Almost everybody I talk with now are not in the church*. Here’s the demographic:
- They never have been a part of one.
- They used to be but aren’t anymore.
- They are connected to one but never go.
- If they are part of one, they are trying to figure out how to leave.
I totally sympathize with every one of these groups. I completely understand why they feel the way they do and empathize with the decisions they’ve made. I’m one of them.
Of course, I myself have left the church for what I think are good reasons. But I still believe I am a part of the church. I appreciate my Christian heritage and acknowledge that no matter how or what I communicate, my roots are found in and my nourishment has come from the rich soil of the Christian faith and the church life that has nurtured me for decades. I will never deny that.
But I see this not only as a way to be honest about who I am, but also as a kind of window into the religious life and spiritual experience of all people. Indeed, my z-theory is an attempt to articulate what this “window” means to me and what I think it may mean for others.
I think I am on a very interesting journey and I’m excited about it.
*When I say “church” I mean a local congregation of gathering Christians.