Most evangelism programs, church growth tactics, and other attempts to reach the “unchurched” concentrate on Millennials, young urbanites, college types, and the suburban middle class. But, as Robert Putnam reminds us, the demographic that is the most unchurched is the working class, the lower income non-college-educated folks. A big segment of these blue-collar workers has just stopped going to church. They are also, with the personal and family problems that Putnam documents, arguably, most in need of ministry. This is ironic, since the working class used to be the biggest supporters of conservative Christianity. And yet, I’m unaware of any concerted effort to reach them, other than individual pastors in these communities doing what they can.I’m as middle class as they come, but I have a lot of affinity with these folks, having grown up in rural Oklahoma and working on jobs that for me were temporary ways of paying for school but for them were their permanent livelihoods. They are typically good-natured, hard-working, and admirable in many ways. But I can see in my old friends–more accurately, the adult children of those friends–the break-down that Putnam documents.
Patheos Explore the world's faith through different perspectives on religion and spirituality! Patheos has the views of the prevalent religions and spiritualities of the world.