I recently read a few chapters out of Barna’s new book, Revolution. My initial reaction to reading that most individuals will just leave the church was, “Eh, I’m not so sure I see it that way.” Since then, I’ve learned much more about myself and my church and I’ve moved more too, “Dude, Barna may be all over this.”

I didn’t really agree that Revolutionaries would find spiritual fulfillment outside the church institution. While my wife and I left our church, we didn’t find any suitable replacement and we stopped going for a short while. We felt something missing, and we went back, so worshiping in a church is important to us right?

My wife, which I’ve mentioned I consider a poster-child for the post-modern view, gave a response to my question, “Can you be spiritually fulfilled outside the church?” “Um, yeah!,” in a tone such as, “Well Yeah, duh!” As though that was a stupid question, and why didn’t I realize that? She is not required be in a sanctuary to worship the Lord, or even step inside a church building to feel spiritually fulfilled. Well, Barna 1, Slezak 0. Hmm.

Next I began relating Barna’s statements with my recent struggle with being a part of our church. Unfortunately, I found my view of our church was shared by many other young adults. Most of the young adults of our church have left to find other places to worship. I haven’t talked to any of those that have left, but I wonder where they’re going, or if they’re going at all.

As for me, I feel like I’ve come full circle. The more I give it thought and prayer, the closer I come to giving up on our church and finding a church that reaches those in their early 40s and younger. The average mainline church is too inflexible, too set in its way to go through the trouble of trying to reach us. We have a couple of churches with emergent or ancient / future services which I would like to try out, but we don’t have a good selection in this area of the Midwest I’m in. If I can’t find one, Barna 2 Slezak 0?

Now I think Barna’s got it right. The postmodern world view, along with the current state of the church is a great formula for my age of people leaving the church completely. The church is not fulfilling our needs, and in a world of rapid change and numerous choices, we’ll keep looking until we find it. And if we find that outside the church, why do we need church?