Church should support spiritual relationship over ritual behaviors

Payton Fenwick

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Sophomore Faye Smith preaches her sermon to junior Payton Fenwick.

For some, religion will help them only when one must go to church every Sunday. When one thinks back to the 50’s, it was ritual over relationship. Rain or shine, one would see every family, every Sunday, dressed in their best. According to, between 2007 and 2014 there has been a 3.7% decline in weekly church attendance. This may be linked to the emergence of the internet and the ability to worship while looking at the computer screen. One can have a spiritual relationship without attending church on a regular basis especially in the digital age we live in today.

Which do you value most in church?

View Results says that 20 percent of Americans regularly attend church. Not only that, but there are no statistics that show how many people actively pay attention without dozing off every once in awhile. Realizing the many scheduling issues with church, many preachers are starting to preach relationship over ritual. Building a relationship with whomever one may worship is much more important than keeping up the appearance of a devoted church-goer. Even daily devotionals are now available as an app or an easily accessible website. Seeing how people below the age of 25 are glued to their phones, religious leaders have taken the next step forward into the digital age and have been connecting to teens through phone and computer screens.

Now that the internet is available to just about everybody, teenagers are exposed to every religion known to mankind. Teenagers are not going to take time out of their weekend to wake up early, put on their Sunday best and sit for and hour and half to listen to a lecture when they can essentially look up what they need to know, sitting at home in their pajamas. Instead of expecting devotees to show up and listen every Sunday, leaders should be focused on promoting a spiritual relationship with whichever higher power one worships.

Going to church has turned into one, big study hall. Memorizing verses, reading and listening to a lecture. Those who may feel the need to go to church everyday, go for it, but it shouldn’t feel like an obligation. An obligation has the a negative connotation.
Instead of being stuck in a rut of sermons and rituals, leaders should not only support but encourage the idea of strengthening one’s relationship with a high power.