“Seek the Lord while he may be found.” Isaiah 55:6
“Seekers” is a term used to describe the spiritually inclined but religiously unaffiliated. It became popular in churches that wanted to reach people who were seeking something more in life but who were disillusioned by organized religion - who saw church as something irrelevant to their lives. These churches came to view everything they did through the lens of seekers, asking, “What are the stumbling blocks we could remove that might draw these people into our churches?”
Surprisingly, I just read an article in the UM News service today that says an increasing number of self-identified seekers say the United Methodist Church is a place they are willing to try. Wow! Given all of our turmoil and what has felt like bad press in recent years, this was a shocker to me, but according to a survey by UM Communications, willingness to visit a United Methodist Church "rose to 42 percent in 2019 among US adults seeking more spirituality in their lives and who are aware of the denomination.” A jump of 28% since 2017! Maybe we’re doing something right after all.
The study was fielded by The Barna Group in their biennial study during the first two weeks of September. You can read the full article here. By the way, if you don’t receive the UM News service, you can start doing so here.
This leads me to reflect on our current sermon series, Searching for Christmas. People are seeking spirituality more during this time of year than any other. If there is any truth in this article, that means this may be the best time to invite someone to St. Luke’s! Why not begin with the concert this weekend? What a great way to connect people’s search for Christmas with the wonderful music and readings that celebrate the birth of Christ. From what I have heard, this year’s concert is going to be the best ever.
Know anyone seeking a little more in life? Pick up the phone and invite them to join you, and if you have a chance, introduce me to them. I’d love to offer my own welcome.
See you several times, I hope, in the next 48 hours!