Why is the church losing people

A new podcast series began this year from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Youth and Young Adult ministries entitled “We Are Orthodoxy”.  In this series, young adults are interviewed that are in various places regarding their faith.  One was a priest, but most are either marginally still involved in the Church or have left entirely.  The purpose of the podcast is to simply provide data.  It is not intended to provide solutions, but rather give everyone an opportunity to hear the perspectives of these people.  This makes it very useful, although I admit to having a couple of criticisms:

  • The interviewer, a professional psychologist feels as if he is putting words in the subjects mouths quite frequently.  I realize he is trying to elicit a deeper exploration, and perhaps, driven by the time limit of an episode, he jumps ahead to his conclusions about what they are saying, but I dislike that aspect of it.
  • I think they shouldn’t put the limit on the age.  In fact, I would be interested from hearing from older individuals, even much older.  I think that might give us some insights to such things as shifts in the culture, as well as foundations from which these younger individuals come from in terms of their expectations about the church’s role and their role within the church
  • I would love for him to occasionally ask those who declare that their beliefs are no longer consistent with the Church, why they feel it necessary to still be connected to the Church.

The interviews can be quite painful to listen to for a variety of reasons.  Sometimes it is because we realize we are doing something wrong.  For me, frequently, it is obvious that we have failed to communicate the whole Christian message.  Sometimes it is because of, frankly, the alarming amount of narcissism you can hear from the individuals.  And sometimes it is because of the pain that we hear being expressed.

I hope to write several posts on this series as it moves along.