed in reducing church presence, so has a general disassociation between belief and the necessity of making a few of the outward manifestations generally connected with it like going to church. Even if those in this group experience religious impulses, they don’t feel the requirement to structure them within the boundaries of an arranged faith.
Rather than citing doubt or doctrinal concerns, we try to consider more practical factors for why they’ve been avoiding services regularly lately: an excellent church isn’t nearby, they’re too hectic or busy, or there are merely other things they ‘d rather do instead.
Those who are consistently inclined, feel like church presence can easily be dropped for the sake of convenience, or substituted, without loss, for more satisfying activities. Theistic Nones feel like spiritualty and church-going are not inseparably linked which the previous can be cultivated without the latter. And nonbelieving Nones think the church isn’t something that is at all appropriate to them. A non-essential for living a great life.
There’s certainly no putting this cultural feline back in the bag. However I ‘d still like to make a controversial, countercultural, admittedly quixotic case that, optional though it may be, routine church presence functions as one of the finest secrets for anyone wanting to produce a flourishing life not simply the consistently inclined, however even agnostics and atheists also.
For those who are currently consistently affiliated, the purpose of church services is apparent: to worship God. Yet for the majority of this nominally devoted market, this raison d’etre is seemingly insufficient to compel their butts into benches each Sunday. Hence for them, the “nonreligious” benefits of church presence outlined below will ideally include another layer of inspiration for going.
And for the agnostics and atheists, who will surely be the hardest to convince, I propose looking at church like something of an anthropologist seeing it as a common organizing principle of society, weighing whether it may not just be the very best possible lorry for meeting universal human requirements, and contemplating the concept that one can admit to having those requirements, and reasonably accede to fulfilling them through this particular channel, without wholly assenting to their doctrinal structures.
Anybody who’s graduated from college and went out into real-life can inform you one thing: making good friends in the adult years is dang hard. It’s a fair bit easier though if you go to church. Experts say that two of the three secrets to promoting relationships are “duplicated and unexpected interactions” and “a setting that motivates vulnerability.” Church amply supplies both.
Repeated and unintended interactions certainly happen in the context of things like work and the health club too, however, the church has the added benefit that its individuals don’t simply feel moved to be familiar with people if the mood strikes, however, consider themselves duty-bound to foster a tight community; they see fellowshipping as part and parcel of the entire function of the church.
If you’re ready to be a part of the tight-knit fellowship here, join us for our services on Sunday.