|Inside of Notre-Dame Basilica (Montreal)|
The Telegraph revealed the results of the study, stating that, “Around 13 percent of teenagers said that they decided to become a Christian after a visit to a church or cathedral.”Philip Kosloski reports on this as well as considering how U.S. parishes have begun building traditionally beautiful churches again.
Even more surprising was the report’s finding that the “influence of a church building was more significant than attending a youth group, going to a wedding, or speaking to other Christians about their faith.”
In fact, “The study suggests that new methods invested in by the Church, such as youth groups … are less effective than prayer or visiting a church building in attracting children to the Church.”
I still remember being in Notre Dame Basilica in Montreal and seeing a young man standing in the center aisle with tears running down his face. His concerned girlfriend was asking if he was ok. He looked somewhat embarrassed, responding, "No, I was just having a moment. It just hit me all at once."
Yes, that beauty does hit you and hits you hard. If we are open to it, often God's presence is using beauty to touch your soul.
More than beauty is converting young peopleThe Telegraph reports on the study's other points. Interestingly, the British are dumbstruck that one in six young people are Christian, saying how high these numbers are. I was interested in the point that it is not youth groups or guitar masses that pull people in but having read the Bible or being taken to visit a church.
The study suggests that new methods invested in by the Church, such as youth groups and courses such as Youth Alpha, are less effective than prayer or visiting a church building in attracting children to the church.Yes, the good old fashioned ways of personal encounter with Christ still work just fine.
One in five said reading the Bible had been important, 17 per cent said going to a religious school had had an impact and 14 per cent said a spiritual experience was behind their Christianity.
“Things which we would class as old hat methods are some of the more effective ways."