Most people don’t go to church. It just doesn’t fit them. But some people do attend church services regularly. How are these two groups different? That’s what we’ve been discussing in this series.
So far, I’ve mentioned that church goers tend to be Audience-oriented and they embrace Anonymity. Now for the next descriptor that starts with an A. Church goers tend to be Authority-centered.
They rely heavily on authority figures for information and inspiration. So, in the contemporary church, they count on the paid professionals to communicate the insights, move them, pray on their behalf, and do the real ministry. Some view the professionals as go-betweens—a necessary filter or conduit between themselves and God. They may be less comfortable seeing value in contributions from peers or from personal discovery.
But this group is shrinking–as is church attendance.
Most people today have moved into the new era of information distribution, which is accentuated by the internet. Increasingly people no longer have to wait for authorities to deliver needed information. They’re comfortable accessing it themselves. What’s more, they are relying more on peers than authorities for such things as product reviews, perspectives on current events, and general advice.
When it comes to matters of faith, people are more open to hear about God stuff from peers than exclusively from those who are paid to deliver doctrine. Hearing a story from a grandma who felt God’s hand in her health struggles is more authentic and compelling than a story a preacher found in a book of sermon illustrations.
If the church wishes to become more relevant to the growing non-churched majority, it may be need to consider some changes in methodology.
Next A on our list: Academic. Stay tuned.