Priceless Contributions to Western Societies

In dramatically changing times, a growing number of European churches lose their confidence due to a drastic decline in membership, secularization, or a general sense of simply being outdated.

The loss of faith in their own identity mostly happens subconsciously, yet it's being communicated verbally and nonverbally, mostly between the lines. But it doesn't have to be like that. A closer look will provide us with unexpected surprises: Especially in our postmodern times churches could be the most appealing and valuable assets our societies have to offer.

Epidemic Anxiety (The Guardian)

The British newspaper ”The Guardian” recently published an article that describes perfectly some conditions of postmodern, Western societies: 33% of Britons and 50% of today’s Americans suffer a mental disorder associated with anxiety. That’s an increase by 1150% within only 35 years. Especially among teenagers and young adults you find an explosion of depression, anxiety, self-harm, eating disorders and more.

The Swiss Gottlieb-Duttweiler-Institute published in 2015 a study on modern sleeping behaviours in Western cultures. The study concludes that our 24/7 online culture leads to permanent stress, mostly because of the fear of missing something important. However, the final suggestions of this study on how to take steps against this kind of insomnia are disappointing: Better sleeping pills or new pyjama materials.

But in most cases the roots of these problems are to be found deeper, in our very souls. Medicine might treat some symptoms, but not the source. However, the resources of Christian spirituality hold many treasures as it comes to make our souls strong and persevering. All we need to do is find and apply them to our contemporary culture.

Please note that the following suggestions are just simply proposals. If you are suffering from any mental disorder I strongly recommend professional help. But why no checking out a trained Christian counselor?

First Cure: Gratitude

Never let the things you want make you forget the things you have.

Second Cure: Treat Entitlement

You might have heard it. We are interacting with young generations that feel increasingly entitled to all kinds of things. It’s true. But I guess we shouldn’t blame the kids for it. We should blame those who raised them - parents and grandparents who made up a society in which entitlement can grow like wild fire.

Sociologists and scientists are puzzled. Is there anything that could be done?

Of course. But the solution won’t be pills or materials. It has a lot do with basic elements of life like love, gratitude, and the concept of grace; but also with humility, healthy boundaries, and obedience. Six words that describe huge parts of the Gospel. Confident churches shouldn’t hesitate to offer attractive exercises or courses for developing stronger and healthy societies. Because in the end, it all comes down to how we live our ordinary everyday life. Like raising children.

The author Kristen Welch describes in her book ”Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World” how gratitude or healthy boundaries will upgrade our parenting style. After all, parents need to learn themselves how to model the way.

The institutional church might go down. Perhaps it won’t be be able to change a lot of Europe anymore. But every church - whether huge or tiny - holds at heart a powerful DNA to form esthetic contrasts and healthy counterbalances for transforming their neighborhoods.

Third Cure: Offline Community

Make a difference. Go offline.

Epilogue: Let's jazz!

Never forget:

There is always hope!

And who is more eligible to talk about hope than those who believe in nothing less than

The Resurrection

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