Nones … that part of our society that when asked what religious affiliation they have, they say, ‘none’. That’s 26% of Americans and 40% of Millennials. This area has been covered ad infinitum. But Bishop Barron, while in Baltimore before other bishops, presented 5 paths that would be useful to reach this part of our society. Again, nothing ground breaking here but since most my circle are around Baptists, I thought I would throw in a Catholic insight.
Path One … get people involved in the work of justice. Not only is this important to most people, especially younger idealistic generations, it is very biblical. Micah 6.8. Do justice.
Path Two … lead with beauty. Don’t just tell people, show them. Do all things with excellence. From sanctuaries to services, from worships to websites … do all things the best you can. Strive for excellence. People notice.
Path Three … stop dumbing down the faith. Watered down faith is not attractive. It leaves the hard questions unanswered and will not stand in the hard times. Yes, be attractive to seekers, but also be solid on what you believe.
Path Four … every parish (local congregation) should be a missionary society. Stop expecting they will come to us, we must go out to them. Go out and get them. Fishers of men do not order everything for Amazon 24 hour delivery. They get out to the rivers and lakes. Go!
Path Five … creatively use new media. Invest a lot of time and money in getting really good people to work our social media. Influencers are real today. Can you imagine what a Christian influencer with 30 Billion followers might accomplish. I mentioned TikTok from the pulpit last week. Many faces looked awkward not even knowing to what I was referring, but I had many Gen-Z-ers ears perk up. They even mentioned it later how it connected. Sorry Boomers, we’ve got to connect using whatever means we can.
Maybe you can’t take each path this week, or even quickly. But I hope we will take serious steps to reach nones. If we don’t, we will soon see nones wanting none to do with us. (Sorry, bad grammar but great point of view).
To see an article on Bishop Barron’s talk, go here.