Watching numbers is part of my routine as I analyze what is and isn’t working for us online. Every day I look at the number of readers on our website, the number of likes on our Facebook posts and the number of retweets we receive on Twitter.
Those numbers help me make decisions about how to do things in the future.
There’s another number that I think we all should be interested in, and it has to do with the future of our church: 53.
That’s the median age of Catholics in the United States. The median age of all of the U.S. population, on the other hand, is 36 years old.
That’s a big gap, and that makes me sad, because as a 22-year-old Catholic, I know that the Catholic Church is full of love and joy, and I want my fellow young adults to know that too.
However, another number gives me hope: 23,000.
That’s the number of high-school youths and chaperones I was surrounded by last week during the National Catholic Youth Conference in Indianapolis.
Keynote speakers kept asking the crowd, "Who’s the church?"
"We are!" those 23,000 pilgrims answered together.
Indeed they are. Watching those young people practice the faith openly and unabashedly was inspiring.
With the conference over, they’re all back in their hometowns across the country, and I believe they will all continue to show their faith and evangelize. And if that’s the case, then I believe that the future of our church is in good hands.