Last night my husband and I went to St. Nicks' for presanctified liturgy. The turn out of St.mikes' people was about 9 or 10 not bad I thought for a wed. evening service at a neighboring church.
After liturgy we went into the hall for a light meal and as we were about to sit down one of our members said "Were are all our people?" granted Its a good question but probably not the best timing in front of our host.
The evening went well and on our drive home I teased my husband and said "were are all our people?" my husband laughed and said yeah maybe the person who made that remark should take as much time making phone calls before wed. evening services as he dose calling people after officers council meetings.
To get back on track though "Where are all our people?" Several reasons I'm sure have to do with the age of the church population.Most do not like to go out at night,some I'm sure have spent many years attending these services and are just plain tired of them,some don't get along with members of other churches and some just are not that religious and see no real need to attend church except on Sunday.
We have very few real young people who attend our church.Many young people do not attend church because they feel it was something they were forced to do as children,they attend school or have jobs and are centered on their lives and at present that does not include a devotion of God, many feel they believe in God but do not need a real relationship with him and those who do believe in God are trying out different less restrictive more feel good churches.
I know several people in my own age group who spent very little to no times teaching their children about God. Why? because they felt wronged by their priest or church.One girl I knew had a child out of wedlock and when she asked the priest to baptise him the priest said no because she was not married.she did eventually find a young priest who did it but it turned her off from the church. Another friend had an abusive farther who cheated openly on his wife and beat his children.Every Sunday he insisted that the children attend church even though he did not.So when she grew up she refused to have her child baptised or attend any type of church,she felt they were all hypocrites.
Every one has a story.Many people are unchurched and want to stay that way because religion is painful and confusing to them.I think in order to get people into the church personal needs of those in pain have to be met first then they can move forward with belief and worship.
You know when Jesus came down to earth he came to gather the lost and hurt sheep. He helped them to understand that religion should not hurt and that there is more to religion and faith then confusion and rules.Laws were made for man,Man was not made for laws.I believe we are at the same point Jesus was,Today we have the opportunity to gather the wounded sheep together and assist them to understand that real religion,when done properly, has allot to offer.The rules are not as important as the love of the church.
In our bedroom is an etching of Jesus holding a lamb on his shoulder,the lambs face is across Jesus shoulder and most of Jesus face in the lambs fur hugging him.This to me is what Gods' love is and what Gods' churches should be.We have the opportunity to help the wounded battered sheep and bring them back to the purity of what religion is really suppose to be about. Love should not hurt especially Gods' love.