Rick Richardson, director of the Billy Graham Center, says many believers have bought into a handful of myths, and that is helping to stifle the spread of the gospel in our culture these days.
The author of the book You Found Me, Richardson says new research indicates Millennials and "nones" are surprisingly open to the Christian faith, but the lies Christians have subscribed to are helping to kill the effectiveness of the church.
"The first myth is that America has become a nation of non-Christians, 'nones,' and people who might even be considered anti-Christian, that we're losing our voice and influence," Richardson told Dr. Steve Greene on a recent episode of Greenelines on the Charisma Podcast Network. "What I've discovered in my research is that isn't true.
"The second big myth is that Millennials are now leaving the church a very high rate, that we've lost the youth of the nation and we're not going to get them back. The church is irrelevant in their eyes. I wanted to get underneath that mess. Third, authors have been saying that the church is going to be dead in a generation. It isn't going to survive.
"The last myth is just that people don't trust the church anymore, whether it's in politics or in the area of sex abuse scandals, intolerance and rejection of people. We have come to the conclusion that people don't trust us anymore. The end result of all this is we have become less motivated to share our faith because we believe in our hearts that people don't want to hear it.
"What I discovered is that people are much more receptive to the Christian faith and to the gospel than we have ever thought possible. That's why I want to see pastors, leaders and congregation members all across the country start to get more hopeful and start to care more. Then, people will respond."
For more of Rick Richardson's research, listen to this podcast.
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