Barna Group just released a study on the American Dream, which you can read here. But a few things I noticed were:
75% of American adults in 2008 want to have a close relationship with God in the future (5th most desired outcome in ‘08).
59% of American adults in 2008 want to be deeply committed to the Christian faith in the future (11th most desired outcome in ‘08).
45% of American adults in 2008 want to be personally active in a church in the future (14th most desired outcome in ‘08).
3 in 5 Americans (59%) want to be discipled, but they need churches with leaders that can spur them to act on that desire.
9 in 20 Americans (45%) want to be involved in church, but they need church leadership that can encourage and motivate them to volunteer, participate, and become personally active in church.
All of these stastics are up from previous years.
It would seem that people do want to become part of a church if, and this is a big if, the leadership of that church will spur them on to do so. I understand the need and value of church leadership helping fellow Christians discover what God's purpose and direction is for their life - but there is a danger when the leadership has to do God's job for Him. I may be reading to much into the stats here, but I get the feeling that all these people want is someone to tell them what to do.
There is a difference between serving a church and serving God through the body of Christ (the church). The first is just a job, but the second (with apologies to the US Army) - it's an adventure! I don't know about you, but I'm into adventures, I've had enough jobs for Jesus I want.
FYI - The top 6 were having good physical health (listed by 85%), living with a high degree of integrity (also 85%), having one marriage partner for life (80%), having a clear purpose for living (77%), having a close relationship with God (75%), and having close, personal friendships (74%).