Over 40? Share your church experience via brief survey

During the last few months, I’ve had numerous conversations with a number of people over 40 who are trying to make sense of their relationship with a local church. Pollster George Barna’s 2011 State Of The Church survey reported that church attendance is on the decline among adults. One of the most significant drops in regular attendance came among Baby Boomers, those born between 1946-1964. Baby Busters, those born between 1965-1983, have seen an uptick in the number of those who do not claim any church affiliation.

I’ve written on “second adulthood” subjects (here, here, here and here, just for starters). I’m keenly interested in learning more about how we relate to the Church as we move into midlife and beyond, so I put together a 10-question survey of my own. If you were born before 1973, please click the link below and weigh in about your relationship with the local church. The survey should take you no more than 4 minutes to complete. To sweeten the pot, you can enter to win a $15 Amazon gift card.

As I note in my intro to the survey, “I am neither a statistician or a social scientist. I am a 53 year-old interested in further exploring these questions in some of the writing I do, as well as in conversation with those in my sphere of influence. This survey is an opportunity for me to listen to you, then prayerfully discover where the responses to these questions may take me.” Note that your survey responses will remain completely anonymous. Do pass this survey on to your over-40 friends, too. Then stay tuned to this space for some lively discussion about this topic!

–> Please click here to take the survey  <–

 

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About Michelle Van Loon
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  • http://timfall.wordpress.com/ Tim

    Great questions in that survey, Michelle. You provoked a lot of thinking in my brain!

    • chris white

      Maybe the marital question should have widow/widower as an option-the survey’s target age is 40 and over.

      • Michelle Van Loon

        I agree, Chris. I am hopeful that someone with some serious surveying expertise will take this conversation to the next level. I’d like to see denominational affiliation included, too!

  • Ray

    Great idea for the survey. One trend that I have seen in the last 10 years among a number of churches has been a frenetic, desperate shift to try to get the next generation. A big result is often to shift the worship to higher volumes and styles more like a youth group with higher volumes and distortion levels. Often the response to concerns to accommodate those who don’t tolerate and worship well is to ignore them. Also the programs are often focused on the younger including leadership development. We changed to an Anglican church that has great blended music, a young congregation but is multi-generational in their viewpoint. My wife and I have commented that it is like we are important again. I should add that I am a musician, song writer, have no problem with contemporary styles of worship and despite turning 60 this summer am often guessed for mid-40′s. Nonetheless I wonder if the shift to reach the next generation has left boomers out in the cold. If so, then I think the church would be healthier to be more cross-generational. We need everyone to accomplish the work he has sent us to do.

    • Michelle Van Loon

      Ray, I think you’ve hit on something of value in this statement: “My wife and I have commented that it is like we are important again.” Your previous church communicate that you didn’t matter much to them. Your current church has a place for you and your wife.
      Isn’t that what we all want – and reflects what Scripture tells us the body is supposed to function like? (“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” – 1 Cor. 12:27)
      We do need each person to do what God has called us to do, indeed!

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