Thursday, June 1, 2017


I was visiting with someone the other day and they used a phrase, now all too familiar, "I am spiritual, just not religious."

I have heard this so many times over the last ten years.  It seems to be growing in popularity.  I truly believe that some of what TV preachers have said over the years has so hurt the reputation of the church.  Church and organized religion seems to be growing more irrelevant, especially to younger folks.  Oh, I wish that churches could get better at being normal and relevant.
So, spiritual but not religious.  While many wish to distance themselves from the brokenness of organized religion, there is still a deep desire for spirituality.  People recognize that there is someone or something, God, out there that is bigger than they are.  People are too often repulsed by religion, but drawn to the spiritual God.

What are we, who are in the church business to do about all of this?

  1. First of all, make church as normal and relevant as possible.  
  2. Open the books.  Anyone that attends your church should be able to know how much the secretary makes.  
  3. Answer people's questions.  Secrecy gets us nowhere.
  4. Drop every form of pretentiousness.
  5. Be kind.
  6. erase judgement, add grace
  7. Love.  Love. Love.

I think many of you that attend church would say as well, I am spiritual, just not religious.  May our churches and our lives become less religious and more spiritual.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.


Anonymous said...

Jeff, you are a thinker, so I hope it's okay to share additional thoughts about today's post. I couldn't agree more with the list of seven things the relevant church needs to be doing. And especially why love, love, love works.

However, if someone told me they were "spiritual" I would tend to wonder about the context in which they use that term. I think the matter of whether someone is "spiritual" or "religious" is something only God knows, because he knows our hearts. Labels, even when people tend to label themselves, are a very private matter between them and God.

Being spiritual but not religious is somewhat a sign of the times we live in, when people have so many choices around them that they take what they want and leave the rest. It's kind of like sitting down to a meal and saying I'll take some meat and dessert, but I'll leave the rest. And again that is between them and God.

The other dimension to this is that it's easy to blame the church, when people want to live their daily life without organized worship in it. You are right that the church often is to blame for turning people off. But conversely, the church isn't always to blame. Many of our young people today have been brought up in homes where both parents work, and sometimes try to compensate for being away by giving children a lot of material things and conveying that life is about them.

And you could be more right about this growing "buffet" trend among young people. My dad always said "pendulums tend to swing." So I can only hope and pray that buffet style of faith diminishes, and that churches continue to focus on being relevant.

Anonymous said...

do "spiritual" people believe in a creator but Not in Jesus n what he did?