Born Again

The future is already here; it is just on the margins. – Dave Gibbons

Every three years the hospital on our campus does a Community Health Survey to assess the health needs of our service area. The survey results shape the work of the hospital because they are committed to improving the health of all citizens.

For years the hospital has been using a definition of health created by the World Health Organization in 1948: A state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. But this year that definition changed for the first time. In addition to physical, mental and social well-being, the hospital added “spiritual well-being” because it was mentioned so frequently by those who were surveyed.


How ironic that people’s awareness of the importance of spiritual health is on the rise at the same time that public interest in Church is in the steepest decline in our nation’s history.

We can sit in our pews and wring our hands over the decline. We can shake our heads and demonize those who dismiss what we treasure. Or we can choose to seize the opportunity before us, which I sense means being willing to die to what was and being born again by God’s grace to whatever God is calling us to be. That will only happen if we decide that God’s mission is more important than our institutions.

I’m curious – to what would you attribute the rise in spirituality in American culture? And why do you think that more and more people
in America are disinterested in Church? Why do you think that spiritually hungry people do not see the Church as a place to feed that hunger? What needs to change? I’d love to hear your thoughts, especially if you’re not connected to a church.

For centuries the Church has been calling “outsiders” to be born again. It think that perhaps the way forward is to listen to the Spirit’s voice through those “outsiders” calling the Church be reborn.

Jeff Marian serves as lead pastor at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Burnsville, MN

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