The Incredulity of Saint Thomas, Caravaggio

Because They Believed

A Sermon for Grace Baptist Church, Chicago, IL

Tripp Hudgins
6 min readApr 11, 2021

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Perhaps you’ve heard about the new Gallup poll that was released recently. It seems that less than half of the population of the United States considers themselves to be practicing Christians… “Members of a church.“ For the first time since Gallup has started tracking these numbers, the percentage has dipped below 50%. Much hay has been made from this poll result. Some people are elated. Some are panicked. Some wonder if we actually needed a formal poll to tell us what we already know.

For this is not the first time we’ve received such news from polling organizations. I’ve spent the last 20 years tracking the data and every report says essentially the same thing, the American church as we know it is in decline. And I also just learned that Gallup started this research in 1970, the year I was born. The church has been in measurable decline my entire lifetime.

I have been guilty in the past for wringing my hands and fretting over what all of this means. I have been beating my head against the wall trying to figure out what the next step for the average congregation should be. I have served congregations that still…

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Tripp Hudgins

he/him/all y'all — author, scholar, musician, and minister