In many ways, we have lost our home field advantage.
It’s pretty obvious the English-speaking Western world is rapidly changing in regards to faith. The culture is moving in secular and pluralist directions, and away from a more Judeo-Christian influence. As a result, Christians need to re-learn how to lead effectively in our new post-Christian culture.
This cultural shift has resulted in the loss of what I refer to as the Christian’s home court advantage. We’ve see it in the last fifty years.
For example, early in the last century, nearly the entire population of the United State self-identified as Christian (though, not in the way we talk about being a Christian). Perhaps more importantly, as historian Sydney Ahlstrom has observed, religious communities in the 1950s and 60s experienced “a remarkable popular desire for institutional participation” (Ahlstrom, 952). Yet, things are changing—and this institutional participation (defined as weekly church attendance) stabilized at around 40% of the adult population while self-identification as Christian remained as high as 81% by 1990 (Gallup Poll Reports).
Beginning in the early 1990s, researchers have noticed a growing shift from religious observance and identification. Calling this new group of those with no religious affiliation the “Nones,” many believe that the 90s represented a turning point in American religion.
"The most significant influence on American religious geography over time has been the increase in the Nones, or No Religion bloc. As noted earlier, nationally the Nones more than doubled in numbers from 1990 to 2008 and almost doubled their share of the adult population, from 8% in 1990 to 15% in 2008.” (pg. 17, ARIS Report 2008)
In 2014, the Pew Research Center ...