A big part of our movement’s efforts have been reaching out to the nominally committed, sharing Jesus’ call to discipleship with them. Most of our churches are in places where the easiest people to reach are those who used to go to church, or have some Christian background, but are currently not living up to what little faith they may have had at some point in their lives.
Ed Stetzer’s recent post in The Exchange points to a shifting landscape:
However, the category of nominal Christians is the fastest shrinking category today. Perhaps 20 years ago, nearly 60% of the population was nominal Christian. Yet now, nominalism is declining about 1% per year….
….when we look at younger adults (specifically college students) only 30-35% would fit the same description as nominal Christians— and many more are secular. This is 15-20% less than the population as a whole. There is a shrinking pool that will grow even less in the flood of secularism in America and many other parts of the world.
Secular people aren’t sitting around saying, “Man, if there was just a better version of the church, I would go to it!” They have largely decided that their worldview does not accommodate religious viewpoints and that they have even outgrown religion itself….
We cannot plant churches among secular people in the same manner that we plant among nominals and expect the same return.
Read the whole thing.