The Pew Research Center has an interesting article about the increasing secularity of Americans. The study takes into account surveys from the past half-century or so, and notes a generational decline in religious affiliation:
Among respondents born before the baby boom (that is, prior to 1946), only about 5% are secular or unaffiliated compared with more than double that number among Baby Boomers (11%). The most secular Americans are those 30 and younger -- sometimes called "Generation Y" -- 19% of whom do not identify with a religious tradition.Jennie and I are a part of this Generation Y, and can feel this somewhat in our church small group and in talking with people we know. It's not so much that we know a lot of atheists or agnostics, but there seems to be a general attitude among people our age that institutionalized religion may not have all the facts straight, or at least the priorities are out of whack.
While faith in God is indeed very important to many people our age, it seems faith in religion itself is declining. From what I can tell, my generation is longing for something deeply spiritual -- a connection with God on a personal basis. What they don't care for is the traditional (or even "modern"), pre-packaged church experience.
Is this a chance for churches and Christians to wake up and get back to basics? Are we preaching church and religion, or are we preaching Christ?
What do you think?