Listening to The “Nones”
New England Synod Bishop Jim Hazelwood has spent time listening to the “spiritual but not religious” people who profess no religious affiliation. Otherwise known as the “nones,” these people are often outside the circles of many church leaders. So Hazelwood brought a panel of “nones” to the Synod Assembly this year. From his listening, Hazelwood says these (often) younger people are asking different questions than Lutheran theology usually tries to answer. He writes:
I’m hearing a desire for:
1) Safe, non-judgemental places for people to explore the deeper questions of life, faith, God.
2) The great suspicion of rules, yet the hunger for relationships raises the possibility that people are seeking an authentic community.
3) I also sense a desire for people to clarify their purpose in life. What gives life meaning? How is God connected to that question?
How does your church address these questions? What might you do to engage people of no religious affiliation more deeply?
Image Matt Stiles/NPR. Source: Gallup