The Truth About Why Spirituality Is No Longer Tied To The Church

A key focus of my blog is Health/Wellness. Spirituality is an important part of our personal health both individually and collectively. It has changed over the years though as have most things. The following contributed post is entitled, The Truth About Why Spirituality Is No Longer Tied To The Church.

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According to a recent Springtide study, as many as 73% of young people between the ages of 13-25 identify as spiritual. Yet, church attendance is lower in our younger generations than in any generation that’s come before them.

This is an odd discrepancy, and it highlights one pressing fact – young people simply don’t tie their spirituality to the church in the same ways that their parents and grandparents do.

With this in mind, something needs to change to keep spirituality alive in a modern audience. And, those changes will most likely come from considering the following reasons for the spirituality/church divide.

Reason 1: A new approach to worship

Young people with limited timeframes and a growing need for connection are increasingly finding alternative ways to make room for spirituality in their lives. This is a requirement that online sermons have been attempting to fulfill since the pandemic but, with just 13% of young people reporting a feeling of joy after an online sermon, further steps may also be necessary.

Church-led community initiatives and college-based religious representatives seem to be especially effective in this sense. A focus on personal connections forged with one key religious leader, rather than entire congregations, also seems to help young people feel more supported, and more impassioned in their religious practices.

Reason 2: The age divide

65% of people aged 65 or over attend weekly church sermons. Churches, therefore, face the challenge of appealing to older audiences and attracting a new generation.

This can be a difficult balance to strike, and it’s one that many churches are failing to achieve. Luckily, priests like Father Adam Park are proof that this divide needn’t be as restrictive as it seems. Through a focus on appealing to both audiences, he’s managing to bring a whole new generation to his church. A similar approach, which respects tradition while also making way for the new, could see other churches enjoying similar levels of success.

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Reason 3: Changing institutions

It’s also important to note that age-old church-institutions like marriage are simply no longer as relevant to young people as they were to previous generations, and may even feel restrictive to individuals who continue to be left outside of these institutional practices.

Equally, far from requiring church groups and other internalized focuses that have traditionally worked alongside the institution, many young people are calling for the church to contribute towards modern concerns like climate change. And this needs to happen outside of institutional confines.

An ongoing shift to more inclusive marriage will perhaps be the biggest help here, but pastors and priests could also benefit from listening to the concerns of young people (which are largely led by environmental worries), as well as continuing to prioritize age-old church concerns like local charity.

The proof is out there – young people are still turning to spirituality in their droves. But only time will tell whether the church can continue to play the same role in that focus that it’s fulfilled for hundreds of years.

Author: anwaryusef

Anwar Y. Dunbar is a Regulatory Scientist. Being a naturally curious person, he is also a student of all things. He earned his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Michigan and his Bachelor’s Degree in General Biology from Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU). Prior to starting the Big Words Blog Site, Anwar published and contributed to numerous research articles in competitive scientific journals reporting on his research from graduate school and postdoctoral years. After falling in love with writing, he contributed to the now defunct, and the Edvocate where he regularly wrote about: Education-related stories/topics, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), Financial Literacy; as well as conducted interviews with notable individuals such as actor and author Hill Harper. Having many influences, one of his most notable heroes is author, intellectual and speaker, Malcolm Gladwell, author of books including Outliers and David and Goliath. Anwar has his hands in many, many activities. In addition to writing, Anwar actively mentors youth, works to spread awareness of STEM careers, serves on the Board of Directors of the Friends of the David M. Brown Arlington Planetarium, serves as Treasurer for the JCSU Washington, DC Alumni Chapter, and is active in the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace Ministry at the Alfred Street Baptist Church. He also tutors in the subjects of biology, chemistry and physics. Along with his multi-talented older brother Amahl Dunbar (designer of the Big Words logos, inventor and a plethora of other things), Anwar is a “Fanboy” and really enjoys Science-Fiction and Superhero movies including but not restricted to Captain America Civil War, Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Prometheus. He is a proud native of Buffalo, NY.

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