Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Rank of Religion in Colorado

In a lot of circles, Colorado Springs is thought of as a kind of evangelical mecca. After all, with several mega churches and several internationally known parachurch organizations in town, how many people could be left here that are not Christian?

As it turns out, a lot. And not just in Colorado Springs, but in all of Colorado. As a church planter I was subjected to a lot of demographic information several years ago, and was shocked to learn that according to a couple of different surveys, as much as 80-85% of Colorado Springs considers themselves “unchurched.” And now, according to a Pew Forum study, Colorado ranks 41st in a study ranking the importance of religion in peoples’ lives. Barna, the religion writer for the Gazette reports a couple of the details, and is understandably surprised.

I was once in a conference in Denver where one of the speakers was a pastor. He had pastored in Denver and moved on to pastor in several locations around the world. His comment about Colorado was that it was some of the hardest ground to plow for a church.

What does this mean for the life of the church in Colorado? In Colorado Springs?


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The Gyrovague said...

Any number of things control Colorado. I think so many consider themselves unchurched because in the summer there are peaks to climb, and in the winter slopes to ski.

As far as the "I am spiritual but not religious" crowd I would bet we are a lot higher, especially here in the front range. The influences of new age thought and Buddhism are right on the surface in places like Manitou Springs and many others.

I think that Colorado will continue to have a lot of church available as long as they can work to adjust to the different life styles. By this I mean having church on Saturday nights (such as we do) as well as Sundays, considering meeting during the week in the evening and maybe even not once a week. 2 to 3 times a month maybe.

Some would say abandoning the sabbath day for church is unacceptable, but others, such as I, would argue that we then can have a "true" sabbath on Sunday and just rest and enjoy God's creation more.