Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

February 16, 2014

'The old faithful'

Some area churches struggling to draw young people to their congregations

(Continued)

That’s a slight uptick from decades before, they say, but it’s not all bad news. Many of those churches were selling so they could buy a bigger building for an expanding congregation.

Nearly all the church buildings, they say, are sold to other churches looking for a new home.

Wyman said he hasn’t handled any sales for churches closing their doors altogether, and very few that were downsizing.

“Some are buying large commercial buildings and converting them to churches,” he said.

That may not be the case for long, if trends in religious affiliation for young people continue.

A Pew Research Study suggests that fewer young people today are searching for a church home. More and more are choosing not to attend church at all. The study calls it the rise of the “nones.”

The October 2012 study said the number of Americans who do not identify with any religion continues to grow at a rapid pace. Twenty percent of the U.S. public and a third of adults under 30 are religiously unaffiliated — the highest percentages ever in Pew Research Center polling.

According to the study, they overwhelmingly think that religious organizations are too concerned with money and power, too focused on rules and too involved in politics.

“The growth in the number of religiously unaffiliated Americans — sometimes called the rise of the ‘nones’ — is largely driven by generational replacement, the gradual supplanting of older generations by newer ones,” the study states. “A third of adults under 30 have no religious affiliation, compared with just one-in-ten who are 65 and older. And young adults today are much more likely to be unaffiliated than previous generations were at a similar stage in their lives.”

However, that doesn’t necessarily mean these people don’t believe in God at all.

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