This isn’t just another story about the oft-maligned “me” generation, the 77 million strong baby boomers ("Baby boomers: Where are they?"). It is the challenge of a lifetime for our church.
Virtually everyone in this generation (full disclosure: including your editor at age 57) has family and friends who are all over the map on the question of faith. Perhaps like no other demographic group, we’ve watched loved ones and others switch religious affiliation after much soul-searching or without an apparent second thought. And we’ve seen a striking number — 16.2 percent of all U.S. adults — drop out of church affiliation altogether ("Worldscan"), a figure that ranks as the fastest growing segment of the religious market in our nation.
Gone for some are the days when “the faith that has sustained our family for generations” suffices, as a “Reflection” writer put it so well (February, "Faith healing"). To be sure, not all are lost to faith. Instead some of those without a church home say they are “spiritual but not religious.” Just what that means and its implications for the emergent church movement is a topic The Lutheran will tackle in the June issue.
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© 2014 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers