Monday, April 10, 2006

Evangelism in context




In America, the question is 'which church should I go to?' because everybody goes to church.

The answer is, 'Come to ours, because we are less conservative, less dogmatic, because we are not like churches that you dislike.'

In Britain, the question is, 'why should I go to any church?' because nobody goes to church.

Our answer has to be to say what is good about being religious. What differences being religious makes to our lives. We need to rediscover what is at the foundation of our religious faith. How we are made better people by this thing that we do. We need to say what we are, not what we are not. We need to say being Unitarian makes a difference in our lives. If it does not, then why bother?

4 Comments:

Blogger Bill Baar said...

Everyone goes to Church?

That hasn't been my experience.

These folks say the 40% commonly reported is overstated.

12:20 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill's right, and it really depends on which part of the States you're in. Northern California and the Pacific Northwest is much more like the U.K., with a very low church attendance rate (but without the religious education that kids in the U.K. get in school, so very little knowledge of religion at all). Whereas in the deep South, it still is pretty true that "everyone goes to church." Here in New England, we're sort of betwixt and between -- church is considered a normal part of life, except few people actually go to church.

--Dan Harper

3:35 pm  
Blogger Stephen said...

I take both your points, obviously I was exagerating and simplying somewhat. Nevertheless what I've heard again and again from UUs was, 'we started having a family and thought - now we're a family we should go to church' a thought that wouldn't occur to a Brit.

I think American UU evangelism is still based on the idea of choosing a church, even though in large parts of america are becoming more like the UK and the US will need to shift to talking about why to go to church at all.

7:48 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

in other words you were stereotyping Americans as religious church goers, and presenting a one-dimensional image of American society...

11:07 am  

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