Is Religious Faith Fading in Idaho?
Driving to Sunday Mass I had a serendipitous moment. Mulling a story I read last week about the decline of Christian faith in Idaho (just the latest in a recent string of these reports) I came upon a solution.
The key, as I see it, is for any and all denominations to recruit and train more laity for mission work.
In my time in Twin Falls I’ve been approached just twice by evangelical outreach. From LDS missionaries and the pastor of a Jehovah’s Witness Church. According to the Idaho Statesman the Mormons in Idaho aren’t showing decline, although. A friend says even the Latter Day Saints are losing more young adults than in the past.
My moment of serendipity was my Pastor’s homily. He referenced Roman Catholic missionaries he met two years ago and how rarely we see any. Priests aren’t on the streets evangelizing. Catholics don’t have the liberty because of a shortage of clergy.
The key, as I see it, is for any and all denominations to recruit and train more laity for mission work. If you plan on having a church in the future you need to be among the people. Few are the people motivated to one day suddenly decide they need religious structure and show up at the altar. People are often intimidated by bricks and mortar. They also have a longing for faith.
Many years ago I interviewed for a public relations job with an Episcopal Diocese. I was asked how I would go fishing for men. When I suggested tent revivals I got laughed out of the interview. Two months later the stodgy men who laughed at me were fired by a new Bishop. Maybe I was actually right.