Note: This is the text of a letter I sent to the New Hope family. It concerns a new sermon series- and so much more.
All sorts of people- even mature, faithful Christians- are finding conventional religion increasingly less satisfying,are attending church less regularly, and are longing for new expressions of spiritual community.
Diana Butler-Bass, Christianity After Religion
On September 16th, I am beginning a sermon series that may be the most important subject I have addressed in years- and I want you to be there. The series is titled, Losing My Religion…rediscovering God, and it is in response to a trend that has defined my entire adult faith- and yours, too.
More and more people (perhaps you are one of them?) speak of themselves as, “spiritual, but not religious”. The number of people who identify themselves as having “no religious affiliation” has more than doubled in the past decade, while the number of people who identify themselves as “Christian” has dropped dramatically. Many more people talk about believing in God, but don’t find church a meaningful way to connect with God. Some have left altogether because church even hinders their connection to God more than it helps.
So what is going on? Is this a sign of a generation that is turning its back on God- or is it part of a movement of the Holy Spirit, calling people to a deeper and more profound connection with God? That is what I want to explore in this series. It may change the way you experience God, see the church and live your faith.
It is a four-week series and it will address subjects like:
- How can ‘losing my religion’ be a good thing?
- Does believing in God mean I have to distrust science?
- How can I trust the Bible and how do I read it without having to fight about it?
- What good is religion, anyway?
If you haven’t been to church in a while, I especially want to invite you to this series. I suspect that the reason you have found church less compelling has less to do with being “too busy” and more to do with some deep dissatisfaction with the church- and maybe with God. I want to address those things.
If you have been attending and participating regularly, by all means come- and invite a friend who hasn’t been to church to come with you. If you are part of a LIFE Group, I will have discussion materials available for you to use that should spark some great and meaningful conversations.
Losing My Religion, is a series that I have been thinking about for a long time. At its core, I think we (the whole church) have been focusing on the wrong things, arguing about the wrong things, and worrying about the wrong things. In the process, we are missing God. I want to tackle that with you. It begins September 16th and I hope you’ll be there.