Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sermon: Pentecost 17B

Right Click here to download the mp3 audio.

“Don’t worry about the young people, pastor,” he told me, “After they have kids they’ll return to church to have their children baptized. They always do. It’s the cycle of life.”

That’s the common wisdom. And I hear that a lot.

While that may be true this morning as we welcome Chase into our family of faith through the sacrament of holy baptism, it is becoming less and less the case overall. And that presents us with a challenge as we look ahead into our future and try to discern God’s vision for us as a church.

I’ve been a pastor for 13 years and over that time I have seen the declining numbers accelerate. And while there are blips of growth here and there, the overall trend is downward. We fear for our future. And we look around and we wonder where all the young people have gone. We ask why they don’t come to church like people once did.

And so we dig in our heels, get angry and resentful about an insecure future. We blame the media for what we think is bias against people of faith. We blame the government for an increasingly secular culture. I’ve even heard some pastors blame immigrants for bringing their “foreign religion” to our so-called “Christian country.”

So we ask, why is this happening? Why are we in this place? How did we get here?

Even in our darkest moments, we look at our own children and other members of our families, and see how they’ve abandoned church, and we ask, “What did we do wrong? What could I have done better in the past so that my family would still attend church today?”

Here’s the answer to those questions...(whole thing here)

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