When was the last time you had a conversation about God?
Well, if you are just coming out of our community’s Alpha campaign, I’m going to guess it was very recently! If that is the case, we’re so grateful for your partnership in our journey through Alpha. However, if that is also the case, you should know that you are among a very small percentage of Americans. According to a Barna research1, fewer than 1 in 10 Christians talk about God, faith, religion, or spirituality even once a week (8%)—and only an additional 15% do so once a month. In fact, the average adult says they only have about 1 spiritual conversation a year!
As a pastor who thinks quite often about matters of faith, these numbers aren’t very encouraging. After all, aren’t these the most important questions of life? Shouldn’t these topics matter more than anything else especially with an increased number of people in depression and feeling loneliness?
At the same time, I recognize the reality of everyday life for an average person - overly busy with the day-to-day of normal life—jobs, kids, budgets, sports, weather and what’s premiering on a plethora of streaming platforms this week.
No, being busy with everything above isn’t a bad thing. In fact, most if not all of us are walking through those realities of life. I sure am! The tragedy is that most if not all of us don’t seem to connect these everyday experiences with our faith in Jesus Christ.
The charge for us Christians is clear, as we read from Paul in his famed letter to the churches in Rome.
So, here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
(Romans 12:1–2, MSG)
Our culture has been and is changing even as we speak. It certainly doesn’t feel like we’re living in a predominantly Christian culture as some of us might be used to in the previous decades. Today, our culture paints a picture that more accurately illustrates things such as secularism, relativism, and pluralism.
But the same research from Barna mentioned above also shows glimpses of optimism, some examples here:
- Many of today’s younger Christians feel a strong personal responsibility to share their faith.
- Christians are having more and more faith conversations through social media and other digital avenues online.
- An increasing number of Christians say they are most comfortable sharing their faith within the warmth of friendship using genuine conversation and dialogue.
- Most encouraging, people who share their faith these days typically feel joy and are energized to share even more. Outreach begets outreach, even in our changing times.
So here we are at the doorsteps of Advent, a season where we celebrate the coming of Jesus who brings his peace and grace to this restless and violent world.
We also anticipate a time when peace and grace will fill this broken world in every possible measure through Jesus’ return.
In this in-between time of celebration and anticipation, we invite you to another year of Advent season. No better time to lean into the hope that Jesus brings us. No better time to share this hope we have in Jesus with others who are without hope.
Amid all the excitement and planning for the holiday season, we hope you’ll journey again with us as we prepare our hearts for this Advent season.
We are especially leaning toward the willingness of people who are having more and more faith conversations through social media and other digital avenues online.
We have prepared video devotionals and worship created by our online team.
These daily video devotionals start this coming Sunday, 11/27 at 6pm led by Pastor Julia as she will every Sunday until Christmas Sunday.
On Mondays, we’ll have an update for our online community by Pastor John at noon,
Tuesdays at 10am, you will hear from our founding Pastor, Rich Nathan, as he shares a pastoral thought for the advent theme of the week.
You can sing along with our worship team as they praise a VC rendition of a Christmas hymn on Wednesdays.
Thursdays, Pastor Charles will reflect on the advent theme of the week.
On Fridays, the same Advent theme will be talked about for an encouragement for our Students as our Next Gen team shares.
Saturdays we will rest and prepare for our worship together on Sunday mornings.