Between 40 and 50% of those who identify as Christian attend religious services mainly for religious holidays and rites of passage. They show up every Christmas. They show up every Easter. They baptize their children. They want to get married in a church, but they don't attend any other time of the year. Click the green play button to listen to Dr. Joel Thiessen: Dr. Thiessen identifies three reasons they do show up occasionally in church:
Tradition — Tradition is a powerful anchor that guides our behavior.
Family — Much like sitting around the dinner table, attending a religious service brings back the family memories.
Sacred Space — feeling closer to God in a church.
Full transcripts and related resources are available without cost through our private Christian Ministry Academy membership site.
The Flourishing Congregations Institute is a new institute set up at Ambrose University to explore and understand what makes congregations thrive. Where are there signs of life, and vitality, and health, and what can we learn from those signs of life and vitality? What are the catalysts — the contributors to flourishing congregations? In this episode Dr. Joel Thiessen points to five things that are emerging as starting points for entering this study of "flourishing congregations".
Dr. Joel Thiessen also points to other determinants in the DNA of flourishing congregations:
Follow Dr. Joel Thiessen on Twitter, his website, or The Flourishing Congregations Institute. And read his intriguing book: "The Meaning of Sunday" "Fewer Canadians identify with a religion, believe in a god, or attend weekly religious services than in past decades." "What explains higher and lower levels of religiosity? Is secularization a myth or reality? What impact does religiosity or secularity have on a society’s social and civil fabric?" "In The Meaning of Sunday, Joel Thiessen addresses these questions by weaving together narratives from interviews with members of both religious and secular communities. Exploring the meanings and motivations behind people’s religious beliefs and behaviours, the book features discussions with three groups of people: those who attend religious services weekly, those who attend services mainly for religious holidays and rites of passage, and those who do not identify with any religious group and never attend religious services. Interview responses show that religiosity levels correlate to one’s personal experiences with the supernatural, religious organizations, and social ties with those who either encourage or discourage religious identification, belief, or practice." "The Meaning of Sunday provides in-depth qualitative research on people's "lived religion" and contributes to a major ongoing debate concerning the nature and importance of religion in contemporary society."