As I was looking through the interesting news articles today on my USA Today App and came acrost an article entitled “‘Reverts’ Return To Their Childhood Religions”. It caught my eye for two reasons. First, I don’t believe I have ever heard the term “Revert” before. Secondly, I am always interested in people and why they do or do not attend churches.
If you read the article you will see it primarily focus on Catholics and Jews. According to the article both are doing as much as they can to draw those that left back into the church and to keep them from leaving again. They have programs and DVD materials that allow even their smallest worship houses to participate in this. Within the article there is a brief mention of a man that had returned to his Baptist church, but his story was really only used as bookends to the totality of the article. However this is where I wanted to expand and talk about how the Protestant church is drawing in and keeping “reverts”.
One way that the Protestant church is drawing reverts is by planing churches. These church plants usuaslly never look like the churches that they left in the first place. The music is different, the preaching style varies widely and the programs provided are geared to young couples. These church plants are usually different enough to draw people back into the church and keep them there.
Another way the church is convincing mainly young people, usually in their mid to late thirties, into coming back is by promoting family. Many of these reverts state that they come back to church to be better people. They want the family they didn’t have as a child. They are normally from homes that had experienced divorce and don’t want their families experiencing the same. In some cases the fathers or mothers were never there and they don’t want to be that kind of parent. So they reason that attending church is a good way to prevent both of these things.
If a church isn’t taking these two factors into account, changing both their structure and family enfaces, they will most likely die within a few generations. However on the other side of the coin these new church plants, as well as existing churches, need to understand all the program, music and activities don’t save any souls. If the Gospel is not clearly preached then you should have just opened a country club. This is what the article misses.
All these ideas of drawing people back are good, but if not paired with the Gospel of Jesus Christ they are useless.
Only when the Holy Spirt begins to change lives and those people will begin to live out the Gospel in their lives and then we will see things really change.
If we are not careful we will only repeat this cycle again and again. We don’t want to do that. Another generation of mad, self righteous church kids isn’t want we need. We need Jesus.