Ricky Sinclair: Churches in America Can Thrive as Today's Citizen Searches for Greater Community
Recent Studies Have Found That an Increasing Number of Americans Have Expressed That They Have No Form of Religious Belief, Leading Many Authorities to Question the Stability of Religion in America; Bishop Ricky Sinclair Responds to These Trends With Optimism
BAKER, LA–(Marketwired – Apr 18, 2013) – As the Bishop of Miracle Place Church in Baker, Louisiana, Ricky Sinclair is constantly noticing changing trends among his diverse congregation. However, as his church members continue to respond and interact with relevant culture found throughout the country, Sinclair believes that there is little reason to suspect that modernity is making a negative impact on the way Americans approach Christianity.
Ricky Sinclair highlights a recent article from The Huffington Post that suggests a recent wave of fear among church leaders in response to new studies indicating a decline in religious beliefs among American citizens. The article explains, “Two studies [show] that 20 percent of Americans claim no religious affiliation when asked to state their religious preference. The number of ‘nones’ has doubled in the last two decades.”
The article continues to explain that some have acted against the rising number of “nones” and suggests that religion — in the sense that the world knows it — is coming to an end. However, article author Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie argues against these thoughts and states that, although Americans have become more defined by trends in popular culture, as well as economic and political shifts, religion is still highly valued.
Sharing a similar sentiment, Ricky Sinclair responds, “Statistics like these can strike great fear in the religious community, but it is not the ultimate definition of religious activity. The public is adapting to society and religion is transitioning as well. In fact, in establishing Miracle Place Church only a few short years ago, I have seen my congregation grow considerably — proof that people are still very much interested in exploring the benefits of religion.”
In the article, Yoffie argues that the need for community will prevail when paired against the trends of modern culture: “But while individualism and market-based consumerism can be liberating, they can also be frightening. A steady flow of information can be exhilarating, but it can also be disorienting. And while social networks can connect us, they can also cut us off from face-to-face relationships. In short, the same culture that has disrupted our ties to the traditional and the predictable, often to good effect, has also undermined the bonds of solidarity on which we depend for stability, morality and trust.”
“The qualities that Yoffie highlights are ones that have existed throughout the history of mankind, and these are the factors that religious communities must keep at the forefront when trying to reach out to the public,” Ricky Sinclair concludes.