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Food for the Journey

As I draft this article, Rhonda and I are resting from serving on the team for a Women’s Walk to Emmaus retreat. I served as spiritual director and Rhonda served on one of the tables. For those who are not familiar with the Walk to Emmaus program, it is a short course on Christianity (according to the Upper Room). It is an experience everyone deserves to have the opportunity to explore!

Prior to leaving for this past weekend, I began the thought process of what I wanted to write about. Sunday before last (16th), in my message I discussed some thoughts by church planter and pas tor Ed Stetzer. Stetzer states, 75 percent of Americans who call themselves Christians fall into three categories: cultural, congregational, and convictional.


He defines cultural Christians as people who are Christians simply because their culture tells them they are. But they are Christian in name only and are not practicing a vibrant faith. Congregational Christians, according to Stetzer, are like cultural Christians, except they have some connection to an actual congregational life; that is, they have a church they attend at least occasionally. Convictional Christians, on the other hand, according to Stetzer, are those who live according to their faith. They are people who would say that they have met Jesus; that he has changed their lives, and that their lives are centered around their faith in him.


Stetzer acknowledges that the number of Americans who now identify themselves as having no religion – the “Nones” – is growing, but he suggests the change is coming from defections from the cultural and congregational Christian categories, because there’s no led societal pressure to be “Christian.” These “folks feel comfortable freeing themselves from a label that was not true of them in the first place,” Stetzer says, but he quickly adds that convictional Christians are not leaving the faith.

I do not know where you would categorize yourself ~ cultural, congregational, or convictional, however, you would be found in one of them!

I would offer that we are beginning to experience through the Gen-Z generation a spiritual revival movement, such as what transpired on the campus of Asbury University, along with several other universities across the eastern half of the United States. This movement may not be as large as the Billy Graham crusades were in prior decades, however, it is a spiritual revival movement that could catch on more widespread. I would say these college students are becoming convictional Christians!

Our world, this century, needs a spiritual revival in every way! I strongly believe if more people would find God and Jesus Christ at the VERY CENTER of their life, we would have LESS violence, LESS protesting, and MORE LOVE AND COMAPSSION FOR ONE ANOTHER than the world is seeing now! Simply put the world needs more convictional Christians! Which category do you belong?

In HIS service and wisdom!

Pastor Tom

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