All the talk of concussions sometimes makes me wonder if football will slowly disappear over the next hundred years. Today, as we think about where we are with the game of football, I think there is no way the game will ever disappear from the sports scene in America. The game just seems so popular at all levels of play.
Recently, my family traveled to Scotland to visit family members living in Edinburgh. Since we had never been to Scotland, they took us to all the historical sites in the Edinburgh area. While we were at the Scotland Historical Museum one of the displays just caught me by surprise.
The display was of a baptismal font with a description of what it was and what it was used for. I turned to one of my family members, who lives in Scotland, and said, “Why would they need a baptismal font and a description of what it is and where it was used, in a museum?”
His answer shocked me! He said, “When the government last surveyed the people of Scotland, only about 50% of the people claimed to be Christians and only 8% say they go to church each week.” He also said, “When the churches of Scotland actually count heads of those in the pews, on Sundays, they find only 4% of the people really go to church each week. So that is why they need a baptismal font in a museum, because most people in Scotland are not being baptized and have no idea what baptism is and for sure what it means.” Let me put that percentage into perspective for you. A small community in Kansas, that has 5,000 people in the county, would only have 200 people at church on a Sunday morning.
The rest of our time in Edinburgh, as we walked around or rode the bus, I paid attention to the churches we saw. The city is filled with large stone structured churches with steeples as tall as or taller than the ‘Cathedral on the Plains’ in Victoria, Kansas. But many of these magnificent structures are no longer churches. The buildings are used for community centers, coffee shops and other retail stores.
As I would see these big beautiful old church buildings being used for other purposes, this question kept popping into my head………….Are the churches of Kansas going to become community centers and retail stores someday? Will we start having baptismal fonts in our museums, because no one is being baptized and nobody knows what they are?
Could the active churches and the great game of football disappear from the Kansas landscape? After seeing what is happening in Scotland, the answer is unfortunately yes, that it could happen.