Sunday, 15 January 2012

Meeting God Changes Lives?

Eileen has asked me to apply my forensic brain to the statistics she was quoting this morning. Dear readers, it always gladdens my heart to assist her in her ministerial struggles! I remember that every part of the body may have a purpose. And mine is not only to be stood up against the door to guard against draughts.

It seems to me that the situation in the survey that Eileen describes can best be described as a Venn diagram, thus:

Now the people who make some connection with God in church, and do something about it - that is those in the white portion of the right-hand set - they make sense. Of course if you meet with God something is going to change? Let us call them "Responders".

And the people in the white portion of the left-hand set - they also make sense. They have not met with God, and nothing has changed. Let us call them "Pew-fillers".

The people in the outer set but not the inner sets - they are people who have not met with God through churchgoing, but have changed their lives anyway. I will call them "Self-starters". Or they may be people who, through not meeting God in church, have decided it's about time they changed their lives by not going to church. I shall call those "Leavers".

But the people in the patterned intersection are the most interesting of all. They are people who, having met God in church, have not changed anyway. They've enjoyed the presence of the divine in a worship situation, and are going to do nothing about it.  I am going to call them "Consumers." Oddly enough, the Archdruid quite likes them. She says the Pew-fillers are always vaguely disappointed, and the Responders are too much trouble. The Self-Starters can be useful, as they will do helpful jobs without claiming any kind of divine mandate for anything. But Consumers are quiet, undemanding and won't change the world. As long as they keep putting money in, they're just the type she likes.

1 comment :

  1. And I thought the church disapproved of consumerism....


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