Church decline has taken hold in earnest. It used to be that only “liberal” mainline churches experienced the soul sucking drip-drip of attrition. But now, even conservative denominations have begun to feel the bite.
As I’ve noted before the fastest rising religious self designation among those 18-29 is “none”—which is to say, no religious affiliation at all. In other words, a staggering number of young people (32%), if they ever had any religious affiliation, no longer do. An alarming number of them have moved on.
And it’s not that they don’t necessarily care anything about the spiritual plane of existence. Many of the “nones” still claim to have a belief in God, still pray, still think of themselves as spiritual. What they almost all share in common, however, is a decided sense of estrangement from organized religion.
What does this mean for the church? Young people came; they saw; they went to Starbucks.