3 Responses

  1. Guest says:

    Right on the mark! So how can Humanists make this happen without the resources and infrastructure similar to a church?

  2. Hazmatdance says:

    It’s not just the infrastructure, it’s structure in general – including a regular schedule, and holidays. People don’t just go to church to find a group of divorced 30somethings in recovery. They go for the exhortation and a built-in community. A humanist community center that offered psych services, recreation, team sports, seasonal holiday festivities, tolerance, and acceptance might have a draw.

    And it’s not just out of fear that people go to church, either. Some people just want to hear that love is OK, gods or no gods. Sounds fuzzy, but people need permission to step out of a hard-nosed, me-first mindset. They need a safe space to open up, and whether that space is run by humanists or by Sufis or by the Society of Friends or by organic farmers, who cares?

    To be effective as a draw, any church or humanist community needs a moral and emotional center, a core if you will, of dedicated and charismatic leadership. In a church this is the pastor, maybe in a village this would be the “elders”, a humanist group might have a leader or steering committee that acts vigorously, continuously and forcefully to set the tone and maintain an atmosphere that is balanced, sane, and sustaining.

    But, commenter #1, why should humanists try to win “converts”? If you put together a marketing machine it’s going to turn some people off. If you do – don’t insist on any belief set. Also not everyone likes mega-churches. I prefer my gatherings to be small, hate large crowds.

  3. Bill Sanders says:

    I attended Willow Creek for several years and am now a “post-Christian” or agnostic. However, I still miss the fellowship. If only there were a fellowship group (like a church) that didn’t keep talking about the same topic every week.