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  • Writer's pictureBrett

What Would You Do If You Met One?

Have you ever met anyone famous? I have met a few people who were ‘locally” famous. Never have met anyone whose name would be known by most people.

The trouble with meeting famous people is knowing how to act. You don’t want to be the gushing fanboy or the nonchalant, who cares person. What do you do when you meet someone like this?

From what other people say, famous people come in two varieties.

Version number one - just like regular people but everyone knows their name. Same quirks, just regular people with their likes, dislikes, and interests. They are “normal”.

Version number two - Very conscious of being famous, and they act like it. See themselves as very different and special, not like everyone else. Can’t seem to relate to “normal” people.

I am a guy with some mileage (nice way of saying older…I don’t think I am old yet but I may be?) and I have noticed something about all people.

Everyone bleeds when they get cut and everyone feels delight when they know they are loved. Famous or not, regular, or not, normal or not, these two things seem to be universal.

Maybe you never will meet anyone famous but there is one person you are likely to meet soon, if you haven’t met one already. You may not have heard of them but they are out there and their numbers are growing faster than most other segments of society. That is why I know you will meet one sooner or later.

Could be a neighbor, co-worker or even family member. The technical term for them is “Nones”. No kidding it is whole demographic.

Here is the official description:

The term "nones" refers to individuals who identify as having no religious affiliation or who describe themselves as atheist, agnostic, or "spiritual but not religious." This trend has been observed in various surveys and studies, including those conducted by the Pew Research Center.

According to Pew's Religious Landscape Study in 2019, around 26% of U.S. adults identified as religiously unaffiliated, up from 17% in 2009. In 1990, this was only 8.1 %, by 2008 it rose to 15%. This group is growing quickly.

This includes both atheists and agnostics, as well as those who describe their religion as "nothing in particular." The rise of the "nones" has been particularly prominent among younger generations.

It's important to note that religious disaffiliation does not necessarily imply a rejection of spirituality or the absence of personal beliefs. Many individuals who identify as "nones" still maintain some level of spiritual or metaphysical beliefs, even if they do not align with organized religion.

Pastor James Emery White summed up the mindset of many nones when he compared their experience to buying a car.

A long time ago in a land far away the only way to buy a new car was to go to the dealer. Everyone liked owning a new car but most did not enjoy the process of buying a new car.

Back in the day you had to walk onto the car lot, feel like prey for the hungry car salesmen and then sit through hours of “let me talk to my manager” negotiations to simply buy a car.

No one liked it, it took much longer than it should and you felt like you may have been taken. (I know there are many car salesmen who are honest and helpful but the stereotype was real!).

People wanted a new car, they didn’t like what it took to get the car. The same is true for the nones, it is not that they are disinterested in Jesus, faith, or a meaningful life they just aren’t sure what many churches seem to require is the way to get to Jesus.

Now that you know what a none is, do you know any?

Let’s play a game. What if you met a nice person tomorrow and as you got to know each other you discovered this person was a none.

What would you say to them? Would you know how to act?

There is no formula but this is reality. The culture we live in has a growing number of people who are not giving up on God but aren’t sure what to do about faith and they are skeptical the church is the answer.

[By the way the church is not the answer, Jesus is the answer. We are salt and light. We love one another and love our neighbors but the answer is not a church or a program. Jesus is the only answer. The church properly functioning serves as His hands and feet.]

If it feels like a new world and a different day, you’re right. It is. You may or may not like the way things are playing out. But things are changing.

As many as 30% of people are saying they identify as nothing in particular when it comes to faith.

Is that a problem or is it an opportunity?

With no loyalties, traditions, or religious baggage it may mean there is room for a conversation about Jesus.

Again, if you met a none tomorrow, what would you say to them. They may be more open to a conversation that you realize.


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