10 Reasons Even Committed Church Attenders Are Attending Church Less Often

It comes up in a surprising number of conversations a lot. And no one’s quite sure how to respond to it.

The issue? Even committed church attenders are attending church less often.

Sure, the trend has been happening for years (gone are the days when people attended 50 out of 52 Sundays), but the issue has reached a tipping point in the church over the last decade.

I first wrote about this in a post called 7 Ways to Respond as People Attend Church Less Often. But the conversation persists and, to many leaders, feels much more urgent.

This isn’t a post about why people have left the church (that’s a different subject.) This is the first in a series of posts about church attenders who love God, appreciate the local church and are even involved in the local church, but who simply attend less often.

This topic comes up a lot, and some other resources that can help you do a deeper dive include:

John Mark Comer on Secular Salvation and Post Christian America (Episode 316 of my Leadership Podcast)

5 Ways to Embrace Infrequent Church Attenders

10 Predictions About the Future Church And Shifting Attendance Patterns

7 Ways to Grow Church Attendance By Increasing Engagement

So why all this attention?

This trend isn’t going away…in fact (as the podcasts will show) it’s accelerating,

It impacts almost every church regardless of size, denomination or even location.

It probably marks a seismic shift in how the church will do ministry in the future.

Of course, church attendance is never the goal. But attendance a sign of something deeper that every church leader is going to have to wrestle with over the next few years.

The first key to addressing what’s happening is to understand what’s happening.

So…why are even committed attenders attending less often? There are at least 10 reasons.

1. Greater affluence

Money gives people options.

If your church is at all engaging the middle class, the upper-middle class, or a suburban demographic, an interesting trend is developing. The middle class is shrinking, but as this New York Times report shows,  it’s shrinking (in part) because more of the middle class is becoming upper class. Both US and Canadian personal disposable incomes are at all-time highs.

There are simply more affluent people than there were decades ago, which may in part explain why so many “average’ people indulge their obsessions with granite countertops, designer homes, and decent cars, even without being mega-wealthy.

Naturally, this leaves a huge theological void about ministry to and with the poor, but it helps explain what’s actually happening in the suburbs and increasingly with the re-urbanization of many cities as the affluent move back downtown. Please…I’m not arguing things should be this way. I’m simply showing that this seems to be what’s happening.

And again…people with money have options. Technology options. Travel options. Options for their kids. And, arguably, that affluence may be one of the factors moving them further away from a committed engagement to the mission of the local church. It’s perhaps fuelling some of the reasons outlined below.

2. Higher focus on kids’ activities

A growing number of kids are playing sports. And a growing number of kids are playing on teams that require travel.

Many of those sports happen on weekends. And affluent parents are choosing sports over church.

It’s as simple as that.

A growing number of kids play sports and a growing number of parents choose sports over church. Click To Tweet

3. More travel

Despite environmental concerns, travel is on the rise, and most people are taking far more than the old standard of one vacation a year.

More and more families of various ages travel for leisure, even if it’s just out of town to go camping or to a friend’s place for the weekend or a weekend at the lake.

When people are out of town, they tend to not be in church.

4. Blended and single parent families

Fortunately, more and more blended families and single parent families are finding a home in church.

So how does this translate into attendance patterns?

Church leaders need to remember that when custody is shared in a family situation, ‘perfect’ attendance for a kid or teen might be 26 Sundays a year.

Similarly, while the affluent might not be in church because of access to reliable transportation, single parents (who, not always, but often, struggle more financially) might not be in church because they lack access to reliable transportation.

So here’s the strange twist. People who have a car are often not in church because they have a car. People who want to be in church are often not in church because they don’t have a car or because it’s not their ‘weekend’ for church.

Sadly, people who want to get to church simply can’t.

By the way, I lead a church that virtually requires a vehicle to get there. I love how we often see people with reliable transportation helping out those who don’t have a vehicle. That’s at least a partial remedy to this problem.

In a shared custody family, perfect attendance for a child or teen might be 26 Sundays a year. Click To Tweet

5. Online Options

With the rise of online church, social media, and so ubiquitous tech, there have never been more opportunities for people to access church without being there.

There are pros and cons to online church and there’s no doubt that churches with a strong online presence have seen it impact physical attendance.

But whether or not your church has online options doesn’t make the issue go away. Anyone who attends your church has free access to any online ministry of any church.

Online church is here to stay, whether you participate or not.

Online church is here to stay whether you participate or not. Click To Tweet

6. The cultural disappearance of guilt

When I grew up, I felt guilty about not being in church on a Sunday.

The number of people who feel guilty about not being in church on Sunday shrinks daily.

I regularly meet people all the time who haven’t been in months but LOVE our church.

If you’re relying on guilt as a motivator, you need a new strategy. (Well, honestly, you’ve always needed a new strategy…)

If you're relying on guilt as a motivator to get people to church, you need a new strategy. Click To Tweet

7. Self-directed spirituality

People are looking less to churches and leaders to help them grow spiritually, and more to other options.

We live in an era in which no parent makes a visit to a doctor’s office without having first googled the symptoms of a child’s illness and a recommended course of treatment. Just ask any family physician. It drives them nuts. (Google, doctors will tell you, is not a complete replacement for medical school.)

Similarly, when was the last time you bought a car without completely researching it online?

In an age where we have access to everything, more and more people are self-directing their spirituality…for better or for worse.

Similarly, another characteristic of the post-modern mind is a declining trust of and reliance on institutions.

The church in many people’s minds is seen as an institution.

I don’t actually believe that’s what a church is. I think it’s a movement…not an institution. But many churches behave like an institution, and the post-modern mind instinctively moves away from it as a result.

8. Failure to see a direct benefit

People always make time for the things they value most.  If they’re not making time for church, that tells you something.

Even among people who say their love the church and who say they love your church, if declining attendance is an issue, chances are it’s because they don’t see a direct benefit. They don’t see the value in being there week after week.

That could be because there isn’t much value (gut check). Or it could be because there is value that they simply don’t see.

Either way, failure to see a direct benefit always results in declining engagement.

So what are you doing or not doing that leaves people feeling like there’s not that much value?

People make time for what they value most. If people don't make time for church...take note. Click To Tweet

9. Valuing attendance over engagement

When someone merely attends church, the likelihood of showing up regularly or even engaging their faith decreases over time.

At our church, I find our most engaged people—people who serve, give, invite and who are in a community group—are our most frequent attenders.

More and more as a leader, I value engagement over attendance.

Ironically, if you value attendance over engagement, you will see declining attendance.

Ironically, if you value attendance over engagement, you will see declining attendance. Click To Tweet

10. A massive culture shift

All of these trends witness to something deeper. Our culture is shifting. Seismically.

Church leaders who fail to recognize this will not be able to change rapidly enough to respond to the shifts that are happening.

If you want more on how the culture is shifting, I outlined 15 Characteristics of Unchurched People Today here and outlined 12 Cultural Trends Church Leaders Can’t Ignore (But Might) in this post.

Change is unkind to the unprepared, so prepare.

Change is unkind to the unprepared. So prepare. Click To Tweet

Have a Look At The Future

If you want more on the future, here are 3 resources that can help you go deeper.

6 Disruptive Church Trends That Will Rule 2020

Louie Giglio on Why People Still Attend Live Events (Leadership Podcast, Episode 314)

5 Reasons Charismatic Churches are Growing and Attractional Churches Are Past Peak

What Would You Add?

These are 10 reasons I see for even the committed church attender attending less often.

What do you see?

Really looking forward to the dialogue on this subject over the next two weeks.

Before you leave a comment, remember, we’re talking about why people who love the church aren’t attending as much.

This isn’t the best place to go on a rant about everything that’s wrong with the church. I’ll have other posts about that, and remember, I love the church and am committed to us fulfilling our mission better than ever, even if that means radical change…which it likely does.

So what are you seeing in your church? Leave a comment!

10 Reasons Even Committed Church Attenders Are Attending Church Less Often


  1. Dave on January 19, 2022 at 3:29 pm

    One that I view as ‘missing’ from this list is FEAR! I really believe that a large number of those who are no longer attending church–esp. if they claim that church is important–is Fear. We’ve been conditioned…hammered…manipulated over the past 2 years to focus on fear of ‘what might happen’, and even within the Church, many have bought into it. We’ve lost our edge…our eternal perspective–the willingness to say–‘It may be risky, but if God’s Word says to do it, I’m doing it!’.

  2. Kelly Ann Flores on January 16, 2022 at 6:03 pm

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  3. Mark Schmidt on December 15, 2021 at 7:50 pm

    Perhaps people who are engaged in the church slip in their attendance is because they lack patience.
    • They want to find their purpose, but struggle to wait on God’s plan for them
    • They want to share their testimony but are not invited to share or don’t know how
    • They would like to serve in an area where they believe they can add value, but the leadership won’t delegate responsibility
    • They we’re fired up but no one helped them stay focused, or encouraged them
    • They felt they didn’t fit in with the leadership of the church; felt left out
    I don’t know if this is the case for all churches. But I have seen others voice or share their discouragement with others.
    Hope this provides some helpful insight, from an engaged church goer to pastors seeking answers and solutions.

    • Phil Richard on January 3, 2022 at 7:12 pm

      You think you belong & you come on strong but I can still tell the right from the wrong.

  4. Don Davies on November 15, 2021 at 10:01 am

    This is really sad. I hope we can turn this trend around and invite more people to the church just like how our active Pastor, Keion Henderson https://www.keionhenderson.com/church-podcast does out here in Houston. He centers on preaching about the family that should have God in the center. His church podcast and videos are really worth the watch!

  5. Mike on October 16, 2021 at 10:55 pm

    I recently heard an amazing talk about church attendance by D. Oaks. A link to this is provided below.

    “Some say that attending church meetings is not helping them. Some say, “I didn’t learn anything today” or “No one was friendly to me” or “I was offended.” Personal disappointments should never keep us from the doctrine of Christ, who taught us to serve, not to be served.

    President Spencer W. Kimball taught that “we do not go to Sabbath meetings to be entertained or even solely to be instructed. We go to worship the Lord. It is an individual responsibility. … If the service is a failure to you, you have failed. No one can worship for you; you must do your own waiting upon the Lord.”

    We, of course, affirm that the scriptures, ancient and modern, clearly teach the origin and need for a church directed by and with the authority of our Lord, Jesus Christ. We also testify that the restored Church of Jesus Christ has been established to teach the fulness of His doctrine and to officiate with His priesthood authority to perform the ordinances necessary to enter the kingdom of God. Members who forgo Church attendance and rely only on individual spirituality separate themselves from these gospel essentials: the power and blessings of the priesthood, the fulness of restored doctrine, and the motivations and opportunities to apply that doctrine. They forfeit their opportunity to qualify to perpetuate their family for eternity.”

    Listen or watch this whole sermon here:

  6. Diana on September 22, 2021 at 8:57 am

    If you’re looking for a new church, Check out this site https://www.gracelifetriad.com, Know God’s purpose in your life. He surely has a plan for everyone!

  7. Jordan on August 30, 2021 at 6:34 pm

    Christians, specifically evangelicals, are the absolute worst people. they use the bible to fit their own bias and focus more on who they hate than who they love. I stopped going to church because it has turned into a living fox news space. Christians are politically motivated, full of hate and spite for what they do not like or understand, and hold others to values they do not adhere to themselves. Modern Christians have very little in common with the teachings of Jesus. And the ignorance we see during COVID is a perfect example. They are starting to get more of the hate they continually dish out, and can’t handle it. Who wants to spend their time and energy around a group of hateful, two-faced, bigots? Deny it all you want. I grew up in the church (more than one) and they are filled to the rafters with hate and divisiveness. They stopped being models for society long ago. Christians have morphed into a disgusting parody of themselves, and they are so egotistical they are not capable of taking a step back to see where they are going wrong. They worship Trump, who time after time espoused words against the teachings of Jesus. And they only did that because he was a republican. They wouldn’t extend the same “courtesy” to a “liberal”. And that is just the tip of their biased BS. It will not be in my lifetime, but the numbers are clear, people are getting increasingly fed up with the perpetual hate, lies, and manipulation. Not to mention the total lack of awareness.

    • Beau on August 31, 2021 at 7:58 pm

      Jordan, that’s a bullseye. I couldn’t have expressed it any better myself. Thanks for sharing; it’s important that others who are starting to see clearly what’s happening in their church realize it’s not their imagination and that they’re not alone.

    • Albert Martin on September 1, 2021 at 1:52 am

      “Christians, specifically evangelicals, are the absolute worst people. they use the bible to fit their own bias…”

      The majority of the reasons why folks are moving away from church and staying home unfortunately is the ongoing causal effect of – Little Doctrinal Systematic Teaching”. Motivational and Inspirational Sermons has replaced teaching. Pastors and Leaders are enjoying having usually only one gathering a week to prepare for and leaving their congregations underfed and undernourished. Add to that the rise of false teachers and would be prophets what can we expect. Many of churches that have large congregations are listening to error regularly and the lack of true teaching prevents the distinguishing between truth and error.

      Shame on us as Pastors and Leaders.

    • Gary M on November 24, 2021 at 8:11 am

      All whites do this All blacks do that And all Christians do this…that would be the definition of a bigot….

  8. CIndy Anthony on July 19, 2021 at 9:46 am

    Everything changed after I consulted Dr.Todd. Before my marriage was hell. I cried day and night. I could see my marriage falling apart despite all my efforts to make it work. My husband left me and his kids for another woman and when he sent me divorce papers, It was at that point that a friend of mine referred me to Dr.Todd. She helped me rescue my marriage. My husband came back home and the other woman went back to Australia. And now its like heaven on earth. Thank you Dr.Todd for being sincere and keeping your promise. Dr.Todd’s contact: manifestspellcast@gmail. com

  9. Nancy L. Smith on July 7, 2021 at 4:05 pm

    I love my church. I do not physically go because I do not feel well. Many times weather has been a factor. I don’t see it as a problem. Honestly, I am extremely short; hate to sit in front rows due to sensory overload. My home screen is so much better. Most churches are very family oriented, as is mine I am old and single and have nothing in common that would make me want to physically be there to actually see someone. They know each other and group together. Sometimes this is because of small groups, which I also have not been able to attend. Hoping to ramp up to Zoom. We have an online group starting in the fall. In any case, I would get up, get dressed, drive there, listen alone, and come home. Not working for me. The bible says not to forsake the assembling of yourselves together. However, they had no internet back then. I feel connected to those on line because of the internet. We are all one spirit of the church. We have a running chat box. There is immediate feedback as to what the pastor says. I feel more worshipful at home. I have candles near my desk, a cross, etc. Our church has actually grown due to online attendance. In fact, we are building up our online campus. I see nothing negative here. At some point, we may not be able to attend in person; perhaps this is training for the future. Just a thought. PTL for online. Another note: I can go to multiple services on Sunday (different churches) by skipping the travel.

    • Pastor Mike on August 23, 2021 at 8:20 pm

      The great DL Moody said it best. The difference between listening to a radio sermon or going to to church: is almost like the difference between calling your girl on the phone or spending an evening with her.

      • Beau on August 29, 2021 at 11:30 pm

        pastor mike,

        did you even bother to read more than a sentence or two of Ms. Smith’s comment before replying to her? it’s not so much the quote itself, it’s the context in which you chose to use it. she pours her heart out with all the reasons she chooses to do church from home—yes reasons, not excuses—and your idea of good christian counsel is to toss out a brief quote that couldn’t be more arrogant, sanctimonious, and cold-hearted than if you had actually put some thought into it and were trying to make her feel small. i mean, are you really a pastor?

        this post is asking for reasons why people are electing to not attend church. the attitude behind your thoughtless words might be a good place for you to begin thinking about an answer.

        • Peace in my heart despite the storm that surrounds on November 18, 2021 at 12:29 am

          Christian or no Christian, who are we to judge or criticize? Peace thanks for sharing

        • Murray on January 18, 2022 at 6:50 pm

          Beau – good response – I felt the same when Pastor Mike let “us” non-attenders have it. Obvious – he is a Preacher not a Listener.

          Regarding the ORIGINAL post offered – I have tried to read through the comments like I usually do – thinking on each one. This time it is truly odd – so far Pastor Mike has left me wondering – and at least TWO POSTS offer me GREAT HOPE if I contact a Dr. Todd who can give me a Spell to turn things around – but it only seems to work if my spouse has left me and I am hurting terribly with my kids at home – but Dr. Todd’s SPELL work!!!

          Jesus has better watch out because he may be out of business.

          Now to the Topic – people not attending church yet feel part of it… ( I think that is right)

          The Points offered in the Post by Carey make sense completely.

          I am retired now from Pastoral work – for 14 years. I started in 1974 as a pastor in small Ontario (Canada) town. Where generally speaking attendance was almost 95% – all year round. Farmers don’t(can’t) take holidays like others when they have Milking Cows.. and a quota to maintain.

          We went to South East Asia to serve for 5 years coming back to Canada in 1985. Wow how things were changing. Young Adults that had always attended and wanted to attend – had graduated College/University and jobs were there for them – IT was beginning – Data Centres were rising quickly and these places required staff at odd times and often times EVERY WEEKEND.

          These folks were missing from Church – almost overnight. What a change for me to see after coming “home”.

          Then many places in our communities started having work places that required staff 7 Days a Week – and 364 days a year. The teens were great workers and started to fill those jobs.

          That age group then became absentees from Church.

          The next thing that seemed to happen was Wives were great workers too – and the family needed money. A good job was Nursing – which was primarily a young lady (mom) that worked strange hours.

          I could go on… but simply from the early 1970s to the late 1980s things changed radically. Students and young adults still wanted something to CONNECT with. In our small communities – you had a local bars/hangout places – or maybe church where only old people attended. Almost at the same time music radically changed to NEW from Old Hymns and old people.

          I have seen it all happen – every point that Carey outlined.

          The one word that has answer for me is ADPTABILITY – without it you die – so does the church.

          When studying the Chinese Language in Hong Kong – my Prof told us about a phrase that makes perfect sense to describe the Chinese People – “The grass bends when the wind blows.” They survived the Emperors and when the New Emperors arrived (communism) they will survived that too.

          If the church and its leaders can keep the core message – yet bend when the wind blows – it might survive.

      • Mary Lamb on September 9, 2021 at 5:36 pm

        I found her post very personal and endearing. I found yours judgmental and harsh. More and more people will transition to online and Zoom. It’s convenient. Going to a church building is nothing more than watching the backs of people’s head while listening to one man’s interpretation of the Bible. Where’s the intimacy in that?

      • jade on January 4, 2022 at 12:45 pm

        Wow, you are a Pastor? You should consider taking a break from that, leading people is probably not something I would want for someone who would blow off the articulate commentary that actually contributed to the goal of this discussion… with your egocentric weirdo post. Please do not be haphazardly gracing us with your charisma quotes implying that its natural and easy breezy for all to have this capacity to engage and get whatever it is you think you get out of public interactions, namely church… good for you, the lucky extrovert feeling healthy and fancy and free, nice job, good talk, pastor mike. you probably preach weirdo sermons on weird stuff like modern struggle with sins like masturbation. this was a more sophisticated pursuit to truly gain understanding of the dynamics at play as we can observe that its no isolated event how folks are not coming as steadily as they used to, as the only constant we can rely on is that attendance #’s are, no doubt, steadily decreasing in traditional churches everywhere.
        thanks for your light hearded energy and confidence though dude i love getting to see people like that who make me laugh and are full of zest, but how do you think others feel when you bout that type of expression around mindlessly like donald trump on a good day humoring himself making posts on social media… not a good look

  10. EVA JOE on July 2, 2021 at 1:34 pm


  11. Beau on May 23, 2021 at 6:35 pm

    I didn’t see the reason I walked away from the Christian religion after 40 years and I believe it is just as important as any item on the various lists presented here. The reason I left is because the Christian religion no longer made any sense to me. I was in Evangelical Christian, raised in the Church of the Nazarene. Nothing happened, no disputes or disagreements or trouble with other parishioners whatsoever. I was just never that comfortable with the exclusivity of the religion; the whole ‘saved’ versus ‘unsaved’, ‘us’ and ‘them’ mindset…the longer I was part of it the less it seemed like anything even approaching love. I won’t go into all the details here or else my post will be quite lengthy. Long story short, I began to read books that had always been taboo inside the faith, for lack of a better terminology. I began for the first time in my life to understand there were other ways of being Christian, about 30,000 different ways if you measure by the number of denominations. It was a gradual exit over the course of time for me. Today I consider myself an atheist, at least in terms of the three Abrahamic gods. I am more than happy to talk about it if anybody wants to know more, but I will leave it there for now. Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope all of you have a good and pleasant day.

    • Jorge Sanchez on May 31, 2021 at 6:38 pm

      Sorry to hear about your fallout. I also had my fallouts for some of the reasons you described. Yes the Christian faith and salvation is strictly exclusive but as I wandered into agnosticism I could not deny the supernaturality of our very being, the various recounts across the globe in the past and present of miracles or on the flip side encounters with demons, or the very personal spiritual moments I had. Yes, I felt bad for the greater portion of humanity because according to Christ they were damned for eternity should they die without accepting him and repenting. But I came to the point where I though, who am I to rewrite the rules? If by very personal encounters with Christ and the very miracle of my improbable high risk birth I knew him to be true, would my sympathy save a single soul? Was empathy towards the greater damned worth my own damnation? If Christ was the only key wouldn’t saving others be found only through sharing that key rather than throwing it away? I came back to Christ and the moment I came back to church I felt peace in my soul, love from my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, like a welcome home party of sorts. I know it’s hard to boil down your personal journey in a few sentences, and still there is much more in your path to be written. I’ll be praying for you, and remember that the prodigal son is always welcome back home. May you see the love of Christ you seek to find in increasingly visible ways.

    • Jonathan on August 27, 2021 at 3:34 am

      Hey Beau,
      I am actually pretty interested in the “long” version of this post. Last week, in a small journal, I wrote the same point you made about the “saved” and “unsaved”. It’s 3:30am, so please excuse the vague and short reply but I really do wish to converse with someone, who isn’t part of my church, about this and other points.

      • Beau on September 22, 2021 at 6:13 pm

        Jonathan, feel free to contact me via email if you’re still interested. I’m at mortalgroove66@gmail.com


    • Bob Eusebio II on September 9, 2021 at 9:05 pm

      Hello Beau;

      Reading about your walk with Christ for 40 years is a blessing to me. But I’m very concerned about your reasons to leave the church and your faith.

      Your personal discouragement with the Christian church, claiming the religion is nonsensical and the discomfort with the exclusivity of the religion is your criticism of God’s servants. I feel you looked in the wrong direction, Beau, instead of presenting your argument directly to God.

      None of us are qualified to tell God what’s wrong with His church. Do you really think you’re grumbling what God doesn’t already know?

      By boldy announcing your atheism you’re now misleading a couple of others who may agree with you in this forum. Beau, you can give consolation for slowly walking away from Christ but the truth is you’ve set a new foundation for your apostasy.

      Sure, the church has many problems, you have yours and I have mine. My church family come directly to me if they have LOVE, obedience, doctrine, family, relational and grievances issues with me. I tell you the truth, I have also failed in reconciling with members and their concerns.

      Did you go directly to your Pastor and have this discussion? If so, I don’t know if you dug deep enough with God.

      God gets angry when His sheep grumble against the church and pastoral leadership. God gets especially angry with the shepherd when he grumbles against God’s sheep.

      Beau, I’m strongly encouraging you. Nothing in your post is bigger than God that would justify walking away from Him with an attitude of atheism.

      God’s Hand led you for 40 years. You made a profound impact with your family, and I have all the faith He can embrace you and turn you back in your walk with Christ and reconnect the foundation in your home and community.

      I’ve made a decision to pray for you daily, Beau, and vision how God will lead you back to Him.

      Your brother in Christ Jesus,
      Bob Eusebio II, Lead Pastor

      • Beau on September 22, 2021 at 6:24 pm

        Hi Bob,
        I typed out a reply to you but did so ignoring my own golden rule when composing a post or comment, which is to always compose it in a Note then copy and paste when done. As fate would have it there was a snafu in the works and when I selected Submit…zap zowie zoom and my words were shot into the cloud or the netherworld..,who knows. At any rate I will try again shortly. Thanks for your patience.
        ~ Beau

    • Irene Muus on November 24, 2021 at 11:19 pm

      Christianity is not about being a good person. Its about realizing that you are NOT a good person, that you sin, or do wrong. ALL of us do wrong and sin in some way. When the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin, we repent of that sin, or turn from it and stop doing it. All of us are created to know that God exists and that there will be a day of accountability, known as Judgement Day.What makes Christianity the most unique religion in the world is knowing that by acknowledging that we sin, repenting of our sin and believing that Jesus died on the cross taking the penalty for our sin, we are saved from eternal damnation and promised eternal life. Only the Holy Spirit can reveal this to you, but if you “knock” and “seek” the truth about Jesus Christ, it will be revealed to you. NEVER JUDGE CHRISTIANITY BASED ON THE BEHAVIOR OF OTHER CHRISTIANS.

      • CarolR on December 20, 2021 at 1:06 pm


        Totally in disagreement with you Irene. If the person claims to be a Christian, they wouldn’t act that way. Or follow people that goes against the faith. Christian’s and their behavior models Christ and the Bible. If you can’t tell the difference between Christians from the non-believers, what’s the point of being like Christ? Which is the main point of being a Christian. Be Like Christ. Philippians 2:1-11.

  12. Russell Volz on April 1, 2021 at 6:46 pm

    I would say that the number one reason people stop going to church is that far too many churches are more interested in growing their church than teaching the truth as clearly stated in the Bible. Why would someone waste their time in a church which includes a watered down message. “Just the facts Ma’am”.

    We don’t want a 50 minute pep-talk. Just teach the Bible and let the Holy Spirit do the rest.

    And good coffee doesn’t hurt either.

    • Lynda Cosette on April 5, 2021 at 9:54 am

      Excellent Mr. Volz I couldn’t agree more. The church has become irrelevant because it is. It stands for everything that bolsters it’s financial and/or social success and teaches the false gospel of man’s opinions of God and moral relativism. Therefore, the modern church stands for nothing but humanism.

      As a society we are humanistically filled to overflowing through secular culture everywhere we look; we are inundated with it and needn’t seek out more by bothering to attend church.

      All I see lately from the new Christian movement are people wanting to have everything in this life plus avoid hell and too many pastors attempting to be cool like false teacher Steven Furtick.

      Sound doctrinal essentials of The Gospel of Jesus The Christ is being replaced by the new and improved Warner Bro’s nice fun tolerant and happy Jesus agreeing with us NOT we with HIM.

      Where is The pursuit of The Holy Spirit in our churches? If The Holy Spirit isn’t in the life’s blood of a churches congregants, then when those congregants gather at a “church building” it will NOT be a church.

      Pews filled with predominantly unsaved people makes counterfeit churches. Church without Christ is dead, unsaved church attendees are spiritually dead and bring spiritual death to every pew they sit in. Church without Christ is NOT Christian Church at all it is a DECEPTION.

      The ONLY way to save the church today is for us all to repent for our sin of worshiping the world instead of GOD The Father, GOD The Son Jesus The Christ and GOD The Holy Spirit and begin again with The Sound EXPOSITORY Study & Teaching of The BIBLE.

      • Juan Carrasco on April 5, 2021 at 12:08 pm

        I could be completely wrong but it seems as though your attitude or heart displayed.. since out of the mouth our heart speaks; is that of one that reminds me so much of Saul of Tarsus.
        Not to mention Peter in His attempt to up hold the character or will of God when he drew his sword to the soldiers ear. There were many zealots in those days too.

        Its unreal how so many folks back then assumed they knew God and what it was that defined a follower of the God of the old testament. Who is the same yesterday today and forever, meaning therefore new testament an all. It was Gods word by the way; not yours not mine but that of One who clearly stated my ways are not your ways..

        Or the very mind and heart of the person that stated He came to His own and they received Him not. That there are ways that seem right to a man but the end therein is destruction.. friend do you really believe that you and I or Steven furick or anyone for that matter are above the law? I implore you, harden not your heart. If I who am working out my salvation in fear and trembling taking every thought captive against the word of My LORD which I am not justified in boasting in save the very same grace and mercy that Christ alone provided at the cross and secured for His chosen elect from before you or I.. or the foundation of man.

        So please just be careful. I’m the LORD but I couldn’t help to notice how you have plenty to say and contribute in way of intelligence of Gods Holy word and knowing who’s in Christ and who is not.
        I’m glad my salvation is not based on you and your works.. please just be careful to heed your own advice. Which by the way will fail to do more often than not. We will be constantly under this conviction if our hearts have been circumcised by Gods gift of Himself. We will know 1st hand that it is our flesh wars against the spirit.

        You can be sure that Gods word will, will do well to cause you to decrease in order that He may increase. A born again child of God will have many so called thorns in the flesh.. but make no mistake! If our most profound thorn is not the indwelling promise of the spirit if Our Lords salvation, one will not grow more Christlike.. I believe instead they will grow to be more of contradiction to the heart and person of Christ.

        I believe this is the the beautiful fruit that the Lord was generous enough to display in and through scripture. This is what one will come to know as once being a slave to sin but now is a slave to righteousness. But because there is and adversary and because our natural nature is not one to seek 1st the kingdom of God and His righteousness..
        It is the grace if God and the power of the finished work of the cross that will keep us stayed in Him that we may grow more single minded and less double minded.

        • April on September 16, 2021 at 12:48 am

          Well said. Amen.

      • Deborah on September 9, 2021 at 10:05 am

        The reason that I am dissatisfied with my church is I feel that it has lost it’s values. How can someone claim to be Christian and follow Gods word and tell people from the pulpit to vote for a man that is on his forth wife, has affairs’ and sexually abuses women? How can he still stand behind that same man after Jan. 6? I have researched and found that most “evangelistic churches” still support Trump. It’s a scary world when people who should be trusting in God have traded God for a man that has no moral values.

        • Irene Muus on November 24, 2021 at 11:24 pm

          Christianity has nothing to do with Donald Trump’s behavior. But could you believe that he does not behave in that way anymore? Would you want someone to judge you based on your own past behaviors THAT YOU DO NOT DO ANYMORE? No pastor should be pushing a particular candidate but Christians should choose people who most reflect their beliefs and values. For many Christians, the litmus test is abortion.

    • Tamara on May 1, 2021 at 12:03 pm

      I don’t see how to post a comment, just a reply.
      The reason I stopped going to church years ago was because my marriage fell appart and I had to take a 2 jobs that involved shift work so I was always working. I couldn’t seem to find anyone who was willing to reach out to me. I kept trying to find friendly support but everyone seemed to ignore me. Maybe they didn’t know what to say or do. Eventually the exaustion and discouragement took over and I gave up. I learned new depths of what it means to be alone. My ex was having mental issues and somewhat hostile towards me whenever he could. It was a negative testimony to my children and they grew up not trusting church or God. They have moved off to college and are not believers now. I am re married and still trying to break into that church community even though covid prevents attendance, not that I would be able to get time off work to go anyway. No one checks in on me. It’s been years so I’m sure no one remembers me. A zoom bible study is available but no one is my friend. I thought about it and think maybe there is a stigma arround divorcees. I didn’t want the divorce. I had to leave and take the kids to keep them safe.

      • Beau on June 6, 2021 at 5:28 am

        The first thing that came to mind as I read your post was, Why do you so desperately want to be part of a community/religion that has, through its inaction and apathy, shown it is not the least bit interested in you? How I answered that question in my own life made all the difference. In short, I couldn’t come up with one compelling reason. So I walked away from all religion and never looked back…and I have never been more happy and more enthusiastic in the way I choose to see and live my life. Honestly, you did your children a huge favor by not getting them involved in a system in which the only thing that matters is conformity to a ridiculous list of doctrinal statements that have nothing to do with reality. I would encourage you to find an online community of religion dropouts and get to know them, listen to their stories, ask questions. It works and you will be so glad you found out the truth before getting sucked back into the monster of religious conformity. Feel free to ask questions of me as well. I’m never happier than when I can help another loose the bonds of religious indoctrination and/or brainwashing, encourage them to think for themselves and see them begin to spread their wings and fly. ☺️

        And all the people said: AMEN

        • John Grimkowski on June 12, 2021 at 2:30 pm

          Hi Beau,
          I’m John from central Jersey I’m a believer . I left the baptist church Many years ago . I feel free to worship God with out
          a strict religion controlling my life. It’s all about mind control and power. I cant go into all the details at t
          his time. I’m writing a book about legalism and power and how dangerous it is. I’d like to keep in contact with you about this issue. you can contact me .

          pa I would like your opinion on some of my issues ty

      • Beau on June 6, 2021 at 5:40 am


        P.S. – read some of the posts here like the April 5th one by Lynda Cosette. Is that how you want to be? I feel nothing but sadness, pity, for folks like that. 😔

        • Mike on July 3, 2021 at 8:24 pm

          I read this post and thought there is another reason why a person leaves the church. I want to first say I do love the Lord, Christ, and the Holy Spirit. But the thing is how I’ve always been told is because of who I love I am condemned. I am a bisexual man, and I did what I was supposed to I married a woman. We have three beautiful children. I am a provider, I work long hours nursing, I spent all my free time devoted to being the best husband and father. What I received in return was physical abuse, emotional abuse. I went to church prayed for them and others not for me I would thank the lord for the blessings I had. This woman also kept cheating on me. I turned to the church, and told them I even took the the blame I was told as the man I was to be head. So I tried I went home and told her Sunday we were going to church. Got a knife held to my throat for telling her what to do. I ended my marriage after 302ing her after she slept with a man in our bed. But from there turned to men and you know what I’m not being abused but the church doesn’t accept same sex couples. So that’s it, that’s some of the reasons I walked away.

          • Beau on July 4, 2021 at 2:17 am

            Mike, I don’t know how you were able to last as long as you did in such a horrible situation. I admire the courage it took for you to end not one, but two abusive relationships: the one between you and your wife, and the one between yourself and the church. While my circumstances were much different, I also walked away after a lifetime of trying to pound the square pegs of religion into the round holes of reality. Congratulations and I wish well on the next phase of your journey. Since putting the Christian religion in my rear view mirror life has been good…I have found the peace the church was never able to make good on. It wasn’t easy but I knew I could no longer go on fooling myself that Evangelical Christianity was in any way plausible when measured against reason and experience. If you want to talk just let me know and I’ll give you my email address. Best wishes, Beau

          • Lana Smiley on July 9, 2021 at 8:51 am

            God gives everyone free choice. If you have chosen to ignore, disobey, disbelieve the Word of God that is your right, but you will “reap what you have sown”. Sexual perversion is an abomination to The Lord.

        • Mike on July 4, 2021 at 7:19 pm

          Beau, in response to your comment yes I would like your email. Thanks

          • Beau on July 8, 2021 at 3:12 am

            Sure thing, Mike.


          • Beau on September 11, 2021 at 12:47 pm

            hey there mike. i apologize for neglecting to respond to you sooner than this. my email:


            looking forward to hearing from you.

          • Beau on September 12, 2021 at 6:23 pm

            Mike, I am trying to get my email address to you but it appears the web admin is no longer allowing me to post. I understand why they wouldn’t because I, too, once lived in the same fear-based system of religion that he/she lives in today. If one’s god cannot stand up to the questions and critique of an ordinary and unassuming man such as myself, what a pitiful deity they worship. Whoever reads this (and refuses to post it), please do not pray for me. Of the two of us, I am not the one whose eyes need opening.



      • Lana Smiley on July 9, 2021 at 8:44 am

        My heart goes out to you! (Hugs) Heard a good saying : Don’t judge The Lord by His people. He knows your heart and loves you and will bless you no matter where you are or aren’t. Try to read your Bible each day and ask The Lord to send you some loving “brothers and sisters”. Don’t be discouraged.

  13. Willie Trunk on March 30, 2021 at 8:23 pm

    Today is a marvelous day, so I have to come publicly to let those who cares to listen and willing to bring back their lost heart desires to know about a legitimate spell caster, Dr Ozigidon. I am here today to testify about Dr Ozigidon. My name is Willie Trunk from Georgia, USA. I came here to testify about a legitimate spell caster Dr Ozigidon, who helped me to reunite with my ex husband after 3 years of divorce. I contacted him after reading so many testimonies of his powerful spell and within 48 hours my husband and I were reunited. Today our marriage is full of much love like we never had a divorce. I appreciate the good work of Dr Ozigidon and I am recommending him with trust to everyone who wants their heart desires back or have fertility challenges. Contact his email (drozigidonhenz.spell. net @ gmail. com With all confidence, you shall give a great testimony. Thanks to Dr Ozigidon for everything he did for me.  

    • Beau on June 6, 2021 at 5:45 am

      Willie Trunk,

      That’s not a doctor. What you are describing is a warlock, one most likely found in Middle Earth. Best of luck to you.

  14. Guest on March 27, 2021 at 1:06 pm

    Even at church most women are so very stuck up to meet after the mass is over, when many of us single guys will try to start a conversation with them by just saying good morning or hello. WOW, there are a lot more very crazy and dangerous women nowadays unfortunately. Very obvious, why so many of us guys are still single today because of this. And even friends that i know had very bad experiences with these women as well. What in the world is wrong with women today? Oh i know, Feminism.

    • Juan Carrasco on March 27, 2021 at 2:45 pm

      Dear friend, what I have been able to grasp is that mankind is and has been suffering from deception since the fall.. but take courage; look at how they treated Jesus and we can carefully admit that He was the last Adam or the last person earth who would mean us any harm. Yet look at how was treated?

      The only thing I’ve learned from the power of Gods glorious gift of His gospel is.. He meant every word He said starting with its finished. He who the Son sets free is free indeed.. Free to continue to remain in Christ. We as Americans like I said have been conditioned to compromising this word freedom and opportunity, especially when it comes to our place in religion. This is that strain of deception I was talking about.

      Take it from me, it doesn’t matter how you cut it.. pitch dark is pitch dark. So know matter what heaven allows to be thrown my way, I’ve always found that His promise of Himself has always kept me from caving in or coming off as a contradiction. The truth is I dont have to like it.. because it’s not about me. What I do like though is that no matter what kind of strain I’m under I am certain that were it not for Christ and Him crucified being genuine from day to day would be impossible.

      Let’s admit it! Were terrible at taking care of anything, especially if our motives are self intrest or good intentions.. Friend there is much to be said about being careful to seek 1st the kingdom of God and His righteousness.. in order that the (all) that He is referring to will be added.. may come to pass as He promised.
      So you see these faith and confidence and endurance type fruits will not manifest in your heart and mind unless you see this revelation 1st. It’s when we trust and simply decrease whether in good times or poor times. That God is! Working all things together for good! But His good 1st, ours is a shared experience that of His grace doing for us what we could never do for ourself.

      Friend just walk by His faith and not by your sight or by your intellect and He will instruct you straight through this world. His yoke is easy and light. And why wouldn’t it be? He knows the end from the beginning. We do not.

    • CCornie on April 26, 2021 at 10:00 pm

      Hello Guest: I would heartily suggest that you and a buddy organize a simple lunch event after Mass…right there and advertise it well. Starting a conversation with a stranger , I believe, is more easily done over ‘food’. Don’t use round tables…bad, bad for fellowship….and most unfortunately, it does sound like you have judged all young women by the responses…non-responses…of those ‘crazy and dangerous’ women. There are ‘ways’ to say hello…and there are ways to ‘never say hello’…. As long as these young women are stuck at the elbows with the others and …worst of all, standing in a circle…there won’t be much progress. Like I said, you need to alter the ‘scenario’. Organize espresso coffee and doughnuts for right after Mass…something must be able to be done here.

    • Beau on June 6, 2021 at 5:51 am

      Dear Guest,

      You describe a church filled with snobby wack females and you blame the feminist movement?


      Think about what you said. It’ll come to you…just give it time.

  15. Angela Waterford on March 17, 2021 at 7:43 pm

    I appreciate how you mentioned to include the existence of online church and sermons into consideration when trying to expand the church’s reach. I come from a broken family, as do most of my friends sometimes when we are visiting another parent from the terms of shared custody, I find it difficult to consistently attend church as much as I would like to. Online sermons help me as a person gain access to church wherever I am to keep me balanced and grounded. I’ve seen that there are some churches that offer youth conferences as a way to connect with the younger generation by helping them with age-specific concerns. I hope I am able to attend one of these conferences soon.

  16. Juan Carrasco on December 15, 2020 at 8:34 pm

    1st off excellent work on tracking or charting that came about through the generations. Those are super insightful realities.
    Going to keep it brief and right to the core, at your precise request. I believe there are many realities that are reasons as to why church going has decreased. But to carefully clear I think it would be genuine to start at Gods word that we may have a clear landing strip. And the LORD states that not all Israel is Israel.
    And as the tail end of your introductory petition stated, no one can add to the church save Christ alone… I believe that leaves direct accountability and conviction by all the proposed insights and points to self examination. And we as leaders have failed to live out our lives to where the bible is that of a mirror to that we might see if these things be so in us 1st from thought to thought and from day to day in order that God may have His good work come to pass, and this testimony is that which He alone as we agreed is what we will come to embrace or reject as His conforming us into the image of His Son. So basically I guess what we all have an opportunity to realize is.. when it comes to walking by faith and not by sight? We would do well to rest in the truth, that while we see through the glass dimly, God sees His church. Key word His church. And the fact is our ways are not His ways. But we can take great Holy comfort that even with all this being what it is, brokenness to the max.. Christ will build His church! And the gates of Hell shall not come against it. Which leaves us with just one question? Will we continue to chase statistics and paper trails.. while playing church? Or will we operate in the glorious Hope which has been set before us since before the foundation of man, and leave blood trail. Leaving a Christ like impression.. that where ever I am there He is also.

  17. Simon Patchin on December 9, 2020 at 4:52 am

    Does it seems like your relationship as ended or about to end? Lord Zakuza is here to help out with his love spells. To get your ex bf/gf back, email Lord Zakuza on Lordzakuza7 @ gmail. com for he’s a GOD on earth..

    • Beau on June 6, 2021 at 5:58 am

      Yeah. Again, like Willie Trunk, what you are describing is a Tolkien character, not a doctor.

  18. Scott Myers on December 5, 2020 at 9:39 pm

    One Lord one church
    Sure glad I have Christ as life in my mingled spirit
    You sound like those in religion.
    Witness Lee could guide you where you could receive Gods Life.Are you open or willing to be open to receive that which is of truth and life?
    Growing in Life,…..

  19. Medium.Com on October 26, 2020 at 8:11 am

    Thank you a lot for sharing this with all people you really know what you are talking about!
    Bookmarked. Please also consult with my site =). We can have a link alternate contract between us

    • Jim Campbell on November 13, 2020 at 12:15 pm

      Another reason I didn’t see listed. As a result of having COVID and coding in the hospital, ICU for 6 days, and the complications that keep on giving, my wife is nervous about going back indoors for services. As a result, neither of us go, but instead go for the online option. I would prefer to go, but there is some trauma to be dealt with before that can happen.

  20. Restorationchurch on October 6, 2020 at 2:19 am

    Great article, Restoration church does three things and believes in Restore, Rebuilt, and Release. Restoring the right relationship of humans with god, rebuilding life through Making people understand that we are all unique and each of us has the destiny to fulfill and that we are made in the image and likeliness of God to change our world. Visit the website: http://restorationchurchwichita.com

  21. pentecostel71 on September 23, 2020 at 12:37 am

    Great article, Pentecostal Life Church is the right place for you, where everyone will feel loved by God. They first met in a small meeting room on Highway 78 that soon the room filled up. After that, God opened the door to a bigger facility and made it possible for the work to begin. Visi the website: http://pentecostallifechurch.com/

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    • Philip smith on July 25, 2020 at 11:30 am


      • Philip smith on July 25, 2020 at 11:39 am

        There is no denominations in the New testiment.
        Constantine was the founder of this typ of religion.
        You can’t go to Church. The Church is those who have been born of water and the Holy Spirit through repentance. You share with those of like mind the joy of the Lord. You pray praise woedhip and study the word of God. This prepares you for going out and giving the good news to the poor.
        You return to your community and share your journeys wether it’s local or far.

  23. Concrete Leveling on June 1, 2020 at 9:45 am

    WOW just what I wwas searching for. Came here by searching for block concrete calculator

  24. Bobby Holley on May 25, 2020 at 9:43 am

    It starts with $ and ends with $. Every church SHOULD have the EXACT SAME MISSION: to “go make disciples…”. That’s it. But, for every thousand churches there are a thousand different missions. So, when a church strays from that mission which can be a accomplished in a thousand different ways inside the Jesus-style strategy we see from Matthew to Revelation, then they are left with keeping its church financially solvent. When middle class churchgoers become more affluent all a church needs to do is secure their regular contribution. Who cares if they continue attending regularly? Checking the offering box is all that is required. Sounds cynical. But, when the Church business is not run with The Great Commission as its ONLY mission, then keeping the church employees afloat is the chaff that remains.

  25. Jesse M Balingit on March 13, 2020 at 10:27 pm

    I think you may have left out one other important reason for the decline in church attendance/religious affiliation – the Evangelical Christian right, their undue influence on politics, their disdain for science, their biblical literal-ism, their unreasonable anti-abortion stances, and their support of Trump and his administration. I have found these kinds of far right views in play even among some members of more liberal congregations. These kinds of beliefs seem to have become, more or less, the face of Christianity – at least in popular media and I, for one, simply do not wish to be associated with any of this. There is nothing more arrogant and foolish to me than someone who is convinced they know the mind of God simply because they have read the bible.

    • Real on March 15, 2020 at 5:05 pm

      Wow Jesse you have nailed it

    • Leonard Carroll on April 1, 2020 at 5:32 am

      “There is nothing more arrogant and foolish to me than someone who is convinced they know the mind of God simply because they have read the bible.”
      That has got to be one of the most irrational statements I have ever read. It is true that one needs to read the Bible with a discerning heart; however, let’s be truthful, Jesse, you have never opened or seriously contemplated the Word of God. No wonder America is in a spiritual malaise! God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. You have no problem, Jesse, with the killing of 5000 infants, globally, per hour. May God have mercy on your ignorant, selfish soul.

      • Sharla on September 15, 2020 at 9:39 am

        Carroll in Jesse’s rant above, “The other important reason for the decline, in church attendance/religious affiliation – the Evangelical Christian right, their undue influence on politics” Not to mention, that every person on the planet has the responsibility to the next generation to impact political views to the moral improvement of our society. It is our Constitutional right. It is our moral responsibility no matter what religion. The reason people don’t attend are many. One reason is no one, but no one immediately calls them to see how they are, pray with them, relieve their burdens or barriers, lack of fellowship after church y way of meals at fellow parishioners homes, lack of play time between families, clicks in get togethers, the music department, not allowing certain “sins” that have been confessed and forsaken to be forgiven, by continuing to hold their oast over their head, by continuing to repeat their past to make sure they will never be able to enjoy their Constitutional right of life, liberty a d the pursuit of happiness. Gossip is sadly hugely effecting the hearts of our churches. We are sadly carnal. We are making daily choices to push God to the side while we do what we enjoy, forgetting to read our Bibles, daily confess our own sins, give to the poor, assist the elderly a d handicapped, provide transportation to the impoverished, educate the illiterate, care for children, reach out to our neighbors, be thankful, witness to all, etc. In doing all these, we should use every opportunity to share the Salvation message. If we’re merely meeting needs, that is all we are doing. Paul said he was guiltless of the blood of all men. All men. When we stand before God, we will have the literal blood of all we failed to share Christ with on our hands. It’s Biblical. Carey, you made many valid points. The point you made about leaving certain folks out of ministry is valid. If you treat someone badly long enough (it is a different amount of time per person) they will go away. We are described as the Bride of Christ for a reason. Every member is responsible for the joy and happiness of the other. If every church member would take the happiness, spiritual growth and welfare of every other member seriously as their biological family, churches couldn’t help but grow by leaps and bounds. Best regards!

    • C. Thompson on May 24, 2020 at 1:03 pm

      Jesse, I say a hearty “Amen!” The white American evangelical church has been for a long time the enabler of America’s original sin – namely that this is a country which made itself great by trashing every other people on earth. The white American evangelical church has therefore refused to proclaim what the Bible teaches about social justice, and has failed to condemn the racist terrorism which has taken place in the United States over the last several years. The white American evangelical church is also the chief enabler of Donald Trump. They turn a blind eye to the ongoing murder of people of color and the violence against immigrants, including Trump’s separation of immigrant children from their parents at the southern border.

      The author of this article claims that one reason for the decline of church attendance in the U.S. is that the society overall has lost its sense of guilt. But I say that it is the white American evangelical church which has shown no sense of guilt. These people are disgusting. After Michael Brown was murdered in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014, I had Lutheran pastors coming up to me and telling me that they did not think that African-Americans should be protesting the murder. (I am African-American, by the way.) That was when I decided that I would never again attend a church run by white American evangelicals!

      • Lance March on March 5, 2021 at 5:01 am

        Shame, so you have nothing to bring to the table of reconciliation in other words.

        • Juan Carrasco on March 5, 2021 at 9:33 am

          This is such a beautiful work that Jesus Himself let’s us participate in. The beauty is in the power of His word. It’s not a battle of the intellect for the flesh profits us nothing.
          It’s like when Paul once reconciled to almighty God claimed to know nothing but Christ and Him crucified. He was schooled in a lot, but not in how to do this.. its intresting how instead Paul stated boldly how he considered everything dung in comparison to knowing the love of God.
          Paul knew the truth and the truth was sufficient to cover a multitude of sins. That it was because of Christ that Paul had knowledge of this greater love that more man knows then this.. the laying down of ones life for a friend.
          Listen He didn’t just preach reconciliation He was a slave to it. Being that poured out vessel in such a fashion that it was no longer him who was exalted but Christ! This was the work of reconciliation in Paul’s members. No one knew more then Paul what it was to be in the lime light, or to be confident and entitled.. that’s why he was able to crucify the flesh daily, taking every thought captive against the word of God. It was the full dose of being baptized in the spirit! Enabling him to choose righteously, to decrease, to follow, to trust, to serve, to love! To forgive to Hope! To share in the faith of a reconciling living loving Father.

      • CCornie on April 26, 2021 at 9:23 pm

        My first question would be: Did those pastors tell you ‘why’ they thought that the African-Americans should not be protesting? Could it have been great concern for their safety? Also: Lutherans are not part of the ‘White Evangelicals’ that have given Christianity such a ‘bad name’. That ‘group’ does NOT NOT NOT represent the rest of us. The
        Evangelical Lutheran Church of America does not use the term ‘evangelical’ in the same way. The Hypocrisy we have sadly seen in just the last four ‘Trump’ years from the White Evangelicals is horrific and very, very damaging. The son of Billy Graham, Franklin, is one of the worst. Those who are racist, msygonic, cheaters, adulterers, liars, in Spades…. are drawn to those with the same ‘attributes’…just don’t point that out to them. Trump did not create all these evils…but he gave validity and permission and support on a National Scale.
        There must be a place of Faith somewhere near you where you can experience some ‘love’ and ‘caring’ and far less judgment. I hope so.

    • bob on August 3, 2020 at 8:23 am

      Good post. While I’m not in the far right or far left Evangelicals should be able to express their views like anyone else, both faith and science together need to use caution not to go beyond their scope. Abortion is a personal decision and each person needs to express their view by writing their elected officials & voting. The Church can go too far on this by looking more like a voting block and less like a community o faith. If you are a Trump voter, Peloisi, Biden or Putin voter I don’t care as a person of faith, but I don’t want to hear a sermon on it. We can have coffee and talk. Popular media in the U.S. is mostly positional advocacy. I think the best anecdote to all of this is to learn and apply critical thinking, embrace your faith and love God, and be a super friendly ambassador to those that disagree with you. To me there are a few fundamentals that are essential; death, burial and resurrection of Christ. Everything else is up to you. Good post on your part. Never stop participating.

      • Alison Scott on August 5, 2020 at 8:25 pm

        I have attended church for 66 years. It has been a loving, supportive and inspiring place for me and has helped me to be a better person, and a better citizen. In the last 20 years however I have become more and more reluctant to tell people who don’t know me that I’m a Christian, for fear they will assume that I am intolerant, racist rightwinged bible thumper. The bible isn’t the word of God. It’s man’s understanding of God. If I had been brought up in a loving supportive Jewish, Muslim, Buddist (fill in the blanks), I likely would have followed the faith of my family. Christ didn’t want to start a new religion. He wanted to share his experience and faith with peoples from all walks of life. He didn’t think people were getting the ‘point’ of religion. He lived in a cosmopolitan town on the silk road and was exposed to all kinds of faiths and philosophies. I have met many retired ministers who have bluntly told me they didn’t preach what they had learned in theology school or from their own personal growth. They frankly didn’t want to lose the grey haired in the front row. I think that’s how we lost the young. As a grey haired old lady myself now I stayed in the church because my parent’s stayed current and progressive in their faith. Faith that lasts is not repressive. God is love, radical love, difficult love. If it’s not that, it’s something else. It calls us to action in our personal and political life to be loving, caring and open to discussion.

        • CCornie on April 26, 2021 at 9:46 pm

          I appreciated your words, Alison. Denominations?….man made, of course. The ethnicity of Norwegians, for example, was quickly woven into their ‘practice’ of their Faith….use Germans, British, whatever….doesn’t matter. And then we soon had, the Norwegian Lutherans and the German Lutherans and the Swedish Lutherans, etc….with their individual traditions woven in..which would be an expected occurance with ‘mankind. But some of those traditions get woven into the practices and you start to see division…because that is what WE do… and then we have all the different takes on ‘baptism’, Holy Communion, authority in the Church, etc. and soon those differences and standing up for one’s own preferences gets in the way of teaching what Christ told us to. I use Lutherans because I am one…
          My present church is ‘medium-sized’. We have always been strong in ‘help for the Community’…clothes, food, money, counseling, etc. And way back, we felt spiritually fed by Bible-based Sermons and in-depth Bible Studies. In the last decade, things have changed. I would fault weak leadership from Clergy and Lay Leadership..but there could be more. A few people formed an ‘Earth Team’…an admirable effort, of course. But continuous Sermons about ‘saving the Earth’ became annoying rather than uplifting for one’s Spirit for the week of life ahead. So many activities around … measuring the carbon in the soil in your backyard…banning the use of colored napkins at Dinners and Receptions…on and on. Information right and left for Seminars, Books, Discussions, Training, etc. about composting and planting only native species in our new landscaping, and more. Again: Admirable…but not necessarily for Spiritual Feeding. We called a Lesbian Associate Pastor…she got in only by 3 votes in spite of a vibrant personality. We lost families on this one. But then proceeded years until now of sermons on ‘Sexuality’ and ‘Fairness’ and ‘Welcoming the Gay Community’ and seminars, and books and meetings, etc. on that topic. Again we needed to learn all that….but we were drowning in it. Some Sunday’s I was a brat…and counted the number of times I heard the mention of the name of Jesus….We were not pleased with the results. The same person has us (small group) at protests on Immigration, ICE, BLM, etc….all very admirable….but we don’t feel that that is really DOING anything. We and others have found our spots for discipleship in other places, other churches and so it is. But if we are stepping away from teaching what Christ wants us to do…and what He wants us to NOT do…..I fear for the uprise of not feeling ‘guilty’…for anything. We have been inundated with that attitude in the actions of hundreds in our Politics, our Policing, our Government Officials. My lengthy outburst has ended and my lack of articulation may have given a skewed impression of my thoughts here, and my fears.

    • Lana Smiley on July 9, 2021 at 9:00 am

      Reading the Bible is life changing – Its the unerring Word of God! Can’t recommend it enough.

      • Beau on July 10, 2021 at 1:15 am

        It certainly changed my life…the road to atheism is littered with bibles that have been read cover to cover. I can vouch for that. 🙂

  26. Restoration Church on February 3, 2020 at 12:27 am

    Your Blog is very good and I also have origination for people’s help. Your blog lines are readable. We help people because we know that people are not living a poor type. But restoration church is best to help peoples.

  27. Brian Eatock on January 23, 2020 at 11:13 am

    Is there an organization or help out there for a church that wants to use our sporting families to reach others for Jesus? Instead of blasting them and giving them a guilt trip about missing church, why not use them to reach others that ARE NOT IN CHURCH. And why does this seem like a unique approach? If there are all of these families out there that are not attending church on Sunday morning because they are in sports, then why don’t we stop trying to pop them out of their sports culture into our church culture? Why doesn’t the church go to the sporting games with these families. It seems like we already have many missionaries on the sporting field already, why are we not equipping them?

    Yet, as Ive’ search the internet for help, I find nothing. Is no one doing this?

    • Jeff on January 23, 2020 at 2:05 pm

      I don’t think that Carey is trying to “blast” families who are involved in sports, but I think he’s just directing us to realize that the reason why so many people don’t attend church is due to the commitment to sports. Our family has made the choice not to choose sports that invade on Sundays, but that’s a personal choice. I think the bigger issue is what you’ve brought up – which is – “How are churches working to engage those families that do have kids in weekend (specifically Sunday) sports teams?”

      Here’s a resource to consider that might help you: https://thetiethatbinds.net/outdoor

      There are a number of outdoor/sports/recreation ministries that serve churches or can be used by churches to support families in sports activities…. The church just needs to make it a priority.

    • Rod F on February 8, 2020 at 5:25 pm

      I played sports as a kid all the time. We never had games or practice on Wednesday or Sunday. When I raised my children we never did this either. My oldest is 37 now. Why do coaches and sports team need this much time for sports. I believe Sunday is God’s day that we should spend at least part of it with him. If parents would boycott sports this would change. What is more important, your child’s eternity or their .01% chance of making a living at sports. God Bless.

    • Beau on September 22, 2021 at 7:01 pm

      Hi Brian,
      I mean no disrespect here, just giving a little helpful feedback as one who dealt with Sunday afternoon school/sporting activities when I was a young man. Had people from my church began inserting themselves into my planned activities it would have quickly gotten awkward. See, I had a choice between church and non-church activities much the same as families today. When faced with that particular quandary and the person/family chooses the non-church activities over sitting in a pew staring at the backs of people’s heads, it would appear they have let you know what their priorities are. Why not just let them be, let them enjoy their day without forcing yourselves on them. Not everything in a person’s life has to be about church. My two cents anyway. Have a nice evening. 🙂
      ~ Beau

  28. Mark on January 23, 2020 at 9:11 am

    In our church we have seen increasing engagement (active involvement in church activities and missions) over the last several years, and yet flat or declining attendance at Sunday worship services. Every week night our church building is bustling with activity – support groups, book studies, music groups – but Sunday worship attendance has not matched pace. Is this a general trend? What does it say about the nature of people’s relationship with the church… is it more transactional (activities provide a sense of direct benefit, #8 above) whereas worship attendance may seem less so?

  29. Kim on January 20, 2020 at 11:58 am

    I looking for some information when I came across your post. I find it alarming that you are completely out of touch as to why people leave. I have the blessing/curse of being the person who gets the last scream before people walk out the church door for good. The top two reasons are poor, unresponsive leadership and culture.

    Poor Leadership: People have complex problems yet the leadership has no idea what to do. They look like a deer in headlights. One style is instead of inquiring, researching, and reach out to other members, who may know more than themselves, for help, they make decisions on high and expect others to follow blindly. The another is burying their heads in the sand, hoping this too shall pass.
    Culture: I have named them shadow people. These people thrive and benefit from the structure of the church. In turn, they use a variety of ways to exclude the undesirables, from social exclusion to outright ignoring their presence. The undesirables are suppose to take up space only, and somehow take responsibility for not “loving God” enough to be like them. They delude themselves as thinking they are growing in Christ while sniping others for not following their example.

    After spending years being part of groups trying to be positive force for undesirables, taking their complaints and concerns to the poor leadership, I was treated terribly by not one, but two churches. So now I’m done. The church I grew up with is longer focused on saving the lost, healing the broken, feeding the hungry. It is about power; since the shadow people have managed to learn this in the church, they have taken this into the world. The next generation is gone; only by returning to service above self will the church survive.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on January 23, 2020 at 8:03 am

      Hey Kim,

      It sounds like there’s a lot of hurt and disappointment in your story. I’m so so sorry.

      That’s not actually what this post is about. This post is about cultural trends, but yes, you’re right…bad leadership and harmful leadership in churches is a factor. I’m so sorry.

      I’m also sorry to hear you’re done. I hope you can find a place to heal and a group that embraces you. Here are some thoughts that might help: https://careynieuwhof.com/a-response-to-christians-who-are-done-with-church/


    • Sheila McGarvey on January 23, 2020 at 10:48 am

      May I repost this?

  30. Restoration Church on December 20, 2019 at 2:23 am

    The true church believes in a god and prays for people. The true original church is doing helping people they have no food and clothes. The church organizes a charity for people who are poor.
    Restoration church equipping and releasing people to live a life that God has for them and also rebuilding lives through discipleship.

  31. Restoration Church on December 2, 2019 at 11:42 pm

    We don’t have members at Restoration Church, we have owners. Members expect privileges; owners share responsibility. If Restoration Church is a place you’d like to plug-in and share ownership in the work then we’d love for you to come along and be an owner here.

    • laura mcdonough on December 28, 2019 at 1:26 pm

      Underground (home churches) where family or some friends meet are getting popular because people know mainline churches are buisinesses and apostate. Many are condoning LGBT, and basically churches today are social outlets with little substance. Some go online for study and Bible research.

      • Catt Houser on January 5, 2020 at 7:41 am

        That is so true. I have traveled too so many churches in my area and it’s always the same story. Weak on prayer, weak on Bible study, weak on Ministries. They are great places if you want to socialize with a little religion on the side. I haven’t found one church with a program for the persecuted Christians in the world, even if it’s just simple prayer. There are no advanced bible studies. Members don’t even know what a spiritual gift is let alone what gifts they may have. Many are mixing the spiritual beliefs of pagan religions so they can be more accepted by the society.. Church is more like the world than trying to get the world to be more like Gods church. Not a fan of the fallen church.

        • A. Mattison on January 7, 2020 at 6:32 am

          Catt Houser, thank you for your input. I am very homesick for a REAL church that follows Christ. My church is BORING, like you said nothing said about the persecuted Christians, but the pastor defends Muslims every step of the way. No Bible study. Very few young people. I am longing for a real church. I want to be close to Christ. Sadly I am closer to Him in my own home than in the church. No wonder church attending people are less and less.

          • Catt Houser on January 7, 2020 at 8:34 am

            It is the great falling away of the church. I have checked my whole county. I have tried to stir interests in the thing of God but it falls on deaf ears of a worldly Church. Like you … I’m staying home. There are faithful Christians on social media but they are getting shut down. Satan is brilliant. He is twisting the faith into a worldly one. The Church is still here but they can’t get spiritually nourished in these worldly churches. I see a church here and there that speak the truth …but…they never seem to have any ministries in the community. They are above ground but operate in an underground fashion. FEAR. No date setter for the Tribulation but it must be getting very close. With these weak churches not many people will be hearing the truth. Times are going to get bad quickly. Stay strong my friend. Christ is still on His throne.

      • Sheila McGarvey on January 23, 2020 at 11:26 am

        I agree with what you said, Laura. One of the most offensive behaviors I have found in the building churches is that those who can afford to rush off to eat lunch after services in their little cliques, leaving the less fortunate to just return home. Why not a scripturally instructed agape meal. Greetings to newcomers are scripted and not even welcoming. The ministry is only concerned about income and they spend the monies on unbiblical programs and entertainment and not taking care of those in need.

      • Lucy Sy-changco on February 3, 2020 at 1:06 am

        Thank God.,Amen

    • theartist on January 24, 2020 at 11:47 am


      May I RESPECTFULLY ask if “STEWARDS” would be a better fitting term?

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    • Edmund Jones on November 23, 2019 at 10:24 pm

      Back in the day as many would say, there were far less ‘things’ of interest. Today, there are so many ‘things’ that wants our attention, time and involvement. Therefore, time management is becoming increasingly more important. Back then when life was all about spending time with and visiting with family due to a lack of options or ‘things’ of interest. So many ‘things’ demand or attention and involvement (time). When Jesus walked the earth, they would congregate less often than every Sabbath day, could be due to the time it took to get to Jerusalem. The fact remains, Jesus were engaged more in ministering to the masses and person/s. I would say that we should consider doing the same. Spend less time in a building (church) and more time among people, hoping ti influence their lifestyle for the better at least morally if not spiritually. I’m in the process of starting a church that would only attend church on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month and eventually only the 1st Sunday of the month, but would place more emphasis on life outside the church. Not attending church every Sunday does not decrease your spirituality or maturity, rather it will enrich your relations with your family and friends, by spending more time with them. Time is the key word here. People has not been created for the the church, rather the church has been created for people. Unless we cater for or make allowance for the needs of people, we will be left with no people in our churches.

  33. Nune yah on September 6, 2019 at 11:54 am

    Do you even read statistics? The middle class is not shrinking because they’re stepping up, they’re shrinking because they’re losing jobs to automation and joining the lower class, my god this is this is a poorly studied article…

    • Thomas on December 18, 2019 at 3:34 pm

      This is the brutal indisputable truth!!!
      Here in the Seattle area (whuch is demonically hostile to The Father, Son & Holy Spirit) if you aren’t enployed by Amazon, Google, Sysco, Microsoft or an upper level position at Boeing or a major defense contractors, you’re headed for a tent under a bridge.
      And the sick thing is, those people who ARE employed like these ways are going to die of heart attacks, stroke, drug addiction or alcoholism by the time they’re 40 from working 100+ hours a week.
      This is all unsustainable.

  34. Church-plant Patti on July 4, 2019 at 9:49 am

    This article is both poignant and thought-provoking. As a sports mother/grandmother, I concur with the fact that sporting events take place on weekends. My grandsons play football and basketball while my granddaughters are cheerleaders. The youngest granddaughter also plays basketball. Needless to say, our schedule is always challenging. One thing that I’ve noticed, however, is that how and what our children are taught about the value of the church is different than when I was growing up.

    My father was a Baptist deacon and I saw him reading his Bible. He took me to church, taught my Sunday School class, and still made time for me to participate in community activities. Church engagement was all I knew. And it was fun! If you think about it, many of my generation (born in the 60s-70s) changed the parenting paradigm. Many of us didn’t want to discipline our kids the way our parents did; attend church as our parents did, and the list goes on.

    This culture shift is one steeped in rebellion. Think about it. Our nation was founded on the premise of religious and economic freedom. Now that we have it (to a point) we have lost our proverbial minds. Our things are more important than our relationships, especially our relationship with God. I often hear, “God knows my heart.” Uh huh. “I know I should be in church but …”

    My question isn’t why they’re not coming. My question is, “What are we, the church, doing about it?” Do we truly leave the 99 to find the 1? Are we really willing to go out and compel them to come? And lastly, “How are we presenting this awesome gospel?” Jesus spoke to people and met them where they were. He was relevant to the day. He met those in the synagogues, some on the mountain, and others by the lake. He was accessible. Many of our church leaders aren’t. You almost have to have a VIP pass to get to the pastor.

    Please forgive the wordiness of this reply. But this is a very relevant issue that I’m grateful to see addressed, discussed, and prayerfully acted upon. I encourage any and everyone who reads this article and subsequent replies to pray and as the Holy Spirit to lead them in being the “living epistles.” I believe that we are called to be change agents, or what I call conduits for change.

    • Al on July 29, 2019 at 6:29 pm

      I have an important question as a response:

      If Christians are told to preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth as by Jesus in Acts, why should we compel the world to go to church all the time when perhaps, Christians in church should be GOING TO THEM? If the only engagement of church to people is on Sundays via attendance, Western church has sorely missed the point.

      • Charli-Chan on September 28, 2019 at 5:46 pm

        I love this comment! This is so true!

      • Jacqueline on September 29, 2019 at 10:34 am


        • Anita Chastain on October 19, 2019 at 2:33 pm

          I understand where you are coming from, but please don’t lump every Western preacher in with the “gold-diggers.” My husband has pastored the same little church in the NC mountains for 13 years. When he started, he was paid $800/ month, hardly a fortune. Over time, as this article says, attendance has dropped to the point where there aren’t enough to comfortably pay him. We haven’t accepted a check in several years now, but he still preaches the same, is still there 3 times a week and still loves everyone the same. Not every preacher is in it for money.

          • Anil Philip on October 23, 2019 at 6:48 am

            You don’t have to go to church to meet fellow christians. You can read the bible with your family and pray daily. You can meet christians at work or at a fast food place for coffee or at the library…

          • Linda on November 28, 2019 at 6:05 am

            Where there is a church, ( building), it needs our funds for electricity, heat, etc.
            As your know Jesus had no specific building as he travelled by foot and graciously accepted food and lodging from his followers.
            But I agree Churches are run like a business.
            My little country church in Michigan, has a budget of approx. $ 240,000.
            Our leaders are very frugal with the Lord’s money.

          • Mary on January 27, 2020 at 9:04 am

            I agree my husband pastored a church for whom he took 3 years of decreasing salary and then 2 years unpaid. He still preached every week and worked 65 + hours a week. Not all pastors are “gold diggers”. Now the church is able to pay him a salary but I work as an unpaid administrative assistant 30 hours a week. Our 4 children, 2 who are adults give many hours and their talents to the church.

        • John on December 15, 2019 at 3:25 am

          If Jesus didn’t take up a collection, where did Judas get the income that he was responsible for? It seems that money was involved. While the gospel message is free, a workman deserves his wages.

          • Anil on January 27, 2020 at 9:12 am

            Please go back and read your Bible.
            Jesus did not collect tithes.
            The wives of some officials supported him financially.
            Also Jesus was able to tell a fish with money in its mouth to goi and be caught by Peter so the tac could be paid

      • Rose on October 23, 2019 at 5:56 am

        Going to church is not meeting the Great Commission as you said above. We do go to the ends of the earth to bring the Gospel. However, Jesus made it clear for the believers to not stop meeting together for iron sharpens iron. God’s word preached to believers is our daily bread and living water, we get our fill and leave with it into the world feeding others. Church is where I go to be fed, sharpened, encouraged and to meet with my family in Christ. Then, I go into the world, teaching what I know and helping to add to the Kingdom not the pew.
        Hope this helps.

      • Jerry on November 10, 2019 at 2:08 pm

        You miss the difference between Christianity (and individual belief system) and Churchianity (an institutional power system). Jesus can be seen as promoting the first and opposing the second. We were Minions impressed to promote the second, and see the results as a lack of the first.)

        • Charlotte McCauley on January 21, 2020 at 11:06 am

          Because, it is the character of our spirit that will count; not whether you’re blue or red, not whether you are male or female, not whether you are Buddist, Christian, Catholic, Jewish, Japanese, Chinese, Islamic, American, Russian, German, French,…it won’t matter.

    • Charli-Chan on September 28, 2019 at 5:43 pm

      Thank you, Church-plant Patti. I totally agree with you. I appreciate your comments and your passion for souls is reflected in your post. We do need to go back to taking soul-winning more seriously. We should be more concerned about others coming to Christ and less concerned about ourselves. Another reason why I think church attendance is decreasing is because there is a dry spell in the area of intimacy with God. Many of the people of God talk to God for a few minutes but don’t, necessarily, reach the throne with their prayers. Additionally, We’ve forgotten that prayer is communication with God. Therefore, we are doing all of the talking and wont sit still long enough to hear what He has to say to us. Everything in life now is rushed, rushed, and hurried. That also includes our prayer times. We can find all of our answers to our personal problems, and church problems in the presence of the Lord. The less we pray,
      the less we lift Him up, even in church services. “If I be lifted up I will draw all men unto me.” Sadly to say that our love for Christ is not the same either. Remember the scripture that says, “With love and kindness have I drawn thee.” If we love God AND the unchurched right the unchurched will be drawn to the church having a thirst and hunger for Jesus Christ. Thank you again for sharing your take on why the church (the body of Christ) is unable to keep or increase church attendance.

      • Erikbot on December 25, 2019 at 3:40 pm

        “Soul-winning”? What a weird and creepy thing.

    • theartist on January 24, 2020 at 11:51 am

      YES! So true, and so every spot on…thank you.

  35. Anil on July 4, 2019 at 9:33 am

    @Tired of the Games
    I can identify with your reply.
    I am tired of tithing.
    “Giving to us is Giving to God”, the church leaders claim.

  36. Your Mother on June 29, 2019 at 12:54 pm

    How come the picture at the top of the article is some baseball-playing kid grabbing his butt?

    • Carol on December 10, 2019 at 11:45 am

      Please look more closely. He is ‘resting’ his left hand in a position to help propel him when he is ready to run.

    • theartist on January 24, 2020 at 11:57 am

      “Your Mother” The child in the photo is preparing to advance to the next base. He is in position….

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  39. my singing monsters on March 27, 2019 at 3:59 pm

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  40. Jesse on March 17, 2019 at 3:26 pm

    It makes my heart happy that people are starting to evolve out of religion. Part of the reason I don’t get to see my daughters is because of the immoral doctrine of god. Religious people sit on the shoulders of jesus (notice the lowercase) and think they can get away with anything. THAT’S WHY US AFFLUENT…or what we call intelligent PEOPLE AREN’T GOING! The most “evil” things that have been done to me and my children are by christians. And hopefully someday we can get you losers out of the family courts so we can start repairing some of the damage you’re doing.

  41. A S MacDonald on March 17, 2019 at 11:11 am

    The reason I personally find church attendance and involvement difficult now is because I’ve had enough of a ‘gospel’ (in ‘evangelical’, ‘charismatic’ and ‘liberal’ churches!) which is, when analysed, much more about man than about God. To me, it’s a morass of ‘self-theory’, existentialism, experientialism, activism, pressure, competitiveness, ‘celebrity’ leadership, domineering and intrusive ‘leadership’ and powerful ‘teaching’ which I find, to be honest , mostly shallow, ignorant and childish. Different versions of ‘end-time’, future and ‘millennial’ teachings have become central points of division, and the simple belief in the return of Christ has ceased to be the common hope which would give us true fellowship. The “Spirit of Truth” which Jesus sent seems to me to be mostly absent at present. What we have is actually, I think, a real leadership crisis! I do find the 1662 Book of Common Prayer useful along with the writings of teachers such as Henri Blocher! (I am British so all this may not entirely apply to America.)

  42. Anil Philip on February 3, 2019 at 6:11 pm

    Churches should switch to a different model that is biblically aligned.
    see My Dream Church https://sites.google.com/site/mydreamchurch/

    The current model for pastor directed churches says that the senior pastor is the priest – this is Old Testament.
    The New Testament model that churches should follow, says Every Believer is a Priest.

    1. Structure: the structure of My Dream Church is based on the New Testament ‘Body Of Christ’
    model and not on the Old Testament hierarchical model.
    2. Anointing: Every believer is a priest in the new covenant.
    3. Biblical: submission to the Word in My Dream Church will be at a higher level
    than submission to leaders
    4. Leaders should have secular jobs:
    5. Finances: Giving not Tithing. Transparency in finances
    6. Praise and Worship is congregational:
    7. Looking sideways (practical love):
    8. Women are not silenced:

    This model is not original and is old – but it is appropriate for the megachurch and also for the persecuted church.

  43. cannabis software on January 28, 2019 at 5:58 am

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    • Grace on March 3, 2019 at 9:15 am

      What about chronic illness and mental health issues? As these issues rise on our society, we see people struggling to attend as regularly as they would like.

    • Pahala Hebert on March 9, 2019 at 6:35 pm

      The size of the church communities that are above the amount a Pastor can reasonably manage is the problem. The lack of family and spiritual intimacy automatically motivates every Christ follower to search for the loving Christ filled community they need to grow their faith and encourage worship. The attendance is not an issue. It’s the value of smaller communities that needs to be addressed. Having more members than the leadership can handle (names, faces, children, profession, spiritual progression, NEW member on-boarding), encourages Christ followers to rely more readily, eagerly and fully on their personal relationship with God which is why they leave the church.

    • Ann on March 24, 2019 at 12:31 pm

      I have given up on church. I was single for a very long time and tried and tried to find a church home that I felt comfortable in. No one knows what to do with singles in a church. And there are a lot of single people out there.
      Why go if you don’t feel welcome or that you belong there?
      That experience led me to question my faith alogether. I’m no longer a believer and I feel free.

  44. Raymond Force on December 23, 2018 at 7:48 am

    Very good read. Thank you for writing.

    • Joni on January 11, 2019 at 10:59 am

      I am leaving my post, as a reply because it wouldn’t work otherwise! Anyway, I disagree with on line church “becoming mainstream”. You failed to mention one of the best things about going to church- the FELLOWSHIP! In the early church, people met, shared, and broke bread everyday together. The friendship, support, and love one gets from going to church regularly is unmet on line. Nothing will ever come close to it. I believe what we are seeing, and where the future of church attendance lies, is in small churches. Which is more like the early church! I live in the Bible Belt, and have seen hundreds of small churches pop up in the last decade. Just like Christ word will stand forever, so will the church, and it’s fellowship. Which can’t be met in any other way, than regular attendance. Thankyou. God bless.

      • Deliliah on July 21, 2019 at 5:48 pm

        I’m in agreement that small churches are more about the people instead of the mega speaker who needs an enterage? And no speaking with such a leader ,it seems as though the list of people to go through just to make an appointment. ( it took 6months,simply for an appointment,then it had to be with the pastor,head deacon,secretary ) I had been a member over 13years the leader had heard of me being seen by a psychologist and rather than someone reaching out,I was told that if my faith was stronger and I didn’t have sin in my life none of this would have occurred.I was told I wasn’t spiritual or holy enough and I should find a church whose pastor would have Sunday dinner with my family.I was told I no longer was welcomed.What I couldn’t understand, no one reached out to me,but I heard in the Sun service,should we meet any ladies still dressed from the previous night,we were to welcome them,be kind and not disrespect them. I stopped going to church because I was told I wasn’t good enough to be there.

        • Lev on November 30, 2019 at 4:07 am

          The reccepy to kill fellowship, involvment, attendance is to allow church politics. E.g. you hear it preached from the front that God has given you talents. You come to realise you have some. You have used them in various ways and been happy to share and weren’t averse to working in a team. But then, for the bits you are asked to do you get no support and are hung out to dry. Then you are told to give it up because a very liked by the pastor person, who is a confirmed oneman band wants it. You feel discouraged, not least because you realise that you weren’t worthy of support (the leader doesn’t even have the decency to reply to (very rare) emails, nor even has the decency to inform you a change that affects you has been made.)
          You start to struggle going to church. That affects fellowship, that affects outreach, that affects appetite for spiritual things.
          It is worth to remember: God limited His means to people. They are his hands, feet, witnesses. Does what you say and do as His ambassador give a message that God does not love somebody?
          The other thing worth thinking of is:
          Loving( rather than driving) with due care and attention. Let not your negligence be the cause of spiritual life changing injuries to a fellow believer (imagine in a physical sense you drive your car due to inattention into a wall, braking the legs of a person who happen to be at that spot by the wall , , ,)

          • Linda on September 8, 2020 at 8:28 pm

            This accurately describes the church I used to attend regularly in ND. Plus this church allows this creep to stalk me in church. My feelings do not matter.

            These words fit this church to a T, “But then, for the bits you are asked to do you get no support and are hung out to dry. Then you are told to give it up because a very liked by the pastor person, who is a confirmed oneman band wants it. You feel discouraged, not least because you realise that you weren’t worthy of support (the leader doesn’t even have the decency to reply to (very rare) emails, nor even has the decency to inform you a change that affects you has been made.)”

            I hurt so much from the way I have been treated by these people. Sometimes I want to die.

      • Neicey on September 15, 2019 at 6:14 pm

        I agree, because I enjoyed the fellowship, too.

      • Jacqueline on September 29, 2019 at 10:37 am


      • Delaine on December 15, 2019 at 12:42 am

        What if you aren’t feeling the “fellowship” part?

    • lisa boyce on January 13, 2019 at 2:52 pm

      Well my husband an I attend online church and it has been nothing but a blessing. When you’re unable to find a church that is bible believing, bible teaching, not afraid to talk about sin, tell people to REPENT, than its time to simply look elsewhere. We happened to find it online and very happy we did. We rather go online than to sit in a lukewarm Godless church .

      • Jacqueline on September 29, 2019 at 10:42 am


        • Jacqueline on September 29, 2019 at 10:45 am


          • Rose on October 23, 2019 at 6:03 am

            That’s a lame excuse not to go to church. You’re right, the Gospel is free and no one charges you in church! The basket is passed around for those who know the Word well enough to give so others may have. Muslims give 45% to their own mosque and never help in disaster events unless it’s their own religion. I have a best friend that is Muslim and she laughed when I told her we Christian’s give 10% to our church. She said her mosque would only help people if the mosque knew they could be converted.
            The Word of God is free and obviously your reply shows you don’t read it. You’re ignorant to the word of God. That’s not your fault but your responsibility as a believer, if you are even that.
            If you need a Bible they are available, even for free.

          • Anil Philip on October 23, 2019 at 6:44 am

            @Rose it is you si are ignorant. They don’t just pass around a basket. They demand that you give 10% of your gross income.

      • Mary on January 27, 2020 at 9:28 am

        Lisa boyce, since you attend an online church would you be willing to help me? My husband pastors a church that is bible believing, bible teaching, not afraid to talk about sin, tell people to repent, which some get upset and then attend online church. However, then they come back when they are in the hospital and want a visit and our last 3 funerals they expected a full service pastor include the church ladies to provide lunch. We are a small church and resources can be very limited. We still visited the sick, fed the family, and loved them in their time of need even though they attend an online church. What is the online church attenders responsible to their brothers and sisters in Christ who love them this way? Or are we just here in an emergency?For me it is getting difficult to serve since I’m starting to feel used by them for the convenience of sleeping in (someone told me is important to them to sleep in). My concern is if people always take but never give time, talents and resources we won’t be here for when they need a free building, free food and service. My experience has been online attenders want all the benefits of a fellowship of believers but none of the sacrifice to be in community with real people.

  45. Jaaymz Ramire on October 26, 2018 at 4:57 pm

    As corporate worship attendance is dropping, I winder if there is any studies that say rather this has also decreased people personal worship….Their personal devotion and prayer time with God? Like to know since I am in charge developing discipleship at my church. I think this tend is increasing a lot due to the fact that the church has concerned itself with so much of the harvest that it hasn’t done a great job of apprenticing disciples or other people to lead. Jesus says the harvest is plenty and laborers are few. If we as a church would get better at apprenticing people at where they are at to do church or be the church means of more value than the institution. Meaning my barber was done with church due to the stares and glares from what he has in his shop. Since I have been going there, he has welcomed me to come and have studies at his shop. As a Marine, we use to say we aren’t doing our job till we’re deployed and I think that’s what Jesus is wanting us to do. As a pastor I know it’s hard but sometimes people don’t want to come to church but they are willing to have coffee and met with me personally.

    • Grace on March 3, 2019 at 9:18 am

      I love your comment. You make a very valid point.

    • Charlotte McCauley on January 21, 2020 at 11:17 am

      And, which one feels less rehearsed, and more like a conversation?

  46. Ken Johnson on October 11, 2018 at 1:06 am

    I have found that there is a clear distinct difference between “Christianity” and “churchianity”. It may surprise some of you to know that the Lord never commanded us to build a building. Instead, He said that “We” are the temple. He commanded us to go out and preach the gospel. Am I against a building to gather? No! But if you are not going out then “Yes!” I live in a country, Japan, that has less than 1% Christians. I can not and should not expect people to walk into a church building. Instead, we have to do ministry like Jesus. Meeting people in their house, at the market place, train stations, schools and even in their temples is what me and my family do. We need to focus on Christianity…not churchianity. Christianity is doing church like Jesus did. Churchianity is doing church with human ideals. Church is not a place we go to. IT’S WHO WE ARE!

    • Herbert Yetman on December 13, 2018 at 1:58 am

      I am in agreement regarding the present impact and status of “the church” (or ‘churchians’) in the arenas of life that pertain to “all things churchy”. The Ascension of Christ to HIs Father was only the beginning of all that Luke described in Acts. It wasn’t a formula that just “gets us to Heaven.” It is the living, vibrant, Spirit of that same Christ that He infused in us to be living vessels overflowingly full of Himself in Acts-driven Christlikeness that is the ONLY way to live Him out before the world in each of our lives by activating those gifts that heal, speak in Holy Spirit-led languages, prophesy, deliver Spirit-filled ‘Words of Knowledge’, ‘Words of Wisdom’, activate the Holy Spirit in the miraculous’ the presence of the Holy Spirit within each one of us that the Acts-revival will begin again. I have seen the spiritual gifts in operation in my own life according to those listed in 1st Corinthians 12!

      • C LeBlue on October 31, 2019 at 9:30 pm


      • Peggy Prigge on November 3, 2019 at 12:24 pm

        That is the best reply I’ve ever read!

    • Becca on February 4, 2019 at 12:18 am

      Beautifully said!!!

  47. Ralph on September 7, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    Our Lord gave churches a report card, so to speak, in Revelation ch. 2-3, and he had a lot to say to the churches of antiquity, and it applies to our times as well. His feedback centered on whether the churches were doing the kinds of things that revealed the desire to further HIS kingdom. I think if we’re really honest we should look at ourselves and our churches in this light and if we were doing the things we should do, then the fellowship of believers would be more in line with how Christ would want to see it, and that’s all that should count. If we really were acting as his hands, eyes, ears, heart, etc., then it would no longer be about ‘us’ and about HIS kingdom. But, imperfect humans that we all are, we tend to make it about us. Spiritual warfare 101.

    • Michele on October 9, 2019 at 9:57 pm

      I recently read a book about “deceased churches” and it also completely left out the passages in Revelation where God says I will remove your lampstand. There is a mention of lack of personal prayer. Which is good because Jesus said “My house will be called a house of prayer, but you..” Wht we all cancelled Wed night prayer meeting? I find it frustrating because I keep telling the pastors we need a dedicated prayer meeting. The last time we talked about this they said that there are people who see intimidated to pray putt loud and that is why we don’t! Strategic error imo. Finally I think it was a huge mistake to let Bible doctrine become..whata the word? Irrelevant? Optional? The bible passage is posted on the overhead and none of our children see us even carrying out bible anymore. We avoid the topic of creation. But if you actually study Creation and evolution there’s really no contest. I hired a friend’s daughter recently. She grew up in our church and now considers herself atheist. But she was very polite. Finally she mentioned my beliefs avid I asked her about evolution. She said she believed in evolution. So I challenged her. If you go to Google and type ‘prehistoric demography’ an article from wikipedia will pop up. If you click on that it will bring up a paragraph called ‘hominid population estimates’. This paragraph is incredible. People believe in millions of years because they think that somany more individuals lived over that time. But not if you look at the numbers! This paragraph says that from 4 million years ago until 200,000 years ago (this would be from Australipethicus to Homo Erectus to Homo Sapien) the total number of hominids over that entire time was…10 billion. That’s all! We have 7.8 billion alive right now. Back then populations were so low – about 50,000 on average – that it took about 40 years for 100,000 hominids to be born. We have 100,000 being born every day. And. when we do have any type of mutation it’s always BAD. Rare Disease websites will drive this home (the bulk of rare diseases are genetic.) A friend of our family has Angelman Syndrome, where on some gene the child had 2 copies of dad’s gene rather than 1 from mom and 1 from dad. There ere multiple problems including muscle problems and inability to speak and walk. Another friend was born with a rare generic defect. It affects her eyes, teeth, muscle tone, learning, her feet and her back. We need to address life issues and current issues biblically.

  48. MaddieGrace on September 5, 2018 at 6:15 am

    What I am hearing again and again in this comment section is a Western cultural mindset that we cannot recognize has so deeply grasped the Christian community. Spiritual Community/Church is something God ordained for you. It is not perfect and has it’s problems but you approach on God’s terms not your own. We are consumers and we like options, that is why attendance is down. If we were not so free in this country and spiritual community was a rare commodity, maybe our desire to be with the people of God (flawed though they are) would be so very important to us. Since we have different church options, online options, podcasts, books and streaming sermons from all of our celebrity pastors, why in the world should be plod off to our little community church? It’s not about getting your needs met, it’s about the one-anothering. You can’t do one-anothering listening to a podcast. How very American of us. Sigh.

  49. […] cover-ups and lack of accountable oversight, are a crushing blow to the church governance. With church attendance in rapid decline and skepticism in religious institutions increasing, recent revelations about the behavior of […]

  50. Heather on August 13, 2018 at 7:48 am

    Even though this post is 3 years old, I definitely want to weigh in. I love the church, the body of Christ, but I am struggling with Western church, the institution right now. I have 2 graduate degrees from seminary and am starting a 3rd in Christian apologetics. I know all the reasons I need to remain connected to the local body and long for that healthy connection, yet we have been without a home church for almost a year now. We moved to our area 8 years ago, and it took us 6 months to find a church home. We were in that church for 3 years, and felt led to join a small church plant that was engaged in heavy outreach ministry in our city. That experience led to some startling and deep wounds through spiritual and leadership abuse; a story that does not bear repeating here. We returned to our original church, worked through forgiveness, and there we stayed until last year. First, I had always struggled because our church was an AG church and there are certain AG tenets that I find to be extrabiblical or not scripturally accurate, and that continued to present a stumbling block for me. Second, there was increasing compromise in areas of leadership and a lack of sound financial stewardship, and these factors together resulted in our search for a new church home. I am the hindrance in this search more so than my husband, because while I do full understand and realize that the church is full of broken and fallible people, and that no church is perfect, it seems difficult in our geographic area to find a doctrinally sound church that is committed to teaching the explicit Word of God and engaging in genuine discipleship. These churches do exist, because we have been part of them before in other states. We have even found several through visiting with friends that are about an hour away that fit the description- but that distance does not allow for the purpose of the church- to be engaged in daily community and discipleship, bearing one another’s burdens and celebrating one another’s victories. So, while I am definitely not “church shopping” as a consumer minded attendee, I am struggling to find a local church with solid foundations and doctrine, and I do not think the importance of that can be dismissed. I am still looking, as we have not visited every single church in the area. The weight of the burden of NOT being in church is keenly felt in our home.

    • Debbie Ramsey on August 16, 2018 at 9:11 am

      It sounds like church shopping because it is. Don’t find anything wrong at all with that description. Everyone does it to some extent, whether you are shopping until you feel lead to become a part, or you call it shopping until you think you fit in or have something to offer. With respect, I think we over spiritualize in the church too much and this is one thing that turns many off. We need to be bringing our hurts, hang ups and problems to the loving arms of people in the church who will love us and who in return we can love. I think the church has been way too busy being spiritual or “Christian”, to the extent that non Christians dont even understand the language we use. Christ talked to people about their problems, even His own as he faced the end in the garden and asked His disciples to pray for Him. Attend a few ALANON meetings or AA meetings – incredible human intimacy, love and forgiveness.

      • Jennifer on October 21, 2018 at 9:57 pm

        Yes I TOTALLY AGREE!!! I cannot seem to connect with anyone at my current church and the teen youth are always talking terribly behind my daughter’s back. Back to church hopping and I hate It! I so want to belong to Godly Loving church that feels like family instead of a dreadful place to go each week.

      • Linda on January 27, 2019 at 9:20 am

        Debbie, I was a part of a Christian church for decades and loved them like
        family. I was coming from a Catholic background but when
        I got saved I felt God told me to leave the Catholic church I’d attended all
        my life. That’s when I started attending the Christian church I
        mentioned above. Anyway, it was going great the first few years.
        There was good fellowship and worship and the Word was always
        preached. But over time the church got dry and cold and leadership
        methods changed, though the head pastor remained throughout the entire time,
        and I noticed the word was getting watered down
        and it was starting to look no different than the Catholic church I’d
        attended when I was growing up. I kept feeling the Holy Spirit wanted to
        do more, but the human leadership was so afraid of that they suppressed
        anything the Holy Spirit wanted to do, almost like they were trying to keep
        us, and even the Holy Spirit, “in line”…..if it didn’t fit in their “box” it wasn’t
        allowed and even discouraged.
        I’m not talking about anything weird or flaky, it was more like what
        happened to the believers in the book of Acts. I tried talking respectfully to my
        pastor on two occasions but he didn’t agree so I let it go. I respect the pastors
        authority. I stayed a few more weeks. Then, God said to wipe the dust off my
        feet and leave. Now about 5 years later, the once thriving church I knew when
        I first started has closed it’s doors and is no longer, and the pastor and his wife
        have retired at relatively young ages. This was once a church that was touching
        the community in positive ways. And now, it’s gone. I so much miss the fellowship
        there. I’ve tried other churches but my area has a strong religious atmosphere,
        I try, full of hope the next church will be a good church,
        but I can’t overlook the fact that it’s not.
        At one church the pastor, supposed to be a Christian pastor, mixed Christianity with
        New Age phrases and teachings, and did it more than once,
        so I had no choice but to leave, in spite of
        the fact that I was determined to make sure I was correct before I just left. The
        scary part is a lot of the same people there back then, are STILL there, and these
        people claim to be Christians. So week after week they’re hearing the bible, with a little
        bit of New Age mixed in, and they don’t even know it enough to leave.

    • Nani B. on July 4, 2019 at 9:20 am

      My beloved sister, I hear you loud and clear. This isn’t just an AG issue. It’s a heart issue. Sometimes we can become so dogmatic about “what saith the LORD” that we forget about the spirit of the word. In other words, we concentrate so much on the letter that the Spirit of God cannot and does not have free reign in the hearts, minds, and ministries of many of today’s church (body).

      What is your situation now? Have you found a church home? If not, what is the Holy Spirit speaking to you about where you are to fellowship?

      During my journey, I went from church to church. I wasn’t looking, I was sent. And if I may be honest, I didn’t want to go. I was comfortable in my Baptist church. But that’s another story. There are times that God will cause such a hunger and thirst after HIM that we become uncomfortable. It’s like gaining or losing weight and nothing fits anymore. In our search for healthy, synergistic and godly relationships, we have a tendency to move based on our feelings (emotional) or our thoughts (logical/intellectual) man instead of the Spirit.

      I’ve been at my current ministry home for 11 years now. Who would have thought?! I prayed and asked God to plant me where HE wanted me to be. Believe me, I tried planting myself and it didn’t work very well. Be encouraged, my sister. You will find that place where God has made room for your gifts and your heart. His word says that your gifts will make room for you and bring you before great people. That may not look the way you think. It just might be outside of the traditional box, but it will be just for you.

    • S.v. on January 8, 2020 at 10:27 am

      What do you consider spirtual abuse?? I believe my current church has this and feel that we will leave eventually but want to make sure we are leaving when God says to leave and not out or emotions.

  51. Charlene Hickey on June 20, 2018 at 3:57 pm

    Thanks to { dr_mack } he is a great spell caster who brought my ex husband back I want to tell everyone about my meeting with ( dr_mack ) who bring back my ex lover within the period of 2days… At these moment i don’t have anything to say than to appreciate the good works of dr_mack, who you can simply reach through this email address: ( dr_mack )

    Once again contact this email ………. dr_mack@ yahoo. com ,……

    • Linda on January 27, 2019 at 9:31 am

      Charlene, I hope you realize your friend, Dr. Mack, is more like
      a witch doctor than a Christian. Did you know the devil can
      also do “miracles” which aren’t the same way God does
      miracles. Since the devil is behind your and your
      husbands break-up in the first place, all he had to do
      was remove his influence and that’s why
      you think a miracle happened
      but now you give credit to a man like Dr Mack, this “spell
      caster”, which is what the devil wanted you to do.
      ……If you’d have been following God, both of you, it may
      not have even happened in the first place….the break-up I mean.
      That doesn’t mean Christians don’t sometimes break-up, but
      that happens because they’re NOT following Gods principals
      in the bible in the first place. Follow only God, because if you
      believe in this “spell caster”, that’s witchcraft, and he might
      fool you for a while but there’s always a price to pay in the end.
      God does miracles and HIS miracles bring LIFE.
      The devil imitates
      God but can’t create anything, he can only imitate, and his
      so-called “miracles” lead to bondage and death.

  52. Bless on May 24, 2018 at 10:55 pm

    hey guys. My name is Bless, I’m currently conducting a research on the topic of ‘churches’. If you could please fill it in, it would be much appreciated. Thank you.


  53. Www.bokepinaja.us on May 18, 2018 at 3:11 pm

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  54. […] There are many reasons for this phenomenon, of course, as Thom Rainer goes on to explain in this post. Carey Nieuwhof has a different, but also helpful take on why this is happening in a series that starts with this article. […]

    • maria on May 14, 2018 at 11:08 am

      5 days of hard work, cooking cleaning, raising children, schoolwork
      Saturday: yard work, housework, maintenance, repairs, etc
      Sunday: get up early for church, help out there, bake something, bring something, listen to pastor preach about how everyone needs to do more… put the church first and your family last. Come home discouraged and overwhelmed.
      Start the week all over again, utterly depressed.

      Jesus said, my yoke is easy, my burden is light. Huge contrast to the local church.

      • Joan on May 20, 2018 at 12:59 pm

        1. GOD. 2. FAMILY. 3. CHURCH. 4. FRIENDS

      • Bill & Bev on July 17, 2018 at 5:19 am

        The most God wants from you is to believe in Jesus His only begotten Son , and to just talk with Him and have fellowship with Him. His yoke is easy …the yoke He referred to was His teaching.
        Take a Sunday off! The church does not come first. You and your relationship with Him comes first. There are wellsprings of living water just waiting to flood out of you Maria. He loves you so much. At the present you feel like Martha but Mary within you just wants to be at His feet. He wants you at His feet because He has a call on your life and has so much to tell you.
        I have prayed and spoken that the Holy Spirit will bring ministry to you and whilst nothing essentially will needfully change physically(although it might) you will know a freedom in your spirit you have hitherto not experienced. I declare favor on your life and healing for that broken part of your heart. He hasnt showed me what it is …just that He knows and He is healing it as you open your hands and give it to Him. I have an overwhelming sense of the need for you to know that you are on God’s heart and that He loves you… He just loves you, loves you, loves you. Has just occurred to me that there are some youtube ministries you should watch. Not sure if I’m permitted to quote them here though ifyou look up “Why We Must Always Begin with The Goodness of God” you should find it. By the way …it is not my habit to write randomly like this! 🙂

      • Amanda on July 22, 2018 at 4:27 pm


        (sorry this is long and maybe not the best writing)

        I am a mother, and 3 years ago I was physically and mentally burnt out with life. I didn’t want to go to church because I couldn’t handle the pressure and the burdens. It was stressful to even get to church (trying to find the right outfit, kids outfit and so forth) and then going to church to put on a happy face, when in reality I was exhausted and didn’t want to talk to anyone. I didn’t need some long message of “you need to pray more” or “read your bible more” or don’t miss “weekly bible study” or here’s another activity for you to take part in and the list goes on.

        I was seeking rest and peace, and I didn’t find it in the Evangelical/Protestant churches. What I found was hyper activity and noise. I would feel guilty if I didn’t stand up during worship time or dance when upbeat worship songs were being played. All I wanted was to rest. I stopped going because I would come home from church and feel so unfulfilled and even more tired. (it became a burden to go to church). To me the church became a clanging noise.

        I wanted to go to church to rest in the presence of the Lord, to pray and to be still. But I could never do that at church. I always felt I had to be “fired up” for Sunday morning. I was desperately in need for something. I wanted Jesus, I wanted to know HIm and HIs rest. ( I know that people will say that you can find rest in Him at home in your own time, but the truth is that my home situation was not good at the time and there was no rest or peace in the home).

        I knew that not going to church was not a good thing. ( I know that the Lord wants me to be in a church and in fellowship with other believers. But I couldn’t stand the thought of going back to church because I was tired of the motions. The high you get and then the low that comes right after. I prayed to God, “Please, help me find a church where I can just rest, and be myself and not feel burdened”.

        Anyway long story shortened, My mother and sister had been going to the Catholic Church for a while now, and they would ask me to go with them. I would always say no. I always thought the Catholic church was not from God, and that they worshiped Mary and so forth, so I didn’t go with them. But my sister, who also attended Evangelical/protestant churches in the past, told me that she felt so free to be in the Catholic church. And she kept mentioning that she would feel the Lord’s presence during mass and that she felt grace from the Lord. She would tell me that she didn’t feel like going to Mass was a burden. And that she felt rest.

        After hearing this for over a year, and seeing the fruit in her life and the peace that she had, I wanted to go. She would also say to me that she had a joy in the Lord that she didn’t have in the protestant church and that it was easy to go to church and she always felt fulfilled after going to mass.

        So I started to go to the Catholic Mass and I am so happy I did. I finally found that rest and peace I was looking for. Did I find it in the Church itself?, No, I found it in the Lord, through the church. You see, the whole service is centered on Jesus. It’s amazing. I go there, and the songs, the scripture, the message is all on who Jesus is, What He did for us, and how we can have communion with Him. That’s what I was seeking. Communion with the Lord. I was able to say simple prayers to Jesus during mass. I could focus my mind on the Lord, and present HIm my needs, without all this loud background noise that probably causes ADD (as the Evangelical churches have.

        Since I have been attending mass for over 6 months now, I have had a deeper revelation of who Jesus is and I have a deeper communion with Him. I have had a deeper revelation of the Cross and the significance of it. ( How it is a gift from God, and that there is nothing I can do to earn Salvation) I have walked in a greater grace from the Lord. Everyday I pray for His grace and mercy and that He leads me.

        I read the Bible and pray without it being a burden. I know now that the Lord meets me where I am at, and that He doesn’t expect me to be perfect to come to Him. He wants me to come to Him in my need, my pain, my sorrow, my shame, my joys all of it. I bring it to Him and lay it at His feet and He carries me. Going to mass each Sunday is not a burden at all. I feel so fulfilled after I go. My week is also more orderly and I feel I have more of His grace for the week. I look forward to mass every Sunday and it’s not hard at all to go.

        I have not become a Catholic. I’m going to the church now because of the fruit that I see in my life and how it has drawn me closer to the Lord. I was attending Evangelical/Protestant churches for 10 years and never truly felt fulfilled. I still don’t understand why the Lord has me going to the Catholic Church because I was fighting going there for so long.

        Please to anyone who is reading this, I am not a religious scholar so I don’t want to debate about Catholic/Protestant differences. I know that I am on a Journey that I 100% believe is from the Lord. Am I going to become Catholic?, I don’t know. If the Lord is leading me in that direction then I will follow. Also, the Lord has softened my heart towards the protestant church, and tells me not to judge His people. I have a greater love for the Evangelical/Protestants and I know the Lord is with them also.

        Anyway, sorry for the long message, I just read your post and it sounded like me a few years ago. I was desperate and seeking the Lord, wanting to be in obedience to Him in going to church but felt so discouraged when having to attend Evangelical/Protestants churches. So maybe you should try mass.

        God Bless,


        • Jim Barry on August 10, 2018 at 4:04 pm


          It seems what you are seeking, is what believers hunger for, the scriptures, and what unbelievers seek but do not yet know that they seek it. What the Catholic church does good and any church that reads the scriptures openly, and what you found, is God’s unadulterated word presented clearly to ears that long for it so much. The Catholic church, Protestant churches, can try to make church what it is not, but they cannot outdo the power of plain Scripture and what it says, its message, spoken, for it is clear and Christ’s word to those he is seeking to love and those that are tired and burdened from this life and seeking to be saved from the heavy burdens they are bearing, once and for all!

          If you do come across this post. I would really enjoy to talk more with you. If you don’t I’ll put you on my prayer list and pray to King Jesus, Prince of Peace, Lord of Lords, beautiful Savior, Loving Son, for your journey in this life.

          Look unto Jesus, for this is what he said:
          “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28–30

          • Jennifer on October 21, 2018 at 10:13 pm

            That’s Beautiful!

  55. […] There are many reasons for this phenomenon, of course, as Thom Rainer goes on to explain in this post. Carey Nieuwhof has a different, but also helpful take on why this is happening in a series that starts with this article. […]

  56. […] There are many reasons for this phenomenon, of course, as Thom Rainer goes on to explain in this post. Carey Nieuwhof has a different, but also helpful take on why this is happening in a series that starts with this article. […]

  57. […] Culture has changed so radically in the last decade or two that even committed Christians aren’t in church as regularly as they used to be. (Here are 10 reasons why. careynieuwhof.com/10-reasons-even-committed-churchattenders- attending-less-often) […]

  58. Brent Dumler on April 14, 2018 at 7:26 pm

    To add to your #9, I’d suggest that higher value on ‘engagement’ also leads to higher life transformation. Higher engagement in our churches means people are more regularly interacting with the church. And if we (the Church) are modeling our lives after Christ, then those who are engaged with us at church gatherings should naturally be growing to become more like Jesus and less like themselves.

  59. Ellen on April 7, 2018 at 9:55 am

    People don’t want to be put in awkward situations when in a church. A person can feel uncomfortable when someone tells other people what s/he wants or is seeking. So, if a church person invites a friend to come to his church, don’t use it as an opportunity to tell other people that this person is seeking to convert, because maybe he isn’t. Or maybe he just came to your church to be polite. So, overall churches should never tell another person what they need or what they should want (in a church). Everyone will some day need to answer to God on their judgment day, but it does not mean they need to answer to every random member in a congregation.

    I know that from my experience with people in church is that they get into small talk, but never want to take time to have real conversations. Get to know a person first! Without fishing for information, find out five things about a person, and make the effort to remember. I feel that people have a much better association with people when they take the time to know the person and learn about his interests and concerns.

  60. […] First, it’s killing the church. Attendance continues to stagnate or decline as people drift further and further from Christ (here’s a 5 part blog series I did on declining church attendance). […]

  61. M. Homes on March 20, 2018 at 9:17 pm


    • Jim Greiss on May 26, 2019 at 5:14 am

      Sorry I did’t get the link between your experience and the meaning of this topic…

  62. M. Homes on March 20, 2018 at 9:06 pm

    I read it on the internet that I could get my ex back BUT I never believed until I contacted Dr. MACK myself. He actually did it for me just as I read about him on the internet. He is worth giving a try. He is well Known all over the world, especially in restoring broken Marriage and relationship. You can contact Dr. MACK directly on dr_mack@ yahoo. com:))))

  63. […] recently read a post by Carey Nieuwhof on declining church attendance: 10 Reasons Even Committed Church Attenders Are Attending Church Less Often. Although attendance is not the goal or mission of our church, it is an important part of who we […]

  64. Marti Hatch on February 16, 2018 at 10:53 am

    Thanks! I have been noticed the same trends for several years now.

    I have a strange twist on #4 in my current location — many families with young children and both parents work non-traditional jobs (read not 9-5) so the children are not in day care. This changes Sunday worship attendance, leadership involvement, ongoing spiritual formation groups, and Bible study.

    I also agree with other commenters about it not always being about affluence. We are in an area with lots of 24/7 shift work and a deep pocket of families with mixed immigration status,

  65. Jean DeVaty on February 16, 2018 at 7:58 am

    I’m not sure if I feel encouraged to have it so plainly put or discouraged because of the challenges ahead. Thanks be to God that He is in control. Now, to lean into Him and listen for direction … creative direction and the guts to take the risks.

    • Patti on March 27, 2018 at 11:46 am

      I agree! The last time I went to a Christian church with my sister, I didn’t feel any effect. The church staff also mailed a letter to my home, stating how much I contributed monetarily in 2017. I felt insulted and discouraged. I haven’t attended a church since, and don’t feel I need to. My relationship with Jesus is very strong and will continue.

      • Suzie on June 26, 2018 at 1:53 pm

        To Patti
        It’s not the Church’s job to make you” feel” something. Feelings come and go and change all the time. It’s your responsibility to work on your own relationship with God Monday through Saturday and at Church on Sunday should be confirmation of the the time that you would or should be sowing into yourself throughout each week. Many people today are lazy and want everything done for them. Jesus said he hid the mysteries of the Gospel for us not from us. So it’s up to us to search His word in scriptures to learn who we are in Christ Jesus. It’s up to us to work on our own relationship with Him.
        Also as far as the statement for charitable contributions. It’s required of churches being non-profit 501(c)3 that they must send out statements for your tax filing purposes. If you feel insulted or discouraged try giving more and doing more. It’s about other people, helping and encouraging others. When we are self absorbed and make everything about ourselves, is when we’re easily offended.

  66. Dennison Tate on February 15, 2018 at 4:00 pm

    My wife and I have been regular church attenders (to a fault) and engaged (to a fault) for the first 41 of our 43 years of married life and for the years prior to our marriage. It could be said that we are still regular attenders but I would not describe our regularity as “to a fault”; we often take Sunday off to simply stay home or to visit out-of-town family.

    I will hasten to say that our church invests heavily in youth and children’s ministries and that they do excellent programs with “tons” of volunteers and a few paid staff. And . . . Sunday morning (9AM and 11AM) services are well-attended. So, why have we, in our 7th decade of church attendance, become less committed to 100% attendance?

    Your request for avoiding a rant is difficult to define in terms of where the boundary is between being negative and a rant. I have come to this page twice and walked away because what I was about to write had (and has) a degree of negativity. It’s hard to find a positive reason why I often do not want to go to church. So, at the risk of being un-positive, I will be forthright.

    I often ask myself – and sometime others – what it is about the church service that falls solidly under the category of “worship”. That discussion usually comes to no real conclusions. It is easy to identify the parts that are performance – the “cover band”, the “sports report banter”, the video focus on the band members, the darkened house lights and spotlighted band leaders, and the requirement for the audience to stand while the band plays at a dB level, according to my dB meter, of a revving motorcycle.

    The preaching content is solid but the last 25 minutes of the 45 minutes is unnerving. I often retreat to the car to wait out the intense sound levels but I can still follow along in the car parked some distance away. I often come home after the service with frayed nerves and the unanswered question about what to do.

    Our daughter and husband ask similar questions about why they go to church services even though they are more-than fully-engaged in their church. They have offered a valuable take on how to approach church: don’t assume that you are going to corporate worship but, instead, see church attendance as a time and place to get together with fellow believers and possibly to enjoy the performance. It’s a gathering to maintain some sense of common purpose and to meet a friend or two. By the way, the “turn around and greet somebody for 20 seconds” is not that valuable to anyone.

    I anticipate that we will continue to go to service somewhat regularly – but not because we see it as “worship”. I have come to understand that my working alone in the gardens, the solitary hikes in the woods, the times of retreat to the Treehouse are those times when I hear the admonition to “be still and know that I am God”. And, my worship is really how I live my days; not my regular attendance where I am merely a spectator.

    I don’t have answers. What I have come to understand is that the trend to performance-based worship has not yet addressed what has long been a troubling observation – “why don’t people like to go to church”. I believe that for many decades we have gone to church for other than ideal or preferable reasons. The methods have changed but painting the house a new color has not addressed the problem of the broken windows.

    • RB on February 25, 2018 at 11:10 am

      Well-said. I think the turn from being the church to going to church is a core issue.

    • Lee on March 29, 2018 at 2:38 pm

      I can relate to Dennison’s comment. Faithful Christians who have been active in church for years – even leaders – are feeling alienated and like they no longer fit in, questioning if God has a place for them to serve in today’s Church. Good news is, He does! But it may not be where we think.

      Carey is right that the Church has become an institution, at least in our part of the world. This is not the way God intended it. He is in the process of judging all of our institutions – government, media, education, business, and the Church included.

      There is another reason people are attending church less often, that Carey left out. I think it may have been in the category of “self directed”.

      These people are below the radar of church statistics, but are still a vital part of the Lord’s Church. They meet in living rooms, restaurants, abandoned offices and store fronts. They do not affiliate with a denomination, but come from a wide array of church backgrounds – or none at all. They do not even apply for a 501c3.

      These are deeply committed Christians who have rejected the pull of all worldly enticements and distractions. They are leaving the “instituted” churches by the millions – not all churches, but the majority of denominational churches steeped in tradition and religion – those having a form of godliness but denying His power.

      These are people who love God with all their hearts, spend hours alone with Him daily, are doing the work of the ministry in the communities around them, and operate in supernatural signs and wonders like the early Church did. They do “even greater works than I do” just because they believe Jesus said they could.

      These are not, by any means, the worldly Christians Carey described above who stopped attending church because of the pressures of modern life. I’m talking about radical, on-fire, out of the box, chasing hard after God Christians – all ages.

      Perhaps Christians like these are sensing the Church in general is still in the shallow end. They want to go much deeper. Deep calls to deep.

      These people represent a very large remnant – in the millions. They have sensed that God has shifted from the Church age to the Kingdom age in preparation for the last days harvest – and that the comfortable Church, in general, has not transitioned from the traditions of men and religious attitudes of limiting God in their denominational box.

      All Christians have been praying for over 2000 years, “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, ON EARTH, as it is in Heaven…” Why would we be surprised when His Kingdom culture actually starts appearing on earth like it is in Heaven?

      These radical Christians simply can no longer put “new wine in old wineskins”. They have had real face-to-face Heavenly encounters with the Lord Himself – like Paul, like John, like Daniel, and so many others we’ve read about. They just can’t go back to the dead churches they knew before!

      They have been commissioned for something greater than the ‘church as usual’ crowd can understand or even believe. They need like-minded, called Christians to help carry out their assignments. They know this is no time to sit in the pew or in Sunday School with canned lessons from Lifeway or Cokesbury. These elementary teachings were of great value during the milk stages of growth in the Church age. But the same lifelong church members have been sucking on this milk, some for 50 years or more, completely unchanged. It’s way past time to disciple others to apply these truths to real life and let Him change us into people He can use to further His Kingdom!

      This is the age for God’s people to get out on the front lines. The Lord is calling His Church to go higher – be the Church He called us to be – without spot or wrinkle – sin or flesh. Does the Church look like that now? To be known by the world for their love for one another. Does the Church look like that now? No! We fight each other!

      To take care of the widows, orphans, hungry, sick, hurting, and bring them into the family of God – with signs and wonders following. Does the Church look like that now? Not by just taking up an offering for missionaries overseas – that has always been important and will be in the days to come. But He wants us to do our own mission work right here at home – actually doing it ourselves, getting our hands dirty, right in our own neighborhoods, cities and towns.

      To disciple each other in preparation for the last days harvest which is coming quickly.

      To understand and get in the flow of His Kingdom culture and to usher it in.

      Because we do not do these things, we do not walk in the authority to teach it to others.

      We have been sending out missionaries to all the world and neglecting discipling our own brothers in Christ and the lost right here at home. We should not be surprised that they have slipped away as they have!

      All these things Christ commanded us to do are not happening at most churches. We talk a good talk, but we don’t produce the fruit. And the world knows phony when they see it – especially youth, who are the largest group to leave the Church.

      These changes must take place with His people, as Jesus said they would before the last days harvest. And yes, there are already millions that have a passion to track with what He is doing in the earth now – some of them are still in hiding, faithfully hanging on for dear life in stagnant, dead and worldly churches, hoping to find a place where they can somehow fit in to His plan. They are forced to become “self directed” for lack of leadership.

      But we do not despair…God has a plan for His Church! He is not finished with us!

      Within a few years we will not recognize the Church as we know it today. Church leaders who do not follow God’s call to make the necessary changes from institutions of stagnated, lifeless, worldly churches to His Kingdom culture will be replaced with those who will. God Himself will close the doors of dead churches that quench Holy Spirit – many already have closed. He is judging His Church for becoming a worldly institution. He will spew the lukewarm out of His mouth. (Meaning He cannot use them in His plan on the earth. No, they are not considered lost.)

      But this is not bad news. It is GOOD news!

      Because in these last days He said He will “pour out His Spirit on all flesh”, it will be all hands on deck for the last days harvest. “All that call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved”. The lost will be desperately searching for outposts of God’s love and power where they can learn more about Him and give themselves to Him. There’s too much at stake. God will not lose this last days battle for souls. We must be ready to give an answer for the Hope that we have.

      The drop in church attendance is for a reason. We are in, not just a new season but, a new age! God Himself is calling us up higher, “for such a time as this”.

      We are living in the most exciting times the earth has ever seen. It’s time to grow up in Him, go deeper with Him, and get to work with Him!

      • Jennifer on October 21, 2018 at 11:11 pm

        Oh WOW, LEE!!! My jaw just dropped because you said in such Amazing and Eloquent Words Exactly how I have been feeling for the past few years node but did not know how to say it! I am a big believer in us being the End times Body of Christ and follow all the prophecies… I can’t get over how all the churches I go to seem too have their head in the sand and oblivious to what’s going on around us and are in NO way doing anything to prepare the body on what is happening, coming and what to do about it as the Lord has Instructed! I’ve been church hopping for the past couple of years since I’ve moved to a small country town in Middle TN… I am married, have 2 children, one daughter almost about to graduate and go to college and a 10 yr old son. I have tons of chronic health issues that keep me struggling daily to hang in there and no freinds or family around, states away. I’ve lived a very difficult life, and even was born into an abusive cult, lost my first husband (father of my children) to suicide and that’s only some of the many challenges I’ve faced. But I Love the Lord more than Anything and have grown spiritually very close in my walk and relationship with Him! I know I still have a lot of growing to do, but trying to do this in these spiritually dead churches with no sence of fellowship and actually getting to know anyone else that doesn’t fit into their little clicks that they’ve known they’re whole life is getting old. My kids are not able to grow there either when they have other kids in the church bullying them or talking trash behind their backs and blowing them off just like their parents. I have to and ( this should be done in all Christian homes) have bible studies at home with them and teach them what the churches don’t even touch on… And also to not keep holding onto the pain that others can cause, but forgive and keep Loving as Jesus does with us, and to spend quality time in the Word Everyday and alone with time with Jesus talking and Praying on a personal level and relationship with Him, because He’s the Only One we can depend on Always! But getting off topic, I totally Agree with you and I’ve been Praying to find other like minded believers somewhere to meet up with and serve Our Lord with in these perilous times. The only contact I really get is with some Christian Truthers on YouTube… Thank- You for your great insights you shared with this comment, and by the way how in the world would I find these like minded people that meet up in my local area that you mentioned outside of the church buildings??? God Bless You in Mighty Ways!

      • lisa boyce on January 13, 2019 at 3:04 pm

        I have to agree with this. I do believe God is calling out His “church” to be separate

  67. Cliff Leslie on February 15, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    “”The early church started gathering on Sunday morning in the first century…it was the day of resurrection””
    That statement was written earlier, but no evidence of this was given. In Acts of the Apostles we read where the disciples met for worship on the Sabbath, but there is no mention of meeting on Sunday for regular worship. If this was done it would not be hidden, for the Jews would have violently opposed it.
    I believe that God’s commandments cannot be changed or adjusted. What God commanded stands for ever. I can give many Bible verses to support this.
    The devil has always wanted man to disobey God. He was successful with Adam and Eve, and now he wants to deceive the whole world.

  68. Scooter Ward on February 15, 2018 at 9:37 am

    Interesting read, bottom line: “value engagement over attendance.”

    “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near” (Hebrews‬ ‭10:23-25‬, NASB‬‬).

    I’d like to add that obedience to the command is still not optional; however, engagement oftentimes precedes attendance. I heard it said by same author, “Your emotions eventually catch up with your obedience.” This could be true of engagement and attendance as well. We need contenders for the faith (participants in worship) not simply attenders (spectators of worship).

    Don’t assume the trends without making prayer a priority and relying on God to build His church. #KingdomPriorities

  69. John W Reed on February 10, 2018 at 10:59 pm

    Read through some articles. One thing not mentioned, unless addressed elsewhere, is the idea of churches doing away with multiple services. Most churches used to meet Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night. Plus a few prayer meetings from time to time. With a shift in work culture, many businesses and emergency services like Fire, Medical, Police, Mental health, Patient care, Corrections, are 24 hour jobs. This requires shift work. Shift workers often work nights and weekends. Imagine working midnight until 8 in the morning. Would you go to church on Sunday at 10 or 10:30? Would you be awake enough to get anything out of it? What about those who get off at 8 AM Sunday but then have to work at midnight? What about if their days off are in the middle of the week? I work law enforcement and my wife works in the mental health field. Majority of churches here have a Sunday morning service and that’s it. Oh they may have groups but these meet usually on Sunday night and only for 6 to 8 weeks at a time. So Shift workers get ignored by most churches in America. I lived in several states and this is the new trend in churches. I wonder what Jesus thinks about ministers abandoning a whole segment of the population for convenience sake? I mean why are many places building 500 seat, 1000 seat buildings and then only using it one day a week for barely 90 minutes? Why are people giving to that? It helps no one but the average family with money. When we bring this issue up with pastors they just shrug it off. Sad. That’s a major reason people don’t come to church. It is become a business only open one day a week…

    • Jeff on February 15, 2018 at 9:19 am

      IMO, most of the reasons listed for declining attendance by committed church attenders are mistaken. There are two reasons listed that are significant — online options and self-directed spirituality. The reason for the first being “appealing” is that churches more and more are eliminating opportunities for lay leadership and to contribute talents to worship. More and for churches hire more and more staff and only ask/expect congregants to “show up”, “bring a meal”, etc. It isn’t expected NOR DESIRED for congregants to bring leadership or deeper, personal participation. In addition, most activities/programs that developed community within the congregation have been eliminated by the church (examples include elimination of choirs and Sunday morning teachers/classes) as they pursue church growth fads. The result is feeling of isolation and inability to meaningfully worship in action – and if that’s the case why not just watch online?

      Even more disheartening and tragic is the fact that churches are more and more abandoning the truth of Scripture for political correctness and/or moral therapeutic deism. Committed churchgoers see this and realize they must “self-direct” their spiritual growth to a much greater than ever before because the church (mainland denominations, and, more and more, evangelical churches) is less and less willing to stand for truth and truly disciple in truth. Grace is treated as a get out of jail free card in the form of “we’re all flawed and must love each other” messages which excuse sinful behavior and sidestep Jesus’ words on what it means to follow Him. People actually want and need the truth and the loving encouragement, exhortation, and, yes, even rebuke to be fed and grow spiritually.

      • RB on February 25, 2018 at 11:23 am

        I think this problem lies at both ends of the spectrum: MTD and PC of thr left and neo-pharisaism of the mean-spirited religious right.

    • Janice Snyder on February 15, 2018 at 11:53 am

      John, first of all, thank you for your service in law enforcement and for your wife’s work in the mental health field. May God bless and keep you both! I wish that you lived in Greater Cleveland, (Fairview Park, Ohio) where Messiah Lutheran Church (ELCA) has been a place to worship God, to practice the Christian life, and, above all, to hear the good news of Jesus Christ communicated with clarity and conviction, since 1929. We offer Saturday night church at 5:30 for shift workers. We host a variety of Bible Study groups, including the ever-popular “Pints with Pastor” every Wednesday night at the pub across from our church.
      The outreach ministry that means the most to me, even after 30 years in Lutheran nonprofit work, is a group I started over 1 year ago, called Laundry Love: Messiah. It is part of the Laundry Love movement begun in Ventura, California that pays for the laundry of low income people in the local laundromat. http://laundrylove.org/

      Over the past 12 months our Laundry Love: Messiah care team has blessed over 300 low-income people by covering the cost to wash and dry 14,255 lbs (over SEVEN tons) of clothes and bedding. Held on the last Thursday of each month from 6-8 p.m. our guests include young couples, senior citizens on fixed incomes, people with mental illnesses, low income families, veterans, students, and single apartment dwellers (often in Section 8 Housing.) Laundry Love is about much more than the clothes. It’s about being a listening ear, praying whenever the opportunity or need is there, and letting our friends and neighbors know that we love them. We collect prayer requests from our guests and include them in the Prayers of the Church.

      I lead a team of volunteers that gathers at Leo’s Laundromat on the last Thursday of each month. We pay for the cost of washing and drying clothes for everyone at the laundromat from 6-8 p.m. We also provide a free casual meal, with healthy options, like homemade soup and salad. Because our church also has a Pre-K through Grade 8 school, and we are committed to literacy, we also provide free books to all the children in the laundromat each month. Over the past 12 months our Laundry Love: Messiah care team has blessed over 300 low-income people by covering the cost to wash and dry 14,255 lbs (over SEVEN tons) of clothes and bedding. Held on the last Thursday of each month from 6-8 p.m. our guests include young couples, senior citizens on fixed incomes, people with mental illnesses, low income families, veterans, students, and single apartment dwellers (often in Section 8 Housing.) Laundry Love is about much more than the clothes. It’s about being a listening ear, praying whenever the opportunity or need is there, and letting our friends and neighbors know that we love them. We collect prayer requests from our guests and include them in the Prayers of the Church.

      Laundry Love: Messiah grows each month as people learn about our unique ministry. As we like to say, “the Church has left the building!” THAT is the future of church.

    • Jennifer on October 21, 2018 at 11:22 pm

      Yes, I Surely Agree with you John Reed! My husband works as a supervisor at Tyson and he works the night shift from 3pm to 4:30 or 5am
      sometimes 6 days/week and is too tired to go to a dead church at 10am on Sunday mornings. I know for a fact that is a huge reason why many don’t go to church anymore!

  70. Dave on January 11, 2018 at 10:42 am

    I think another factor is that people have believed the idea that “I am the church” at an individual level, and so they think staying home, listening to an online sermon (at some point during the day or week) and streaming worship music is true Church worship. It’s not.

    • Marie on January 18, 2018 at 9:23 am

      This is a true statement but a true theological premise is we are the Church is scriptural and to ignore it is self defeating, not to argue but we worship the idea of Church more than the idea of Christ and God and when the Apostles walked this earth 🌏 they neither had church names and signs above their doorpost. The Church doors are just a convience that God provides to make our lives easier to gather because Jews still went to the Synagogues and believers gathered were ever they could. We become obsessed at being bigger than others when a building defines us and there are those who love to receive self worship in this setting, it’s a public impression they leave us because we come into their space that they control and they rule in all forms of religiosity rather than Christ like and judgment of us comes with their standards and not Scriptural premise they don’t want to know criticism or corrections they label that as devisive and neglect you as a result of it. Use us, is an understatement.

  71. […] years, we’ve noticed that even committed Christians are attending church less often (here are 10 reasons why), but this is the year we’ll see more and more church leaders re-imagine what it is to be the […]

  72. […] are many reasons why that’s happening (I outline 10 here), but I think it’s increasingly evident that it no longer makes sense to attend […]

    • Gordo on January 2, 2018 at 10:29 pm

      Irrelevant… where else do I have to suffer through hour long monologues (I listen to podcasts or surf the internet…insipid maudlin music ( I have actually taken to wearing headphones and listening to Radiohead during “worship”) every Sunday becomes a gigantic why? Most importantly church manages to make boring and pedestrian the gospel… how one takes awesomeness of Jesus and reduces it so, is mind boggling.

      • jennifer on January 4, 2018 at 5:18 pm

        I agree.. I go to church to participate in Worship and not just sit like a bump on a log. We need to get rid of worship teams and choirs.

        • David on February 15, 2018 at 9:50 am

          This comment is dead on. While I am a committed and highly involved member of my church, so much of what we do is geared to performance by professionals – choir, worship leader, pastor. Most modern churches are designed to prevent the average person in the pews from being involved in a truly meaningful way – they are just supposed to be passive, obedient servants who follow the dictates of their spiritual betters. This is so wrong, and such a violation of scripture.

      • Matt on January 10, 2018 at 10:13 am

        Hey Gordo, why don’t you paint us a picture of what might be relevant for someone as clearly disengaged as you are? Seems easy to sit in one’s ivory tower listening to Radiohead. I’d love to hear how you’re positively contributing to recovering the awesomeness of Jesus in the local church context…

      • Marie on January 18, 2018 at 9:35 am

        🙏 amen you got that right they are so busy at being busy they neglect everyone else and there agendas are supreme, if you’re not on board they treat you differently but publicly give the adoration out to others from the pulpit and everyone else either feels like shit or guilty they don’t or able to help. Guilt , Shame and disappointment is their main motivational sermons and what mind boggling is that they disguise it through out the sermon in scriptural precepts and everyone sees right through this, Church is no longer spiritually safe.

        • Marie on January 18, 2018 at 9:42 am

          I belonged to a Baptise Church awhile ago and their main push was this is a working Church you have to work if you want to be a part ‘ that came from the Pulpit more than once. But I experienced more unkindness from this Church and hard to warm up to group, ever. Not everyone there was bad but there was enough that I just quit ☹️ I am disabled.

  73. Amanda on December 20, 2017 at 5:28 pm

    I think one that you are missing is something I might call “germaphobia” . . . I have 5 kids, and recently had to miss 5 out of 6 consecutive weeks of church because we had a round of colds going through the house. Mostly just runny noses, which would’ve been no big deal when I was a kid, but according to our church’s “wellness policy” they were not allowed in the children’s ministries. I would have been happy to take them late and just go to the service, but we only have one car and my husband teaches Sunday School, so I ended up staying home with the sick-kid-of-the-week.

  74. Liz on December 20, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    I know in our case, our son absolutely hates going to our youth group because he is not being included. He’s not being asked to be in a group. He was being excluded because of costs. Our youth group can’t even have a weekend retreat without it costing $75 or more! We can’t afford the pricier activities. We were paying for his non-church friends to go to activities with him so he would have a friend at the activities. Our two former youth ministers just did not get the other kids to include those on the fringes. Plain and simple. INCLUDE everyone!! Several other friends of ours went through the same thing with their kids. We even talked to the youth ministers. One didn’t do anything for 4-5 months, and when he finally did, he just took our son out for ice cream a few times. That was nice, but it still wasn’t dealing with the issue of the other kids including him! Then, when we talked to the other youth minister, after several months of waiting for the first one to do something, she referred us back to the other youth minister…who was the one who didn’t do anything until 4-5 months later. Very frustrating! Our son was close to being baptized, now he wants nothing to do with church, who excludes him.

  75. Ladokguy on December 20, 2017 at 8:56 am

    Or perhaps it’s because some believers are rejecting man’s version of “religion” and “church” and are seeking God instead of traditions and myths. It seems like “church” leaders are always trying to find secular scapegoats and blame “Satan” when their pews aren’t full and the cash flow is slowing down.

    • Marie on January 18, 2018 at 9:52 am

      Amen 🙏 that is so true and if it’s not cash, it’s you service they are users, what about what God wants to do with us is not ever apart of their programs. The same old programs unfulfilled endless small groups and programs. They expect people to be in Church when it should be the Church going out to them and most of your Christian people are not to intelligent why would the world would want to come to Church except a very small few, when they hate us as they did Christ. Many Christians, I hate to admit this are lazy! Or afraid because they or we are as sheep 🐑 we need a genuine care and it just isn’t there.

  76. How and Why the Future Church Can Thrive on December 18, 2017 at 12:57 am

    […] in many places is shrinking, not growing. Even committed Christians are attending less often (here’s why). And young leaders aren’t exactly flocking into […]

  77. […] in many places is shrinking, not growing. Even committed Christians are attending less often (here’s why). And young leaders aren’t exactly flocking into […]

  78. […] in many places is shrinking, not growing. Even committed Christians are attending less often (here’s why). And young leaders aren’t exactly flocking into […]

  79. […] attendance even among committed Christians has been well documented here and elsewhere (here are 10 reasons even committed church attenders attend less often these […]

  80. […] First, it’s killing the church. Attendance continues to stagnate or decline as people drift further and further from Christ (here’s a five-part blog series I did on declining church attendance). […]

    • Marie on January 18, 2018 at 9:55 am

      When people leave Church is not always because they leave Christ, they leave Church to find Christ.

  81. […] 10 Reasons Even Committed Church Attenders Are Attending Church Less Often – […]

  82. Mike J. Baron on August 8, 2017 at 11:57 am

    Your TEN REASONS for declining church attendance are pretty sound, but the “elephant in the room” was MISSING!

    There is an EXTREME SCARCITY OF DISCIPLES attending the average local church! And DISCIPLES are the ones Jesus told to make MORE DISCIPLES!

    Too few DISCIPLES at church means a DISCIPLE will be an “oddball” in the fellowship of the luke-warm! And too few DISCIPLES means a lack of role models inside the fellowship.

    It is bad enough that DISCIPLES are viewed as lunatics by the world, but then when they attend the modern church their treatment as “oddballs” continues.

    Deployed DISCIPLES who follow Jesus, study and apply the scriptures, serve, and SHARE THE GOSPEL WITH THE LOST grow tired of these non-deployed, love-the-training “Christians” who make up the average local church!

    This huge majority of rebellious “Christians” attending church leaves DISCIPLES without a peer group at the very place DISCIPLES expect to be understood and find fellowship!

    I suspect more and more DISCIPLES are tired of weak, non-disciple making local churches and their pastors who set the bar so low that anyone can clear it without supernatural assistance!

    It is this simple! Today’s DISCIPLES are not “at home” at church! The worst rejection a Christian will ever experience is rejection by the church.

    Evangelist Mike J. Baron

  83. Katarina Williams on July 6, 2017 at 11:50 am

    Good morning,

    My name is Katarina Williams; I am the Administrative Assistant to the Church Development Director for the Southern Missouri District Office of Assemblies of God. Our office found your article “10 Reasons Even Committed Church Attenders Are Attending Church Less Often” to be an effective tool that we would like to share with our ministers. We are currently working on a monthly newsletter and we would like your permission to have the first few sentences of this article with a link to your website included in the newsletter. Our newsletter is a way to encourage our ministers with our own blogs and with articles that we believe could be an effective ministry tool for them.

    We thank you for your ministry and we look forward to hearing from you. Thank you.

  84. […] stage, you’re assuming that everyone is in their seat attending one of your Sunday services. But, the average church attendee only makes it to church twice a month. So on any given Sunday, you are missing one-half to two-thirds of the people who you want to hear […]

  85. […] as we live in a time when the average committed church member attends weekly worship less often (read this), youth ministers tell me that their youth do not attend activities every week.  A youth group […]

  86. Marc S. on June 17, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    While those are definitely some of the reasons people stop “attending church”, I believe there is a greater reason for why “committed” attendees have given up. And it isn’t a big secret.

    We have lost our authenticity, our message, our purpose, and our depth. Let’s face it…the majority of churches are structured after a business model with one goal: get more people into the sanctuary. Therefore, we try every gimmick in the book including some that are so over the top they are too embarrassing to mention.

    Go back to the days of Jesus’ “ministry.” It was very simple, deep, and spiritual. Today’s church is nowhere close to that. So, people are leaving it. I know this not only from personal experience, but from the countless number of people I have spoken with concerning this very issue.

    So… 1) Stop treating church like a business. 2) Stop trying to get people into the doors. 3) Deal with the spiritual issues. 4) Keep it simple. 5) Become involved in people’s lives.

    • Corinna on October 14, 2017 at 4:38 pm

      I agree with Marc. I have witnessed that even in the church we planted a few years ago. We want to be authentic and I can’t say we don’t care at all, but priorities show their fruit in the actions of the church members (in its entirety).
      To go back to the reasons people leave, I suggest testing the core of the matter by asking the affluent, travelers, blended families and others listed under reasons for less church attendance why they really stay away. I don’t stay away from my family, no matter how affluent life gets or how much I travel. I carve out time that I keep guarded to ensure my family gets my attention and I get theirs so we can be there for each other, relate, love, share. If church is not the family of (in) Christ, it’s just a social club and as such, it gets prioritized around family.

      When we make attendance, growth rates and other KPI part of the motivation, we run a business. While measuring is good to assess shifts and look for reasons, it is an entirely different subject to make such items the goal.
      IMHO we should have more interest in the question ‘how can we convey the gospel to a group of people in a way they understand it?’ And ‘how can we disciple people effectively to see their lives truly transforming, bearing fruit and living out their purpose?’

  87. christoph on June 14, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    Okay I attended a Bible college in Canada in the 80’s. Attend daily chapel time was required. Now that same College want to build mature adults. To attend chapel is not required anymore. I was on campus of that College . During meals I asked students which church they attend. I will not forget that one guy who could not give me an answer, since he attends very irregular any church. The negative influence of that former Bible College shows its fruits

  88. Living Stones – Thoughts from the Bald Guy on May 31, 2017 at 11:39 am

    […] This one speaks to people inside the church: https://careynieuwhof.com/10-reasons-even-committed-church-attenders-attending-less-often/ […]

  89. […] Culture has changed so radically in the last decade or two that even committed Christians aren’t in church as regularly as they used to be. (Here are 10 reasons why.) […]

  90. […] Finally, in this post, I outline 10 reasons why infrequent church attendance is becoming more frequent even among Christians. […]

  91. Lynn Williamson on April 14, 2017 at 8:37 am

    RE: # 8. If I fail to see a benefit for ME, I am concentrating on ME instead of the Lord of Life. Worship is about God … right? It’s not about me, it’s about God.

  92. Ken on March 22, 2017 at 2:16 am

    Could be something as simple as, “There are none who seek God, no not one.” Several decades ago we saw a shift from Gospel proclamations to new age, self-help style sermons. There was no Gospel. And since it is the Gospel that is power of God unto salvation, there was a lot of false conversions that took place. So many churches that were made up of uncovered members, saw those unconverted members become unconverted leaders, who replicated the process and made disciples of themselves rather than disciples of Jesus. People began attending services as a social gathering, but since they were not truly converted, their children grew up seeing that their parents valued “Church” as a means of social gathering, but little else… they quickly discovered that they could have their own social gatherings someplace other than the local congregation. The “church” became more and more worldly in an effort to reach “seekers” (even though none seek God), and in an effort to make the social gathering more relevant to the wayward children. But it hasn’t worked. It hasn’t worked because either the local congregation is failing at making their Sunday gathering relevant to those worldly “seekers” or, they have done very well and the true, converted Christian quickly sees this, and moves on.

    • Mike Ritter on May 7, 2017 at 2:17 pm

      This is an extremely judgmental and frankly wrong assumption. It jumps right to the worst case and lumps everyone in the fallen away camp.

      You’re missing that church has always been a social gathering. ALWAYS! Even churches in the Bible are social gatherings where fellowship is the central exercise of worship. You condemn “seeker”-friendly churches in a pious manner that demonstrates your ignorance or religiosity. Many people hunger and thirst for righteousness but find themselves put off by different churches for various reasons.

      So, the cultural changes referenced in this article are much more applicable.

      We are seeing a falling away from the centrality of Sunday morning services as a regular practice. Even in my household, we attend once or twice a month, but are in regular fellowship with believers and exercising our spiritual gifts encouraging and blessing other believers and the unbelievers in our community.

      It’s an emphasis on marketplace Christianity and away from institutional. Do we miss church when not there? Yep. Are we backsliders because we are not weekly attenders? Nope.

  93. GMC3MOM on March 19, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    On the 9th point, I think this is probably the biggest reason we see decline. And, as part of that gut check… be mindful if you see your regular attenders/volunteers leaving. If that is happening something is off. I’ve attended quite a few workshops and focus groups where people lamented over their attempt to engage and become active in the church but were dismissed. We need to be helping our members identify their spiritual gifts and then figuring out where to plug those gifts into serving the body/church and/or the community.

    If your measuring success by the # of new people walking through the front door and not recognizing the ones walking out the back, you have a problem.

  94. Ralph Chambers on March 12, 2017 at 11:05 am

    Old age and hospice. Nursing homes etc.

  95. Bebe on March 6, 2017 at 11:13 pm

    Fuck Church and god.

  96. Mrs Wardle on February 22, 2017 at 2:51 am

    I am finding that all church services in my district are getting earlier and earlier, and that in an elderly community! Attract youth is the catch cry, but the youth are still fast asleep after their hectic Saturday night traditional night out! Other time slots come right in the middle of people’s meal and meal preparation times. I suspect that some of the reasons are to get the Church over and done with and have the rest of the day off for all sorts of recreational activities. What ever happened to the 11am service which was common in farming communities, and the 7pm Gospel service in pre Television days.?
    That is just one reason…each of the commentators has presented valid information.
    We talk not stop about Church growth…..not reaching the Lost.
    We call them “unchurched” now. rather than sinners needing to be rescued from eternal separation from God. We tolerate sin. We embrace beliefs which are against God’s will. We deny the truth of God’s Word, we compromise on doctrine. We care little that friends and family are not saved, because we vaguely think they will make it somehow without Christ. They think that all roads lead to Heaven.
    People outside of God’s family, have no sense of guilt for sin or a need from a Saviour of any kind.
    Conviction of souls being sinful, is something considered not necessary today as just something not nice”.

    • Albert Martin on August 3, 2020 at 9:11 am

      I totally agree with your sentiments. Leaders now are more interested in maintaining the current status with a fear of offending.

      The gospel is an offence – we can run but cannot hide from that truth.

      The Pagan (Non Christian( needs to know the truth about Heaven & Hell etc but it’s not believed to be palatable and so a vanilla please all is provided. The net result is that it’s easier to remain a pagan than join a “spiritual social club of the redeemed”

      Rev Albert M Martin

  97. GreeLee on January 26, 2017 at 9:21 am

    As someone who’s almost old enough to remember it, I can tell you that you’re missing a huge reason, and that’s work. There was a time in our not so distant past that most companies would be completely closed on Sundays. You couldn’t even go to a grocery store or gas station because they were all closed. Since then the cost of living has gone up, but wages have stagnated, and it now takes 2 people to finance a family. So now, not only is work available on a Sunday, but in most cases is necessary to keep a family going.

    • Walter Swaim on February 25, 2017 at 9:50 am

      Very true. I love in Houston and shift work is a curse with the blessing. I’ve had trustees who are all shift workers and took months to have one meeting together. Most of those working on Sundays have to but others choose to for extra money over Jesus. For a small church like ours working on weekends – and all the other reasons he stated correctly, especially the sports one – is just eroding us and our ability to fulfill the vision and mission. It’s eroding me too as a leader.

    • Londonshaz on June 8, 2017 at 1:58 pm

      Absolutely. Modern life is so busy and hectic these days. I have a pretty ordinary 9-5 job, but I commute into London every day and am absolutely shattered by the weekend. I try to make Sunday service a priority out of the two meetings a week (the other one is a fellowship group Thursday nights) but the service starts at 9.30am and sometimes it’s a struggle. One of my friends travels frequently for work in a Christian charity, so she can’t get to church all the time or is exhausted. That is life in 2017! We need to stop guilt tripping people about attendance stats and get with the times. E.g. Have one service on a Sunday instead of 3, or if you have more than one, cater to different audiences rather than expecting the same people to be at everything. Have bible study group every other week. I thought Sunday was supposed to be a day of rest…

      • Sean on June 30, 2017 at 10:05 pm

        Exactly! Ten years ago, my wife and I worked from home, and we home schooled our two sons. Fast forward ten years. I’m working from home again, but on weekends, I work 8 pm to 8 am the following morning. After being up all night, I’m am almost in a coma by the time church service starts. My wife has a business that requires her to work until 9 pm every evening, and she leaves town 1 or 2 weekends per month. When she’s not out of town, she tries to get some extra sleep on weekend mornings. My oldest son often works Sunday mornings, and my youngest son works 6 days a week starting at 7 am. Sunday is the ONLY day of the week he can get some extra sleep. And forget the idea of “Well, if you can go to work at 7 am every morning, you should be able to do the same for God,” argument. He is 17 years old and is totally exhausted by the time the weekend comes. It’s not a spiritual issue at all. I had lunch with our pastor and said, “Our lives are completely different now. Sunday morning is basically the worst time for all of us to try to do anything together. What I would give to see our church have Saturday evening service, or Sunday evening service!” I mean, remember when society would gripe about “banker’s hours”? How helpful to a bank’s customers if the bank is only open when the customers are at THEIR jobs?! And what about doctors, nurses, and other types of workers that WORK during Sunday mornings. Is it, “Oh well, too bad for them.”?! Seriously, I think the church needs to do a little soul searching of its own…

    • Deb on October 19, 2017 at 2:43 pm

      I agree this is s key point. Also both adults work and usually in jobs that used to be 2-3 separate employees. The schedules now for school, work, and extra curricular activities are no longer aligned either. Schedules change weekly even and these things together make life much more exhausting and stressful and people often say they are simply exhausted and Sunday is it. Also with sports, I participated in far more activities plus church, ss, youth and Chior and service…but the schedules were consistent, all the sports schedules were set at coordinated day/time and travel was not necessary to play for the school teams. Now the schedules are not like this and travel is required if you want to play for school sports. Also, we are required to give extra money, to volunteer and assist in all of these in ways my parents’ ge station did not have to. I do see lots of travel for families on weekends beyond just holidays and that is also a HUGE factor in the baby boomer core of our churches. I think we are onto a lot in this article but missing some of the main almost unsolveable portions. Another thing is any play for kids has to be scheduled and kids have no social or play time in school anymore…no more go outside and play with friends in the neighborhood due to: crazy schedules! That is another key. Young faniliesjust literally don’t gave the time and energy of tears past and many find a deep need for Sabbath which was not valued in its true form in previous generations..everything being closed vs. genuine rest and renewal…we always want to put people to work when they come through the doors and they are just exhausted in their spirits.

  98. Tim R. on January 15, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    Related to #5 I think the rise of social media substituting for face to face interaction that you would get at a local church. You don’t need to go to church on Sunday to see the Jones’ new baby or to hear if Shannon got that new job or to learn other life stories from people who you see at church. If someone attended church for both spiritual feeding and a “light” community, then the internet has replaced that with podcasted sermons and facebook posts.

    The big question is how do we respond to this new reality?

  99. Lisa Romans on December 31, 2016 at 1:58 am

    Churches fail to preach the pure Word of God, seeking to tickle the ears of the people. The watered down Word doesn’t offend congregations, but it also lacks the power of God. I’ve heard enough topical messages that grab a scripture here and there, often times out of context.

    • Darryn Francesco on January 11, 2017 at 4:14 am

      AMEN sister, tell it like it is

    • Ms Vivian on May 30, 2017 at 6:07 pm

      Right on point, today’s sermons are inspirational based on life topics, not on our Savior Jesus!

  100. Seek Him while He may be found on December 28, 2016 at 3:42 am

    I dont attend church, because the people there still my fire. None of them want to really talk about God or his kingdom. Its just great message and how ya been. Or do you want to do lunch, or can your kids go to the movies with ours tonight, or so and so is having a football party, or the church picnic is next week. Or wanna go golfing… and at any of these that you attend its sad how far God is from there hearts. The mere mention of his word in the literal meaning could quickly make you a party pooper or outsider. Church has become like the world, you know the same world we are told to come out of. The same world that is at war with God. Its quite sad.

    • GreeLee on January 26, 2017 at 9:22 am

      The answer to darkness in a Church is not to take the only light out of it.

    • Mike Slaney on January 26, 2017 at 5:24 pm

      Tired to reply to you and up voted myself, it’s a day! I think I know what you mean, what keeps me going in not “KEEPING” my thoughts or attention on people, hard to do. I have to remember to pray for men, hard to do, but I do. It is a struggle and the LORD does send refreshment time to time. All we are asked to do is be patient and endure, that’s hard to do too. Just makes me desire Christ all the more. Stay true and stay loving, looking to His second coming!

  101. Denise Daniels on December 5, 2016 at 9:51 pm

    I think people are attending church less because they are not getting anything out of it. They come and hear some singing, hear a message, give their money and leave. There’s no longer community within the church. You hardly ever see small groups anymore. The teenagers come to church and they’re either sleep or on their phones viewing social media sites while service is going on.
    The Pastors seem so far removed from the congregation. Years ago, the Pastor would at least shake the parishioners hands after church, now they don’t even do that. They come in only to preach their message and then they go back to their plush offices immediately after. It seems to me that we’ve lost the art of touching people and showing people that we really do care about them.
    I am saddened and burdened at what I see happening in the church. There are so many gifted and talented people sitting in the congregation but no one is taking time out to find out what their gifts and callings are anymore. We leave everything up to one man/woman who stands in the front and say what, “Thus saith the Lord.”
    What happen to choirs? Now we have praise teams. A few individuals who are designated to LEAD the congregation in worship. But if the truth be told many of these “praise leaders” are not worshippers! Therefore, it comes across as entertainment not ministry. So why leave my house to be entertained in the “Church” I myself would rather stay home.
    I pray the church gets back to the model that Jesus wants for his Bride because clearly what we see today is NOT it.

  102. Dianna Willis on November 5, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    Every Sunday they talk about how they can appeal to young affluent families and how the influential families have moved out of the neighborhood leaving renters and old people. I am working middle class old with adult children who have their own families now. I leave church every time with my head down feeling kicked. I dread going. If you are the 60 percent in the middle no one wants you.

  103. dm on October 4, 2016 at 1:10 am

    I’ve struggled going to church over the past few years. I go on Sundays, but it’s a struggle getting there any other day.

    First off, my church is a megachurch. Good luck finding community at a megachurch, especially if you’re an introvert.

    A number of times, I’ve gotten involved in ministry, and a person ends up trying to micromanage me….or pressures me to go beyond my comfort zone and experience level….or snaps at me out of the blue when I don’t even know them…or makes executive decisions about my commitment level, without consulting me.

    When I was a Catholic, no one pressured me. When I attended a church of about 300 people, they never micromanaged me.

    To be clear, I can only count a half dozen people at church who’ve caused me grief…maybe 10, over about 30 years. So, that’s not too bad. (we’re all human, not perfect) But, I still don’t feel motivated to put myself out there again.

    I am also upset to see that the church doesn’t follow church discipline. They need to see the church as a flock of sheep. If a person is living in blatant, unrepentant sin, they’re a danger to the sheep and should be removed. Or if they are sheep, they should be called to repentance, removed from ministry, and asked to come in for counseling each week. But, to keep them in ministry is a Seal of Approval, before the eyes of the congregation.

    So, I’ve visited a smaller church in the area, but it’s mostly married couples.

    Right now, I sense a lot of pressure from family to join their new church, which is Calvinist. But, I lean more toward Arminianism.

    So, right now, I feel like the unwise virgin. Christ is returning soon, and I’m not HOT, but lukewarm. :/ Not FILLED, but barely making it.

    • JonDavid Partain on November 12, 2016 at 10:28 am

      Thank you, dm, for such an honest and transparent response. As a church leader I struggle between not becoming intrusive, versus promoting an accountability that promotes tough, love-saturated discipleship. (Hope that made sense)

      • dm on November 12, 2016 at 4:05 pm

        JonDavid, thank you for your comments. That makes sense.

        I’ve been on both sides. I’ve tried to gently lead friends in the right direction when they were off track. And I’ve longed for someone to come along side to help me get back on track. If the person shares their struggle, it’s an open door. Maybe even a cry for help?

        God bless!

    • Mary on July 20, 2017 at 6:07 pm

      If you come back to the Catholic Church, you will find the True Presence of the One True God! We would gladly welcome you back……and though we are a church of sinners, we are not perfect, we do try to follow the Word of God! And all of our beliefs are in line with the Holy Bible. We don’t have megachurches, though some of our churches are pretty big and others are small. We offer Masses on Saturday afternoons/evenings and Sunday throughout the day (less Masses at smaller churches, of course!) so it is easier to people to worship even if they have to work on the weekends. We do not come to Mass to be entertained, but to worship and to receive Jesus Christ, His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. Read John 6:26 If you want to get involved, there are plenty of opportunities, and I imagine you could find something that an introvert would like. Praying for you!

  104. Rod Koop on September 26, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    Carey…you wrote, “of course, church attendance is never the goal.” Which is diametrically opposed to the fact that church attendance is almost always the goal. There’s something here that lacks honesty. Can you clarify?

    • Carey Nieuwhof on September 26, 2016 at 9:33 pm

      Well I hope it doesn’t lack honesty. it’s just if you realize the mission behind every church, you grow. When you grow, you have a larger attendance. That’s the point. Hope this helps.

      • Rod Koop on September 26, 2016 at 10:36 pm

        It does help, and makes sense as well. I do work with a lot of pastors from many different backgrounds, and though they work very hard to separate attendance as the driver for anything they do, the majority and most honest ones candidly admit they are never able to fully separate their motives from this goal. Thankfully, God is grace-filled and covers this and oh so much more! Appreciate your response.

        • Carey Nieuwhof on September 27, 2016 at 6:05 am

          So true Rod. I think you’ve zeroed in on the key: motive. The right result with the right motive = powerful.

  105. Mike Slaney on August 28, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    Reading a few posts here I to must agree with them. I am up in age, very well versed in the scriptures and I love the word of GOD, esp., the Greek, far better than the English. But over all I must agree with the many here on this site. THERE IS A FAMINE IN THE LAND WHEN IT COMES TO THE WORD OF GOD! I have been to many assemblies in Chattanooga TN, and find virtually all feed pablum, I am fed up with pablum(no pun intended) I prefer some MEAT and please keep the grain.
    Most of these Hirelings have Degrees, but teach like children. The emphasis in many Assemblies today is bad music( I mean 7/11 and now more) hipe, lights,

    uninterruptible babel, theater type seats, rock type music with body gyrations, compromise in holiness, biblical nakedness, questionable vocabulary, and more! Now, you wonder why people are leaving. These assemblies are of the daughters of Babylon, off spring of the Mega whore of Babylon the mother. (as stated in REV)

    Of coarse I have been called , a legalist, God cop, a critic and you name it. In return with love say, WHERE? Verses that deals with Holiness, forget, or If eating meat offends my brother, takes a joke, If we love one other, keep my commandments, Oh boy you are a legalist! don’t forget, he that walks in the flesh is an enemy of GOD, Now, your judgemental! These are some of the things I am battling with, do I get angry, yes i do, do i let my wife know it, O yeah, do i let GOD know it, boy, do I. Do i get angry at GOD, yes I do! But I still LOVE them all, and I wish GOD would just stop being slow!

  106. Kate Koch on July 31, 2016 at 10:34 am

    We quit going to our church because they were focused on making it more “cool” and spending more time worrying about traditional versus contemporary – pushing the traditional services out to make room for contemporary. Maybe it’s the way of the world, but by pushing out the traditional members, they are also pushing out the long time (and reliable) church members.

  107. Marcus Taylor on July 22, 2016 at 9:43 pm

    Why not just go to find truth and bounce ideas off other Christians?
    Activities are what you do outside church, talking to your unsaved friends and trying to make a difference in your sphere of life.

  108. Marcus Taylor on July 22, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    I have a lot of years as Christian under my belt and Bible studies have shown me that I generally know more than most pastors. When others see this they try to get me into different positions within the church.
    Thing is I don’t work to other peoples rules, position doesn’t interest me and neither does being a puppet to line the churches lying pockets.
    A Christian revolution is going to happen and we are coming out of Babylon, the churches are all corrupt at the core with enough teaching slipped in to confuse and drive away less developed Christians. The beast doesn’t care about turnover of people as long as the money keeps coming in but soon there will be a clear divide between Christians that follow truth without an agenda and those that want to buy the stairway to heaven.
    Over a 25 year period (from a child) I have been involved and studied all the main denominations. I’ve taken the elements of truth and the best parts from them and discarded the nonsense. Me and other Christians will use it to help build the true non politically correct church. I doubt I’ll be welcome in a normal church by the end of 2017. Better hated in truth than loved in error.

  109. Vicki Hanes on June 26, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    Rather than a priesthood of believers it has become a priesthood of a few paid staff. There is little opportunity for responsibility of the vision by lay people. If you aren’t a paid, polished professional, your ideas and/or presentation are not seen as “God’s best.” So, you go where you are God’s best, which may not be inside the organizational structure. Not necessarily a bad thing, because you learn or see a different way of “going out.” But you do have less time to spend sitting, listening to someone else talk or sing about God.

    • Luke on December 30, 2016 at 10:31 am


      Your concern is common. However, I’d invite you to consider asking yourself, would you seek medical advice from your attorney, or legal advice from your doctor?

      The thing is, God has given different gifts to different people. Ontop of those gifts is schooling, training, and experience. Lets face it, the staff is engaged with their church on a daily basis, 5-6 days a week, multuple hours a day. Laity on the other hand is engaged with their church 104 hours a year, IF they attend worship and some sort of group (averaging an hour each per week) EVERY week. Would you go to a doctor that practiced medicine 104 hours a year? Less likely I’m sure.

      Additionally, I’d personally suggest to any church leader that the vision should come from God through Scripture, and not from the staff OR laity. For me, I am less bothered when a trained experienced staff is discerning God’s vision for His church as He has called them to do.

      So for me, the issue isn’t staff leading the vision, it’s staff not being able to engage or equip laity to carry out the vision. Ephesians 4 lays out that the ministers (to sum up the list Paul gives) are to equip the saints (laity) for the work of the ministry. I believe a part of that equipping is using their gifts, training and experience to equip the laity with the vision. Which it sounds like what your staff is doing.

      It sounds like the struggle is, your staff is also doing the work of the ministry for the laity instead of equipping them and walking alongside of them in the work of the vision.

      • Brad Reis on May 4, 2017 at 7:35 pm

        Couldn’t have said it better, Luke! I’ve been around some great leaders and their motivation to engage people to serve in their area of giftedness is beautiful to watch. When a leader gets better the entire church gets better. Conversely, the leader who either desires to do it all or micromanages his or her team, is not producing ownership, but simply volunteers instead. Hence, the foundation of the church is very thin to say the least. Leaders, protect your values and what God has called you to do. Don’t allow them to be hijacked. And preach the Word of God in season and out of season in order that the power of the gospel will produce godly repentance. Never give up. In due time you will reap a harvest!

  110. YoungChurchLeaders on May 9, 2016 at 10:22 pm

    GREAT stuff! I’d add, “why come physically when I can experience it Socially?” (Facebook, online streaming, etc.) AMAZING preaching and worship experiences are available in your living room like never before. So when people prioritize the church experience above the church gathering (relationships), meeting physically becomes unnecessary. But what an AMAZING opportunity to point people to Jesus through Social media experiences and teach the necessity of relationships through this avenue. As always, keep writing!

    • Bloodshed on February 13, 2017 at 5:39 pm

      To answer your question I’d say that when people come together physically, there’s a real connection between believers. The online streaming experiences don’t cut it for several other reasons, one of which is that people view it like a show or some kind of an episode. If the don’t like the preaching they could simply turn it off. It’s not completely a bad thing if the sermon teaches heresies but in the world and the culture that we live in people tend to be more keen to listen to diluted or totally false Scripture interpretations than the real deal that sometimes shocks and awes you to provoke a positive Godly change in one’s life. Among believers we’re called to exhort, support, help one another grow in Christ. How is that done through social media? Most often than not it leads to bickering and quarrels and even disguised insults. Secondly we’re called to be the light of the world; how’s someone going to achieve that by giving attention to online experiences? Action speaks louder than words. Scripture instructs us to be doers of the word not only hearers. To me, unless the person is severely handicapped or lives in a place where it cannot be done (or somewhere where they can’t even get carpooled by fellow attendees) or for some other reason which makes it impossible or life-threatening, I’d say it’s laziness.

  111. John Atkins on May 4, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    A friend sent me one of your articles. I liked it and tried to sign up for your blog… 5 times! I have yet to receive the verification eMail you say you need. Your website provides NO contact link. What gives?

  112. HoosierConservative on April 12, 2016 at 11:41 am

    I would add one simple reason for my personal household about not attending church: spiritual starvation. If every Sunday morning is a rehash of salvation for the 10 new seekers who stopped by for a visit (or another elementary lesson on not yelling at your spouse), some of us leave the service feeling like the pastor hardly noticed our presence.

    As callous as this may sound, it isn’t worth it to get up early and drive across town for the same nourishment we could have gotten reading Christian blogs in our pajamas at home. Yes, that sounds terrible, but it is what it is.

    • Marcus Taylor on July 22, 2016 at 8:36 pm

      They already have your money in the bag mate, they need to make new sales.

      • Bloodshed on February 13, 2017 at 6:18 pm

        This is just a terrible comment. That’s one of the reasons why people find it unnecessary to go to church because they take it as if it’s the only thing that the church is about. Instead of doing so, try to talk to the preacher after the service or during the week to see if things could change. Deserting or not voicing your concern won’t change anything.

  113. Skinnythia on March 29, 2016 at 8:17 pm

    My husband and I have been deeply involved in the church all our lives. We are now in our 50’s. Serving as teachers, leaders, and my husband as a deacon in several churchs, we have seen quite a lot of envolvement and change. We have been at the church that wanted us to be there to do all the work, and we learned when to say no.

    We have found the desire for power has always been a huge downfall for the church, by the people and by pastors. But in recent years, the pastors desire for power has seemed to trump the congregation to the point that people in the church who are the tireless workers are destroyed. It seems that even when men of great faith try to help the pastors with their power or leadership problems, the men are castigated for their efforts and that is the end of their service. When people don’t agree with pastors or have a difficulty with them, pastors will even blacklist them. What a Christian thing to do! The entire church becomes a revolving door for leaving workers and others that realize the lowered ethical sitiuation of the leadership, and new people entering, but no one asking why the back door never closes.

    I realize it probably isn’t every situation, but it feels like there are pastors that have an increasing problem with the need to control every aspect of their church, for their own agenda, and they want no one to ‘outshine’ them in any way. They are not disciple builders. The possiblities for the churches’ leaderships are tremendous, but only youth have the opportunity to grow somewhat. Young and older adults have no such opportunities, as all control for anything brought to the pastors to be begun is shackled. When this occurs, what is expected? The adults will eventually see the writing on the wall, that they are not really welcome – though they may try for a while- but they will move on to find another place that they may become part of something useful. When a person truely wants to work and serve God, they will find a way – even leaving a church they love- and go somewhere else, so they can serve God, and be fulfilled in what they believe God wants them to do. If it happens too much, the next place may not be a church.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on March 30, 2016 at 3:55 am

      Thanks for this note…I appreciate your honesty but also the heart behind it. Your experience is so disappointing. As a leader, I understand the desire for control but also the need for freedom…I am so sorry your experience tipped the other way. Pray for grace, would you, for pastors and leaders? We need it.

    • Mike Slaney on August 28, 2016 at 7:41 pm

      I have a heavy heart with you, and I feel that pain and our LORD is the only one who can fill the void and help the pain. He just calls us to be faithful and endure, oh, that does hurt.

    • Pastor Holace on June 5, 2021 at 3:05 pm

      Hopefully you are doing well in the name of Jesus Christ.
      Please assist us some Bibles in our native language.
      Is corona affecting your area?
      Pastor, Holace.

  114. Christina Joy Gilley on March 27, 2016 at 11:05 am

    My 3 year old and I went to Sunday School this morning but we skipped the church service. Why? Because it is Easter and everyone was dressed like a photo shoot from GQ and we only had jeans to wear. Also, my son doesn’t behave very well in our extremely quiet services and some weeks I’m just too tired to physically wrestle with him to sit in the pew and refrain from making noises.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on March 27, 2016 at 1:47 pm

      I can empathize Christina. Just a word of encouragement. I wore jeans to our church today, and I lead it. Don’t let your worry take you out.

      • Brad Reis on May 4, 2017 at 7:47 pm

        Go God. I totally agree. Please tell me that the church doesn’t look down on blue jeans. If so, I’m wearing shorts next time I preach. It’s a bit sad that the seeker typically enters our church looking for genuine friendships and we, as believers, do our best to make it hard for them to enter the kingdom of God by vetting them out based on worldly standards (appearance). Christina, I’ll take a million of YOU!

    • vblow on August 22, 2016 at 5:54 pm

      Find a church that has a Children’s Church taught on their level. Then your child will love going to church and you will love taking him. Believe me, those churches exist and so do those that don’t care if you wear jeans or shorts.

  115. JD Minerella on March 21, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    I think we are missing the most important reason. Lack of any kind of anointing. Most churches today are glorified rec. centers. It’s become all about programming and keeping people entertained. Our pastors have become nothing more than motivational speakers. Our church services are set up to get people in and out so they lack depth. Church has become so man centered that it leaves little room for God at all. I stopped caring about ho many people came a long time ago. My focus now is to create an atmosphere where people are growing more intimate in there relationships with each other and with God. When people have a passion for God and each other the church will thrive. People who are on fire for God don’t miss church.

    • Marcus Taylor on July 22, 2016 at 8:40 pm

      Unless people there start trying to manipulate them.

  116. Dan Sparling on March 14, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    For some, the decline itself becomes a reason. People they used to look forward to seeing are gone en masse. Emptier pews beget emptier pews.

  117. Guest on March 12, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    Seems many Christians behave no different than secular or Agnostic folks, one example: Donald Trump says he is a good Christian. Evangelicals have little credibility these days when one cannot tell the difference in some of them and an Atheist and Non-Christians. I feel bad for Jesus. He does not deserve people using his label and name in vain like this.

  118. notniceslims on February 28, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    We also have to account for the overwhelming number of folks not attending church having witnessed or having experienced (as ‘victims’) poorly managed interpersonal encounters either as members or as participants in service groups in church.

    Folks want to come to church to find strength for their journeys; they want to come in partake in an atmosphere of never-ending joy, lasting peace, infectious hope for better outcomes and the assurance of the continuous support of a loving family of God.

    But when they get to witness various scandals, unsavory examples of what ‘christian living’ should not be, contentions of various kinds, double-standard living in both laity and clergy etc; they reliably start losing trust (sadly not only in the leadership/followers but also) in the entire institution. Nobody wants to take chances with their lives hence we start seeing littler and littler of them as they opt for other environments.

    But, scale up the scenario to accommodate those who’d been unfortunate enough to have had repeated experiences of various low standard Christianity over a couple of places and you have people who are ready to “quit all churches all together while trusting nobody who calls themselves church workers/leaders ever again!”.

    While we can not control every aspect of people’s interactions with one another, it might be best to focus on teaching people how best to walk Christlike in the spirit, to love without dissimulation, seeking the best of one another while trying to return back to the Savior’s pattern and the pure agape standards espoused in the Pauline Letters.

    Tall order, but if achieved, am sure we would have a revival and Spiritual outpouring of epic proportions on our hands.

    • Guest on March 12, 2016 at 12:09 pm

      Your comment was right on. It reminds me of when I was invited to a prayer meeting and all they did was condemn the Democrats, Politicians, The President and promote their right wing political agenda. This was more of a focus than Jesus. It was as if Jesus was totally irrelevant in their church or lives and they looked to Politics and their favorite Politician as their savior and god. Needless to say I did not go back to that so called prayer meeting. If I want to hear politics and political strife I can get it from Fox New, CNN or MSNBC all day. Christians can argue, be petty and mean with the rest of them. I don’t need to go to church and mingle with people who spew that crap.

  119. pappawtom on February 26, 2016 at 9:27 am

    Through the history of churches there have always been periods of growth and then periods of shrinking. Look around at all the different churches in a community and ask yourself why are there so many different ones out there and you will find they are there because we as people do not agree on everything and end up leaving one church for another or to start another. Our human nature is to blame for that since we usually are opinionated.
    We as Christians are trying to tell the world that we love them because we have the love of the Father in us but we do not get along and that message is being received more than any other by the world. We as individuals are getting tired of all this backbiting that goes on in churches in the name of God. As the songwriter said, “I would rather see a sermon than hear one any day.” The world is watching!
    When you read the Bible you get the sense, and rightly so, that it is not about church since it was the “church” that killed Jesus but rather it is about our personal experience with the Lord. We are the temple as stated in the Bible and those that love the Father have the Father in them.
    Churches were started after Jesus ascended to Heaven and even in the Bible there were problems in the churches as evidenced by Paul’s writings. Maybe the local church would do better if they simply focused on making the church experience a place of rest and encouragement for the weary Christian and less a place to go to to get your sword sharpened! The Bible does not tell us that we are to fight God’s battles but we are to be obedient to His Will and do His bidding as He gives it to us. He will take care of the enemy if we just obey and trust Him for our needs rather than our wants. We were never promised to get wealthy, as a matter of fact Jesus said that is it easier for camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to go to Heaven!
    Let go of everything and let God lead you through the Holy Spirit is the mission of the church and when we stray from that then people stray from the church.

    • vblow on August 22, 2016 at 6:14 pm

      True with the back-biting and clickishness… If there is such a word… We moved across several states, found a church and began attending Wednesday night studies and Sunday services. I worked diligently during each monthly dinner staying until nearly two pm cleaning. My spouse made an off hand comment about our little mini Aussie enjoying some icing leftover from a cake… Nothing I made was touched again. It was blatant too. Would they know my dishes come from near scalding dishwasher setting.. Doubtful since dishes at church are washed in lukewarm water with no need for gloves or rinsing in diluted beach.

    • Brad Reis on May 4, 2017 at 7:54 pm

      So we’ll said! As someone also said, Jesus didn’t didn’t make an emphasis on getting the people to come to the church, but that the church would go out to the people! If a church is only about gathering people, they will miss the beauty of the Great Commission.

  120. GMC3MOM on February 25, 2016 at 11:38 am

    My concern with #9 is the idea of what engagement looks like. If we have a church with minimal programs, and a large body how do we engage everyone, or involve them in a way where their role in the church is meaningful to them? I see a movement of churches wanting to scrap down to brass tack basics, but then wonder why no one is engaged. We’ve take away the various avenues in which they would be engaging and investing in the church. We need to find the balance between intentional programs that will engage people into community, where they build trust and relationships, and then through that trust they will become invested into the body of the church.

    The culture has changed, we can’t expect the unchurched to understand how to plug into the church as the rest of us do. The culture has also changed to where those invested believers don’t want to just sit in the pews week to week, they want to be active members of the body.

    We need to be spiritual gift testing our members and creating avenues where all can serve. Let’s change the #’s from 10% doing 90% of the work. To 100% invested, 100% actively working in the church in some capacity.

    • Marcus Taylor on July 22, 2016 at 8:43 pm

      You could start by spending more time in practical studies where everyone can speak in groups as part of the service rather than it all being about a handful of people.

  121. Cheryl on January 29, 2016 at 1:43 am

    Irrelevance. Many churches are now led by the very old. As a single parent, i was never let into the “inner circle” and made to feel less than sufficient. I just got tired of it. There also seems to be a huge disconnect with reality. The last small group I attended (now years ago), the leaders wife, in response to a question to the group about how we could give more, to be more of a help to the poor, was, “You know I get that, I look at my seven sets of tableware and now I’m thinking, do I really need 7?” I was so stunned, I nearly fell off my chair. There were very very poor single moms in that group who walk miles and miles because the extra $3 in bus fare buys 2 litres of milk for their kids. I found myself wondering why I hung out with them two or three times a week. Now I don’t go at all. Is Christianity real for you? I’m tired of hearing that there are broken people everywhere and the people at church are just human beings. Let me tell you this: if I don’t see a difference between bible believing Christians huddled together on a Sunday morning and a random bunch of thugs hanging out at the 7-11 on Friday night, it’s unlikely you’ll see me on Sunday huddled in there with them (on the periphery, along with the other single parents).

    • Marcus Taylor on July 22, 2016 at 8:49 pm

      Most Christians talk a good game, but there are the odd ones that do try and help where possible. They are usually the ones that don’t keep talking about how to help as it doesn’t take a lot of working out.
      Why didn’t the poor mom’s form a little group where you could all be realistic about things you could do? It’s not all about money, showing Jesus love and letting people know he died for them is the great commission. You can do that the same as anyone else.

  122. Jason Anthony on November 29, 2015 at 11:11 am

    I don’t go because people are ever increasingly going for the wrong reasons. There are wolves in church and church is a place to get away from that. I would rather stay home in quite peace. Yes! The Sabbath Day is to be kept Holy. I am sure I will be held accountable for this. The other reason I don’t go is that it can complicate life on several unseen levels. The Devil and his minions are all about. The closer I get, the more chaotic my home and life become. I have had church leaders tell me I need meds. Like I said about staying home–I can stay here and be at peace and not socialize with the unexpected.

    • IXQUS on December 3, 2015 at 9:20 pm

      Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon’s porch. Then the Jews surrounded Him and said to Him, “How long do You keep us in doubt? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.”

      Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me. But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.”

      – John 10:22-30 NKJV

      Accountability is an interesting thing. Justice is a conclusion, a point of recompense, and doesn’t necessarily speak to any certain moment now. Basically, in any waking moment, you’re well able to do just about anything you please. We all are.

      The gift of the Spirit is such that if you choose to listen, if you wanted to leave the comfort of home and find challenges that help you grow spiritually, you would likewise have discernment in order to avoid a wolf in a sheep’s clothing. Sometimes your wolf is a sheep, and your sheep is a lion; part of faith is confidence, a trust in the Father, a trust in the Son, and especially a trust in self.

      Nobody here may rightfully judge you; even your peers. There’s one fount with the right rhythm, the right tempo, and it’s always in time and on-time. Anything else is rather noisy, nor will it sound quite right, as it isn’t.

    • Marcus Taylor on July 22, 2016 at 8:54 pm

      Agreed, I try to keep leaders especially at arms length. Often if they can’t use you they will try to do you down so they don’t look like a failure.
      Don’t give up on Jesus, people out there need the truth and you might be the only person some people meet that has it in a way that is presentable to them.
      At some point you will have to step out into the trenches one way or another, it’s just better to do it on your own terms rather than someone else’s.

  123. nick hodge on November 1, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    I’ve said it many times. The true Sabbath is Saturday since God rested on the 7th day. It’s outlined in the Ten Commandments and is Jewish Hebrew Theology. Jesus was a Jewish Hebrew. Why does the Church follow this Sunday Vatican law they’ve changed around 560 a.d. (approx.)? To me, church is not just four walls. If you see me on the street and can’t even acknowledge me, aren’t you a hypocrite of your own right? Jesus went into brothels preaching! Try doing that now and see how downcast you get…

    • nick hodge on November 1, 2015 at 9:12 pm

      P.s. Only follow God’s laws and Jesus’ teachings. For the ways of God are eternal life through hope in Jesus, but the ways of the world, and man, are destruction and death.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on November 1, 2015 at 9:59 pm

      The early church started gathering on Sunday morning in the first century…it was the day of resurrection.

      • nick hodge on November 1, 2015 at 10:09 pm

        I sure hope so. I would not want to be following Vatican stuff. They try to replace God, which is what Lucifer got kicked out of Heaven for.

      • nick hodge on November 1, 2015 at 10:29 pm

        I sure don’t want to believe wrong or anything. I try to picture Jesus through the words of the Bible. Jesus really didn’t like synagogues. He turned over tables at one. Churches do yard sales, food plates for sale, and other things.

      • Brad Reis on May 4, 2017 at 7:59 pm

        Bible 101. Bingo! Many people get really confused by this Saturday and Sunday format. On another note, Apostle Paul considered every day to be just as important as the last.

  124. Ellen on October 20, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    I believe that part of #8 not seeing the direct benefit can often fall on because people want to connect with people in the church, but not be depended on every single week to do something in the church. At a church that I used to go to, it was always you should come to church more often because we need you to do x, y or z. When a church tries to utilize the same people week after week, they start to feel used and burned out. If a church needs to get more people involved to doing things in church, first, make sure that they are interested and can actually commit. Second, offer adequate training so that people aren’t thrown into the ring to handle a task that they may not be familiar with. One of the things that I have to come to realize in my own life is when I attend something, I am more attentive when I am not responsible for handling tasks than when I am responsible for a task. That would be because I am focusing on what I am doing or going to do, and focusing on my queue to step in. I then miss important or interesting points in the program or whatever the event is.
    I did not yet read your article on cultural changes, but I think that one of the things that churches need to start doing is recognize that there are other religions and cultures out there that people in your own congregation are connected to in some way. It would not hurt to become educated about other religions, even if you do not practice or believe in them. So, if a church is so accustomed to bashing or judging other religions because they are not Christian or perceived as non-Christian, that can rub people the wrong way and they might not come back to your church because of that. My mom is Christian and my dad was Jewish. After my dad died, my mom raised us Christian, even though we did not go to church that much. She always wanted to raise us Catholic, but never got around to it. I have gone to a variety of Christian churches, and except for the Catholic Church, the Protestant churches spent so much time judging other religions. It got to a point where that it what I believed that this is what Protestant churches do, bash and judge other religions, condemn them to hell. I have not seen that in any Catholic church that I have been to. You can imagine how that must make a person feel when they go to a church that condemns a religion or belief that a person has or practices.

    • Julia Hannigan on September 30, 2016 at 12:51 pm

      Huh? It sounds like these Protestant churches are merely following what the Bible says. Sadly, people from other religions are going to hell unless they repent and follow Jesus. The church cannot condemn anyone – people condemn themselves. All the church can do is point them to the truth. Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6

      • Annika S. on December 18, 2016 at 10:37 am

        This attitude is what’s wrong with church members today. Too much judgement and “my way and only my way” Oh, and the holier than thou gun rights people. ‘Cause of course Jesus would own an arsenal if he came back today.

  125. Brett Starr on October 19, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    Not sure if this has been said yet, but I wonder if, with those who love the church and who regularly attend church, the root problem is that they don’t understand or have not been taught the authority of the Word of God. So when it says in Hebrews 10:24,25 “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” it is seen as a good suggestion from the church they love and not the authority of and from the God they love.

  126. Brian Zehr on September 30, 2015 at 10:53 am

    I know i am late to the conversation but i really appreciate this article as well as the additional resources. I find that many committed church attendees see the end result as what the church offers in its programs instead of the on-going transformation of Christ. Unfortunately church cultures often seem to emphasize “steps” and programs so people hear of transformation but catch attendance and involvement. If only we can get our culture aligned to where our behaviors match our values. If we do, maybe engagement in church on a more regular basis has a chance.

  127. Greg Kittredge on September 20, 2015 at 6:35 pm

    What we suffer from is a deficient ecclesiology as well as the lack of a deeply passionate love for Jesus. Unfortunately, blogs like this are what can unwittingly foster the idea that everyone is an expert when it comes to the theology of the church or theology in general. Why is it that when it comes to brain surgery, we would feel foolish trying to tell the doctor how to do his job. But when it comes to the church, everyone no matter what level of training in the Bible or theology, feel free to speak as an expert. How deluded for instance to say that I love and am committed passionately to Christ and yet on the other hand to speak as though I do not need to be just as equally committed to and passionate toward His Body, the Church. How grotesque to suggest that we love the Head but do not equally love His Body. An organic relationship exists between Christ and his Church.
    They cannot be separated. To love one is to love the other. To despise the one is to despise the other. So real is this connection that the apostle John in his first epistle teaches that one of the indicators of Christian impostors is that they do not love the brethren and do not have fellowship with the body of believers– i.e. “they went out from us because they were not of us.” The Church as the universal Body of Christ as well as the gathered local body of believers is God’s idea. I don’t know, I think that what the writer of Hebrews says still stands– but just call me one of those old-fashioned Bible thumpers: “And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” (10:24,25). Could it possibly be that the elephant in the room–the thing few seem willing to say– is that the North American church is backslidden? That instead of capitulating to the downward trend of church attendance and involvement, we should uphold the standard of God’s Word no matter how many bristle at it? It is certainly true that the “day” the writer to the Hebrews was referring to is closer now than when he first wrote. Then certainly, we should be meeting together “all the more”, not less. Or maybe I’m just getting ever-changing cultural shifts confused with the unchanging eternal truth of God’s Word.

    • IXQUS on September 23, 2015 at 5:23 am

      Technically the Day draws nearer continually. Imposters may be many, but even bona fides to some may mean a preposterous requirement of proof. Even then, it wouldn’t be enough for others. And someone required to view the Bible as inerrant in all ways finds themselves with a load of working contradictions.

      God’s ideas are unfathomable to the mortal mind. It’s difficult enough for people to understand their own written doctrines and the bonds of their covenants which if held to with a bi-directional binding would be a curse, it would be death. Before Him, when drawing lines in the sand with respect to one’s own or anyone else’s judgment, there is little perspective on the part of society which would impart its own requirement for being compos mentis. There is little to be prideful of, when not a thought in one’s head is one that is much more unique than any other one’s kind has, let alone what the Father might in the time it takes to form such a thought. And still, there is hope, believers can one day even judge the angels.

      We’re left largely to self in our judgments. Stuff like adhering to the Bible should be secondary to one’s own understanding from a relationship with God. Plenty of people imagine such things. They often enough think themselves into their beliefs or imagine it. Yet, there really is God, beyond the realm of madness, beyond chaos and confusion, beyond the noise floor of reality.

      Many people claim to speak for Him. Nevertheless, true Authority rests with God. The Word isn’t some recent idea, it was in the beginning as it is now. Not with the formation of some big ball of mud, but ancient in such a way as to defy enumeration. The Day many people think of as the End is one that is lost with people always looking ahead to their past, conjuring up all sorts of ideas for when and what that is.

      “Remember this, and show yourselves men;
      Recall to mind, O you transgressors.
      Remember the former things of old,
      For I am God, and there is no other;
      I am God, and there is none like Me,
      Declaring the end from the beginning,
      And from ancient times things that are not yet done,
      Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
      And I will do all My pleasure…’

      Mortal pleasure has an end. And immortal pleasure isn’t a guarantee. Would it be that one would have unending glee if they can simply flee the pleasure of sin we let in? Not if then this pleasure would cut the Body off at even one knee.

      Faith is one that holds conviction, even if only in passing or even when facing certain death. No true doctrine should put one of God’s children in harm’s way. Yet some parts of the Body still support politicians and even leaders that take on banners of both extremes of things, up to and even abortion. These things are abhorrent without any written rules, so what is it do we think that God sees? Should we need an obnoxious sign from the heavens, some catastrophic end, for this not to be? Just because a law allows it and such people exist, should any of that be necessary for a society with a faith firmly rooted by the reality of their beliefs?

      Does any man think he has Authority over the Gate? Is it that one can walk to the door and tell those passing by whom can and whom cannot enter? No man, yet there is an endless line of those that think they could take that for which is not rightfully their own, making rites and covenants with death, on their own accord. What should come of those that try to hop over the fence?

      Even still, God doesn’t have to send hail and brimstone to destroy. A false doctrine doesn’t stand the test of time. That’s simply because the truth needs no defense, it literally speaks for itself. Even if humanity were reset, it survives even a loss of record. There are those that know it and go their entire lives telling nobody about it. Does that make them apostate? Are they unworthy of being saved? Those that are most vocal can often use God as a lever. Should they also be held unworthy?

      If one is to speak for God on matters of such profound consequence for all parties, they better be right. Find a man who would like to take a perfect stand, and you will find a Devil waiting to fall. Jesus didn’t and people killed him simply for making them think. Even the truth of what may come of one that knows God and denies Him would be enough for some. So then, in the End, should the Son come with a sword or a shield? Based on the criteria of many people’s expectations, He would need to turn into superman and by those merits might as well also wear a cape. Nonetheless, even if He came a second or hundredth time, nobody, and I mean not a single person would know, without first having His Spirit with them.

  128. David Ish on September 8, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
    ― Mahatma Gandhi

    He might have been living in Pgh Pa. I am a church drop out I am 57

    • Marcus Taylor on July 22, 2016 at 9:12 pm

      A true Christian is Christ like, most just have a form of godliness.
      Think of it like athletics, if everyone did what they learned in gym class there would be no top athletes as a basic teacher doesn’t know bio mechanics or human physiology or psychology and they probably never achieved much themselves. The guy that loves his sport so much that he will do whatever it takes to be the best even if it means ignoring conventional wisdom which will only take you so far will be the one that is ultimately better than the rest.
      To be a Christian takes not just looking at Christ but practising to be like him and so breeding more understanding and better ability to do God’s will, it’s a positive circle. This would mean ignoring those that have got so far and are happy with their place, ultimately we can never believe we are where we need to be spiritually only that we are moving in the right direction.
      It’s probably easier to focus on not doing the wrong things such as being unnecessarily angry or harbouring grudges etc.
      It’s easy to look like a Christian in the modern sense but actually being the real deal is a career in itself. Don’t give up!!
      At 57 you are still young enough to become an 80 year old Christian guru.

  129. Ellie on September 6, 2015 at 2:59 am

    Read Todd Horrigans post (posted 1 mth ago) about shift workers. I am in UK but in similar position I’m a nurse on permanent nightshift 4 on then 4 off. I would love to attend every Sunday morning but doing this in the middle of 12hr nightshifts is hard. My rota means I can attend 5 Sundays then there are 3 I can’t without making myself very tired at work that night. To become a full member you must attend a course every Wednesday for a good few months which I can’t do either neither can my future son in law who is in the Army, when he spoke to the pastor about this his reply was can’t they adjust your duty!! We can’t all as soldiers, nurses etc just expect our duty to be adjusted to suit rigid church services but it is a problem when it means you cannot become a full member of your church, there are 700 in our congregation do they all do Mon-Fri 9-5 or are they all fortunate enough not to have to work??

    • Marcus Taylor on July 22, 2016 at 9:14 pm

      Why do you want to be a full member? Will it make you a better Christian?
      If Jesus rules your life you are a full member of the church, don’t worry about pleasing some man made organisation flying the Christian flag.

    • Julia Hannigan on September 30, 2016 at 1:07 pm

      Shift workers have it very tough. Could you ask your pastor if you might be able to do the membership class online or at an alternate time? If the pastor cannot accommodate you in some way, I would seek another church if membership is important to you.

  130. Scott on August 30, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    I discovered your blog this morning and have spent an astonishing amount of time (3+ hours) delving into past entries. I have come away from this, admittedly cursory, examination with this opinion: you have little, if any, experience with the NON-churched like me. Your analysis of the reasons for and the solutions to the decline in church attendance indicate a deep-seated ignorance about people like myself.

    I have read the bible cover-to-cover twice now and will begin again soon, but while I have found much that is interesting and even inspiring, in the main I have failed to find the source of awe that motivates yourself and those around you.

    In contrast, the laws of physics as currently understood, most strongly suggest that the iron in my blood and the gold in the ring I wear on my finger were created in the cores of exploding stars and that the atoms in my right hand came from different stars than those in my left. This thought generates an almost overwhelming sense of awe in me.

    You may succeed in showing a few “lost souls” back to your church (or even THE Church) through the “map” you offer, but I seriously doubt you will influence those who were never “lost”, don’t accept that they have a “soul” that can get “lost”, and those who believe they were born right the first time. And until you are reconciled to the fact that these fundamental differences exist and must be acknowledged, you will only see your church’s membership decline with the aging of the population.

    • Andreas on January 8, 2016 at 8:13 am

      Interesting points. Of course, that people have rejected the notion of a personal soul, a personal God and a host of other “religious things” through the ages have little or nothing to do with pastors trying to tell of the Good News of Christ. Jesus didn’t exactly have a huge following at the cross, as you have read yourself.

      Yes, physics and the natural sciences do indedd provide much information that is awesome. I’m not sure that they have declared it a fact that life evolved from matter. In fact, I’m confident that they haven’t. So there is that.

      Understand that God draws all people to himself. That is how it works. Some resist, some don’t. It usually takes a tragedy for people to see this, but no matter. The Bible is but one way that God can draw people to himself. A pastor is another. God moves in mysterious ways and one day you will have a chance to reject or accept him. Choose wisely.

    • Marcus Taylor on July 22, 2016 at 9:30 pm

      I wouldn’t worry too much about unproven laws of physics, if Stephen Hawkins was as bright as he makes out he would have found a cure for his disease rather than daydreaming about universal expansion, blue shift and time travel.
      Just because people are gong to church doesn’t mean their souls aren’t lost, many of them don’t get the Bible either.
      It is sort of in a code that you won’t really understand if you do not have the Holy Spirit. That is why pastors can easily mislead a lot of people and use fear tactics to control them.
      The standard churches are referred to as Babylon in Revelation and they are full of corruption. People want to find God and the truth but they realise they are only getting a diluted version mixed with error. Even though they might not know exactly what is wrong they can sense it is there. I was the same, in and out of church for years, now I know enough to put my finger on things but it has taken 25 years.
      I actually think church congregations will increase as terrorism increases but that isn’t necessarily a good thing. Satan is controlling all the pieces on both sides of the chess board, it’s a case of people picking their flavour of whatever makes them feel good.
      Surely you know enough to know that homosexuality and divorce are not acceptable from what you have read?? Yet many churches don’t have a problem with it. To me that is worst than being atheist!!
      If you are going to follow something, follow it, don’t change it to suit yourself.

  131. Scott on August 30, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    “Even among people who say THEIR love the church…”!!??

    Do you actually expect me to take you seriously when you don’t even care enough about your message to proof read your own work?

  132. Korgul on August 23, 2015 at 10:26 am

    #1 is completely wrong. Replace it with, “More people realizing that all religion is man-made nonsense.”

    • Scott on August 30, 2015 at 2:00 pm

      Spot on! CN needs to address the positive correlation between the number of years of higher education received and the likelihood that an individual will lack any religious faith.

      • Andreas on January 8, 2016 at 8:18 am

        Well, Christianity claims that the more people trust themselves (and their wonderful diplomas or talents or abilities) they don’t see a need for God…which says nothing concerning whether God exists or cares about them.
        Believing has nothing to do with education or talents or abilities, or the lack thereof. We don’t believe in God because he fills in our lack of understanding. We believe in God because we believe that he is real and true and beautiful.

        • IXQUS on January 9, 2016 at 4:23 am

          The truth is that if you don’t have faith in yourself, then your faith in God sits on equally shaky ground. Taking the leap of faith is having the confidence for going from point A to point B, then actually going in the right direction. By that, for where your faith is placed will dictate the acceptance of obstacles to navigate fully or the pursuit of shortcuts to circumvent.

          Simply put, one has to engender a trust in self, in order that their choices are fostered of by a sound mind. Faith in self and the Father are intrinsic, and it requires all of one’s heart, soul, and mind.

          As trust is formed, so does one’s perception of self and our Father. It is when there is singular purpose that obstacles may crumble, before they’re ever encountered. Sometimes the shortest path home is all the way around.

          • Marcus Taylor on July 22, 2016 at 9:39 pm

            Or in my case when frustration has overwhelmed me I just threw caution to the wind and prayed God would help me.
            I mean life is boring without risk anyway and the worst that can happen is you will die which you will anyway,

        • IXQUS on January 9, 2016 at 6:40 am

          There’s more than what was said previously. In terms of confidence of belief, there’s no separation of trusting yourself with trusting your faith. The leap spoken of is not found by way of rational thought; tethered rationality will never allow you to take any leap or with that, pull you back to where you began, once the tether tightens.

          There are two basic kinds of faith. One that is knowing, with a blossomed understanding, given by the merits of growth: having been firmly planted, having taken root, being well nurtured, and producing good fruit. The other precedes it: a seed.

          Believing has everything to with knocking at the door of a fertile garden and asking how to till the land. You can believe everything the gardner says, or not. When put to practice, it is by the fruit that sustenance is found. There’s nothing stopping you from relying on the rains in drought, even if you’re told there’s a well that must be visited continually.

          Taken as simply fair advice, without moving, the belief is emboldening, and still of little value outside of interesting conversation. And as the seasons turn, so do the opportunities of planting and harvesting. In the cold, rich and poor alike starve, without proper preparation or by paying or begging those that have done their due diligence.

      • Marcus Taylor on July 22, 2016 at 9:35 pm

        There seems to be more educated people in church than ever these days. Which makes it all the more strange that they struggle to grasp the truth of certain scriptures.
        Few people seem to have the gifts of discernment, common sense or critical thinking.

    • Marcus Taylor on July 22, 2016 at 9:32 pm

      Bang on!!
      True Christianity is a way of life, not turning up to church for an hour listening to one man’s opinions.

  133. Lisa Major Elders on August 22, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    I am wondering about the influence of living away from families. Many of us live states or countries away from our families. We are torn between caring for parents and children. Also, many of us do not have traditional Monday thru Friday work schedules. I am a minister’s child who grew up attending regularly, but now I minister in a hospital and am often pulled in many different directions. For me, there are many reasons that even committed Christians are attending Sunday worship services less. Many churches have even added Sat night or other opportunities for worship to adapt to challenging schedules. But I also know that God knows my heart and He meets me wherever I am.

  134. Phillip on August 13, 2015 at 9:39 am

    Has anyone come up with a tool to measure these metrics within their churches. I would be interested in hearing from those who attend our church if these reasons for attending church less often are a reality within our community.

  135. Todd Horrigan on August 3, 2015 at 11:51 pm

    I found this in a web search to see what churches are doing today to attract regular attendees… just to see if anybody has any new ideas. I have been in and out of church(s) over the past four decades not because I don’t like church, I truly love going to church, it is because of the type of work I do. I have worked the all night shifts, the Sunday shifts, the evening shifts, and the ‘I-never-know-when-I-work-shifts’ which is my current situation. I could never commit to any ongoing class much less get involved in any sort of regular ministry work because I knew my work schedule would interfere with such things. If I get a chance to attend a Sunday morning service, because I rarely am able to, I feel left out of the loop without any relationships with the people who attend even though I have attended that church for years and years. I see Sunday churchgoers as having been blessed to work a Monday through Friday dayshift job where they have the time to attend Sundays and weeknight events. I strongly feel that there are many unreached people who would go to church regularly if they could, they just cannot go Sunday mornings or even Saturday nights. My search was not to see if churches changed their regularly scheduled lineup. Rather it was to see if any church has ways to reach out to the lost-at-work church members who would gladly come to church if they could.

  136. John Crowe on July 21, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    I find these 10 to focus totally on externals that we can blame for people not coming to church like we can blame for churches not gaining people to come to church.

    How about looking on the inside? I
    would consider these.

    1. The secularization of pastoral leadership whom seminaries now train in a performance and technique model of Chruch, Inc and thus lack any ecclesiology to think of that shapes their pastoral theology from a biblical foundation. Thus, they so often see themselves as the CEO of non-profit run like a franchise.

    2. With the secularization of pastoral leadership has come the secularization of church life molded by a market driven business model which has eroded the earlier theological foundation of ecclesiology due to growing biblical illiteracy.

    3. The secularization of pastoral leadership has also been seen in the lack of training in seminary concerning spiritual formation. This has resulted in churches viewing pastors less and less as spiritual leaders and to an abandonment of the spiritual formation of a church as a body.

    4. The secularization of churches is being propped up by looking to church growth techniques and family systems theory to attempt to build healthy churches. We do this as if ecclesiology and the bible have nothing to do with it. Like a voice in the wilderness crying out to the contrary, there like four books asking churches to ask what does theology/the bible have to do with church health?

    So, I think many of the faithful are no longer attending like they once did for they are finding less and less of the biblical/spiritual ecclesia when they go and more of a secularized religious body that has form and function without real spiritual power grounded in a biblical/theological foundation that comes from an applied ecclesiology of the church being the church by the grace of God through the empowering of the Holy Spirit which shapes the body of believers via the Word of God in a living discipleship that goes beyond just skin deep.

    For more about this see my article online,

    “Doctrine and Church Health” which is based on my dissertation
    “Preaching for a Whole Person Response in Developing a Healthy

    • notniceslims on February 28, 2016 at 2:54 pm

      If I may put it another way, however incompletely, people are realizing that fundamental factors are missing on so many levels in our spiritual and church lives.

      While, the Church of Jesus Christ started out by the Holy Spirit and power as a Living Organism in the Book of Acts; we are systematically building Church organizations sprinkled over in places with politically-correct market strategies while incoherently spouting “Christenese” in confusion as we labor confusedly over some of the Babel Towers that we label as Christ’s.

      The people may not know or may not even be able to put their finger on it right BUT they sure end up wandering off in reaction to the funny after-tastes such encounters leaves as legacies to them.

  137. Tim Cooper on July 18, 2015 at 2:18 am

    I’m a person who has undeniably moved away from the Church, despite my father and mother both being a Methidist Minister and Preacher respectively. (In England, UK). There could be cultural differences and differences of experience in what I am writing to your data but I believe that my experience has some bearing to.

    I agree with a number of your points, yet I believe that there is one extra point that I could make which attaches itself to a few you have made. As technology is improving, and more exciting, and also as kids and young families would rather spend time doing sports or playing video games, or if people are simply unable to make it to Church on a Sunday. The age demographic of the church is shifting (particularly in parts of England) towards the majority of attandees being aged over 50 and in many cases over 60. As such church services are being taillored to appeal to more older members pf the community, little is done to attract youth into the church, even less to retain it.
    A confusion between “engaging with youth and technology” and “putting hymns on a powerpoint” exists, especially amongst more stoic members of the church community in the UK. Simply using technology isn’t a drastic change to the format of a service, and something that doesn’t appeal to a child of 8+ in a hymn book as much as playimg sport or watchimg something on youtube, might not appeal as much on a slideshow either.

    I appreciate that you are advocating that churches respond to the times and adapt, I just fear that those best placed to help (namely people aged probably in their twenties or early thirties) are some of the most deterred from regularly attending, and so are thier children.

    That being said I credit the ELIM Church (in which my Uncle is a Minister) in the UK as one of the only church denominations to grow in number as they have the experience and the mindset to attract and keep younger members and to remain youmg at heart.

  138. Christopher Cook on July 13, 2015 at 4:53 am

    Wow. I read the comments, and there are just so many things to speak to. I can’t even begin to toss in ‘my two cents’ on them all… I don’t have enough ‘cents’ (pardon the pun).
    So, let me just share a small amount from my experience.
    We go to church service at our local church every Sunday morning (barring illness, etc). However, my three teens and I do NOT any longer attend Sunday school. This is due to a recent understanding about how negatively age segregation (at that age) affects our families. I teach my teens at home. I would be completely open to all of us sitting the adult class, but to lessen the division, I chose this route. Also, we have ceased from Sunday evening worship. Honestly, this came out of a personal study that I did on what the Sabbath really means for us. I am not posting that here, but, in short, the Sabbath pre-dated the law and was for our benefit (spiritually). I decided that my family would attend Sunday morning worship, be involved with the ‘personal care home’ ministries in our area on Sunday afternoons, and have family worship Sunday night (we have long had a family devotion after services Sunday night – we just expanded). Also, we often participate in Bible studies throughout the week. While many would shake their head, this has been fairly invigorating for me. Our church is not very ‘ministry heavy’, so it gives us a chance to put more of our time into some things that could matter in others’ lives without totally ignoring the purpose for 1 day in 7.
    Now, there is also the other problem. Churches today are often NOTHING like what we see in the NT. Church WAS a place to corporately worship, but MORE SIGNIFICANTLY, it was (and is/should be) a place where believers come to get support, encouragement, edification and to add their part to the body of Christ. In today’s traditional American service, there is little room for this. Just saying.
    Having said all of this, I LOVE the church. Not some building, but all of you woderful and broken members of the body of Christ out there (and in here) in the world!
    Remember 1 Cor 13:8. All of the questions of our day: prophecies, tongues, doctrine (yes, doctrine matters, but stay with me)… they will all pass away. Only our love will remain. In heaven, everyone will know and agree with the truth, but/and we will LOVE EACH OTHER PERFECTLY. I have said THIS recently: let me be wrong on any other number of issues, but get love right. I don’t want to have ‘perfect theology’ and be judged one day for my lack of love. Based on the two greatest commandments and on Jesus’ ‘new commandment’, I think love is probably pretty important.
    May our love grow stronger one for another that a lost world may see us shine – not based on our church attendance, but based upon the difference they see in our lives – the difference that love makes.
    The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

    • Paul Earle on October 25, 2015 at 7:12 pm

      I agree. Well said. Loving the Lord and people is the primary thing.

  139. Bob Pace on July 12, 2015 at 4:32 am

    I could give you many reasons but they point to the same thing: The death of Protestantism. Since there are now 44,000+ denominations it is kind of hard for a Protestant to talk about ‘having the truth’ and/or “having the faith of the early Christians”. Does speaking in tongues exist or not exist? Truth matters. And you can’t really say that your theology is only about 200 years old when there were Christians worshipping and living a particular way 2000 years ago (and still worshipping the same way). Especially when your theology goes completely against the Christian theology of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc. centuries. Look it up. Justin Martyr describes the service from about 135 AD and it is what is still practiced today in Orthdoxy. We gave the world the Bible. the Nicene Creed, the Trinitarian Theology, etc.. Your OT still uses Greek names for the books. You didn’t think Genesis was a Hebrew word, did you? Look around and you will find the best and brightest of young religeous Americans converting to Orthodoxy.

    Eastern Orthdoxy…the best kept secret in America!

    • Noel Anderson on January 7, 2016 at 8:19 am

      That sounds both unfair and arrogant. Our church knows, studies and respects Irenaus, Clement, Polycarp, Athanasius, Augustine, etc. They are “ours” as much as “yours.” The past 200 years has given rise to some heresies, but to ignore the work of the Holy Spirit since 1816–let alone ignoring the Spirit’s work in the Reformation–seems arrogant. Have you totally ignored Luther and Calvin? Ever heard of Karl Barth? We need our roots, yes, but only as much as we need many, large, outreaching branches.

      • Bob Pace on January 7, 2016 at 12:35 pm

        Noel, wow. I leave a message six months ago and you flame me without one bit of real evidence. Please get a grip. I am not being unfair and arrogant. In fact, if you want to argue, then please go and find someone else to argue with. A local Orthodox priest maybe. Or, if you want, I know some lay Orthodox people for you to argue with. I just stated my experiences and beliefs. I find it more than a little interesting (and humorous) that you didn’t bring up one salient, thoughtout, specific example. Just rhetoric.

        I humbly ask you, if you think this is both unfair and arrogant, that you PLEASE show me biblically and from the Traditions handed down from the Apostles and NOT from people who I don’t agree with and neither do any early Church Fathers. This might come as a shock to you but I, along with the Orthodox Church, don’t believe the Reformation was the work of the Holy Spirit. Do you also think the slaughter of the Anabaptists by the Lutherans in the years that followed were also the work of the Holy Spirit? It’s a tired trite saying but both Baptists and Assembly of God churches can not both be right. So which one is?

        Read Ignatius and there is no way you can make your claims or truthfully say you are respecting him. He speaks of only unity in Christ: one bishop, one baptism, one Communion, etc. Read any of the early Saints you mentioned and you can’t go down the road you just traveled without twisting their words incredibly. Look at the heresies of the new church like “once saved, always saved” to name just one. But since you asked me, I will give you a brief. quick response. Remember, due to brevity, the following will have holes in it. This is only meant to be an attention getter. A list of things to pique someone’s (yours?) interest.

        Also, I don’t ignore the work of the Holy Spirit since 1816. Nice try. I don’t think the Holy Spirit (which is why I made the comment about the 44,000+ different belief systems of protestants. You must be saying that they are all correct or that the Holy Spirit lies. You can’t have it both ways. This is why there are so many evangelicals and other protestants are coming to the Orthodox Church. People who are active members of the Orthodox Church don’t become evangelical. It is the other way around. Heck, even the Lutherans lost their no. 1 theologian Jaroslav Pelikan. Or do you believe it was the work of the Holy Spirit that led to Luther making critical erros in the execution of his own stated rules on what books should be included in the OT? Seriously?

        Noel, please, I am humbly saying this. Remember, I am just a lay CONVERT. I used to be very similar to you. I am just stating what I have found to be true…and its ugly. Protestant Bible editors have changed/translated words in the NT for their particular political/religious ideologies. Heck, even Luther did that, right? We both agree that he changed a word in the bible, right? Luther also objected to the Books of James, Jude, Hebrews, and Revelation (that’s 15% of the books of the New Testament!) and didn’t want them included. Was THAT the work of the Holy Spirit???

        This is not me being arogant. I am just stating facts, historical events and what the Church believes. And since the Orthodox Church is the one started by the Apostles through Christ’s commission of St. Peter, I would say physician heal thyself. Become humble and find out for yourself. Don’t kill me, I am just the messanger. A very ill prepared one, at that.

        As the Apostle Andrew said, “Come and see!”

        • IXQUS on January 10, 2016 at 4:23 am

          Sometimes the message is found through the resonance in reality that all are witness to. I’ll use the message of the day, from BibleGateway:

          But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

  140. Helen B on July 11, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    Tired of the “same old thing” every week. We need to be interactive at church, and creative.

  141. Adam on July 7, 2015 at 9:00 am

    The Church or Ekklesia is at its core the assembly of the Body of Christ in Communion with the Head, Jesus Christ. In practice, it is a place to worship God, not sit and listen. It is a place to experience corporately and privately the Grace of God and be healed. It is a hospital for sick people, not a club for elites. Americans have a very soft, cushiony idea of what true Christianity requires. We can look at the Middle East as many are being martyred, or the Russia, which has a renaissance of Classical Christianity having emerged from the yoke of state sponsored Aethism as examples of what Church means and why it matters. If church reflects the secular culture, there’s no need to attend. Its not surprising that the faster shrinking denominations are also the ones that have adopted the modern liberal march to “progress”.

  142. Travis on July 6, 2015 at 10:16 am

    People “used to” love the church – the sacred space, holiness, spirituality, communion with God, reverence, devout prayer, meditation and soul inspiring worship but all is being traded for musical theater, rock concerts, big screen tv, dancing, lights-camera-action, and fellowship with our neighbors – all of which is available outside the walls of the contemporary Christian “concert halls” If the inside is no different than the outside there is no longer a reason to come inside.

    • judymlowder on July 10, 2015 at 5:24 pm

      Travis, your description of what church used to be is what I crave today. For that one hour I want to worship, to glorify God, to commune, to send my soul soaring up to Him, or to look quietly within. Worship and communion allow me to be restored. In my opinion that’s the purpose of church: Worship. All the other activities are nice to haves but reverent, sacred worship is what it’s all about. That’s how I get renewed, refocused and re-centered on Christ.

      • Bob Pace on July 12, 2015 at 4:18 am

        Then you should go East young man! Go to the Church Jesus Christ set up. The faith given to the Apostles and handed down to us. Depending where you are, I would suggest a former EOC parish (a convert parish made up of evangelicals that came into The Church in the mid-80’s.

  143. Odessa on July 6, 2015 at 4:32 am

    Here’s my list:
    1. Wolves in the pulpit. Or immature, ungodly, shallow men in the pulpit. Take your pick.
    2. Manipulation and guilt-tripping a.k.a. spiritual abuse
    3. Not allowed to think, question or challenge leadership
    4. Jesus has left the building and the people inside of it don’t resemble Him in the least bit
    5. The Holy Spirit has left the building and doesn’t show up Sunday mornings.(If He did, these discussions wouldn’t exist – people would knock the doors down to meet with God)
    6. Man-made traditions (which Jesus spoke against – and in the OT as well)
    7. Jesus said money is for the poor – not pastor’s vacations and houses that make most of the flock look like slumdogs, and expensive buildings and programs
    8. Prayer has been all but removed from the building and life of the ‘church’
    9. It’s a country club – let’s be honest about how many of our churches are G-rated Christian country clubs.
    10. Sunday is their worst day of the week. After church the ‘grumpiness’ sets in.
    11.Time-set and clocked. The real temple that Jesus would attend on the Sabbath was a ‘come whenever and we’re here’. You would show up when you got there, stay as long as your family was able, and sit, listen, be taught, pick a person to listen to in various areas, pray, give God your tithe, be outside in nature, have discussions with other people, etc. Now it’s “be here from 9-11 and don’t be late. Oh and bring money. Oh and sit, stand, sing this, don’t speak. Come back next week you’re on nursery’.
    12. Many of the people I know have left church for the above reasons and the most important one: They don’t find God or His Spirit inside. They are craving God and His peace and filling. They are deeply in love with God and don’t want to waste time lying to others and themselves by participating in an empty service week after week when they could be out meeting with other believers praying, reading Scriptures, communing with God in nature, resting on the Sabbath, visiting the sick and poor and going OUT to the lost. Not using cheap marketing tricks to invite them IN. They leave because they love God and must serve him with honesty and integrity – not because they’re lazy. They read Jesus’ words and find the church doesn’t resemble them or His life in the least.
    I left the man-made, business model, institutionalized, nothing-like-Scripture church building to find the real God of the Bible. I’ve never been more at peace or more in love with Him. I’ve never had such a deep and consistent prayer life. I’ve never been so loving towards other people. I’ve never had such a deep desire to serve others and my community.
    I found that when I left church… and found God.

    • Tom on August 9, 2015 at 8:42 am

      Well said. Wish people would like and reply, because this is the real problem.

    • Cathey Chisholm on October 24, 2015 at 8:40 pm

      How do you deal with the fact that Jesus calls the Church “His Bride?” And we are commanded not to give up on assembling together?

      • notniceslims on February 28, 2016 at 3:06 pm

        aThat’s where we often miss it.

        Jesus, in no way, ever referred to “Organized Christianity” as His Bride and neither did He ever widen His Arms to include our understanding and philosophy of ‘Christendom’ in His embrace. Check Revelations 3 well.

        Secondly, when Jesus said “…on this Rock I will build my Church”, He never was referring to any institution or person other than the revelation of Himself by the Holy Spirit to every believer.

        We are not to forsake the meetings of ourselves together per time BUT legalistically putting people under guilt-trips on the basis that attending meeting days is solely responsible for spiritual growth is simply preaching the Word of God out of context.

        In fact, there ought to be room enough to allow people to go digest whatever spiritually nourishment they might have ingested in church from time to time instead of having people compulsively come in week after week ‘hearing much but growing little’.

        Having no desire for attending any meetings whatsoever without any rational or higher cause, on the other hand, might be a sign that a soul was still in need of Christ’s saving grace or healing touch.

  144. Danielle Ogilvie Rodda on July 1, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    Many of us are less satisfied with the “sermon on Sunday model” of discipleship and spiritual formation. We seek community where relationships are open and there is a safe place for discussion and inter-dependent learning. While there are some churches where this shift is occurring (usually with small group format), many middle-class, 40yrs + majority, pre-dominantly white evangelical churches still clings to the top down approach (Sermon on Sunday model)

    • Ken Dillingham, Jr. on July 3, 2015 at 1:59 pm

      As a pastor I’m interested in hearing what you mean by the “sermon on Sunday model.” Are you saying that you (and people who would identify with your comments) are less inclined to want to have a spiritual leader your life when you refer to the “top down approach”? Or that you don’t find the sermons stimulating? Or is this something related to #7, perhaps a group version of “self-directed” spirituality. I definitely want the people in our church to feel that they have a sense of community but I’m not sure that we can circumnavigate the revelation of Ephesians 4:11-13 wherein Paul explains that God has given the ministry for the “full maturing” of the saints. Or are you simply suggesting that going to church on Sunday with no real fellowship and sense of connectivity is neither stimulating or fulfilling?

      • Danielle Ogilvie Rodda on July 3, 2015 at 7:57 pm

        Thanks Ken for seeking clarification. I can hear sincerity and gentleness in your tone. I pray that I communicate in that same spirit.

        I’m speaking of the idea that many of us seek community first where learning and teaching is more organic and grassroots. It would probably look more like a small/cell group model/discipleship where discussion and mutual study and prayer occur. This doesn’t mean rejecting the idea of having a spiritual leader. It might include not having a paid Pastor. While I wouldn’t call it self-directed (as I understood Carey’s description- but it might be headed in that direction), I would call it self-managed and interactive. One might compare it to education decisions of school vs home learning. If one chooses school then one chooses the curriculum and objectives that the ministry of education has deemed appropriate for this age group or level- you show up and you learn what you are supposed to learn in grade 7. In home learning (the opportunity can easily be afforded), the child works at his/her pace, skill level and interest areas. Sermon-on-Sunday model is in all essence an hour long lecture. Pedagogues would agree that it is a far from ideal learning environment.
        I think the crux is that we long to be in a place (whether it includes sermon on Sunday or not) where we can expect the people who show up to be authentic and in doing so, it would be a safe place. We want to be the church, not go to church.
        This is not only a reflection of what would better for me (and my people)- but it speaks to how the model of a pastor-top-down approach is problematic: the high and often damaging demands placed on one person and his/her family, the inability (because we hold him to such a high standard) to be flawed or be in an actual struggle and not fear for his job. This creates a tendency to insulate and seek power. I know that those (most) called to the ministry are not power-seeking ego-maniacs when they start, nor do they have the desire to become so. I think the pressure cooker environment we parachute them into often creates such problems.
        I think there are times when church feels more like a business than a community or large family. (I know Carey asked not make this a post about “all that is wrong with the church”)
        I hope that clarifies my point. The more I think about it- I think you got it: authentic fellowship/connection required but not optional. Now here’s the catch: ya gotta show up to get connected.

        • IXQUS on July 4, 2015 at 1:23 pm

          Your words echo loudly, with me. Teaching isn’t something that happens over an hour, a day, or a week. It’s something that happens with time, experience, reflection, and even humility; not something that is quantized easily, but just like any understanding, requires a process that almost always has points of reference. And greatest of all is having the inspiration to learn.

          A strong family model mirrors what a most correct Church, the Body of Christ, was built upon. That’s because it adheres to the principles and doctrines of its Scriptures, and roots out corruption where it tries to exist within. When the Body hears the Spirit, which is a gift given very freely and abundantly, there is a change that is unable to veil itself from the world, everyone can notice that change.

          People, having the Spirit with them, they are joyful–and it is shared, not simply that proceeds forth from a brittle throne of judgment, where people hear sermons that speak at them, but in all other aspects of their lives, would care nothing about the wellbeing of what they call family.

          Perhaps this is a reflection of the times: families must weave through unexplored mountains, just to find greener pasture. That is, there is much more that elders in Christ must teach the younger generation, but the world expects that it must have its say upon how offspring mature, intellectually. And if we simply let them go, without first teaching them about asking God that we could have His Armor to sheath our families–we are just as responsible for how they turn out, and more than even they themselves are. It must be that nobody thinks Scriptures, such as Ezekiel 3, pertain to them anymore. Yet, failing to place guidance where it is necessary, makes it a shared responsibility. The one thing that has certainly changed, since all that time ago, is that there are many more reasons, not less, that one should learn about cause and effect, as taught as being given to us as the End from the Beginning.

          If one reads the Scripture, it isn’t a wealthy man that sits upon a statist’s or even a pulpit’s throne, that holds keys to the kingdom of God. And when He returns, if one is to believe such things (that belief is a journey only traveled by each of us, alone, ultimately in how we reflect back upon it, say in prayer), the miracles people seek after, they won’t be given, not how they expect. This is so much so that maybe nobody would be able to discern between what is good and what is bad.

          This failure to discern only happens when we fail to invite the Spirit into our lives. If a Church thinks themselves to have light, but shine it in a self-aggrandizing way, they can have that reward, for it is ephemeral; it is in the darkness. The Light shines forth, without much effort, as it is very much like you speak of.

          The Son didn’t often teach on a mount, and when He did, it was full of promise. He didn’t have a bed to lay his head, even as the most base of life get that. And it was for a purpose that not many people today seem able to fully appreciate, through all the noise:

          Being able to live below the noise floor, to know its intricacies, to see what is random isn’t always so chaotic.
          To see that there is a pattern to all of this, especially when it comes to teaching.
          To realize when to be Loud and when to be silent. When to see and hear, and when to hide.
          To understand that it isn’t our own power, but the Father’s power, and His alone that any faith is amplified and found to be sound.
          Finally, to hear that our lamps brought us to a gate, after a seemingly endless journey, one which we could not yet see the full glory, then be told, “Have no fear, come nearer to Me.” And knowing nothing else, falling to our knees, crying in joy, only to be told arise, and finally gaze upon our God’s eyes. That is the promise given, but it isn’t very affordable, on an hour a week’s wages, especially with all the trappings of the masses, in this day and age.

  145. Libby Rosengren on July 1, 2015 at 10:40 am

    This hits home on so many levels for me! I definitely see many of these things happening at our church. I’m volunteering as the kids director right now and I notice these trends with families: 1 or 2 parent homes, blended families. I see it with the volunteers whether they are single or married (with kids or no).
    While I’m excited about some of these changes (like less guilt over not attending, that’s great!), I’m also a little overwhelmed as a leader and someone who cares for my city. I’m all for trying new things if it works – I just wrestle with how to help people have meaningful experiences WHEN they attend. And what can we do to help people outside of that sunday morning experience too?
    I think it’s good for us to wrestle with questions about what is really important and what isn’t important – stuff that we maybe need to let go of?
    I know we can’t cater to ever whim, but we sure can all work together to meet people where they are and allow the Holy Spirit to do his thing to use us in ways we haven’t yet thought of.
    It seems to me that church attendance these days is a reflection that real life is happening. It helps me as a leader of a specific ministry area in a church realize I need to not get stuck in the church bubble obsessed with Sundays, church events and all the days the church doors are open. But instead be a part of the everyday life of what’s going on in my city, community and church community. I don’t want to just sit back and shake my head in a pharisaical way at the lack of interest “in the things of God” and realize that living life and bumping shoulders with people is messy – but a beautiful messy. Maybe if I quite obsessing about the numbers of who’s attending and who’s not, who’s committed and who’s not, I might realize all the ways that I can be contributing to the solution of reaching people with God’s love, grace and truth!

  146. Janelynn on June 29, 2015 at 11:25 pm

    I only ask that the church start validating and stop forgetting the single population. I’m a regular goer and it’s such a place for married people. Singles are forgotten or just appeased. Christianity is the only religion that validates me as a single person and the church should act like it.

  147. Annette Ard on June 21, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    Perhaps uncovering the reasons of those who DO continue to attend weekly would shed light on this issue in a different way.
    I would guess that a primary reason of those who are most regular in attendance is that their most important friendships are at church. While the reason for church should not be purely social, it should be the place for building and enjoying godly, intimate friendships for adults, teens, and children. If your closest friends do not attend church and you have no close friends at church, then you will probably stop attending regularly.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on June 22, 2015 at 7:02 am

      Interesting…that would be a good study. I would think other factors would get revealed too!

    • IXQUS on June 22, 2015 at 1:21 pm

      One thing that’s weighed heavily upon my mind, in the last few days, when it comes to stuff like this, is where Jesus says, “Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.” Another thing that’s crossed my mind is how many people call each other brothers and sisters, in church, but only meet and greet at church, if ever so briefly. One must wonder what kind of brother or sister wouldn’t have each other listed in their phone contacts, or wouldn’t know where each other lives (and trust me, there are blood relatives that go through this same issue, don’t get me wrong here). That is, what’s the point of using such a title for someone, if you don’t treat them as such? Good thoughts to pray and ponder, Annette.

    • Tom on August 9, 2015 at 8:50 am

      I have found that when all one’s significant relationships are found in a church community it is a strong disincentive to leave. This often contributes to a pattern of increasing spiritual abuse, since the congregation is captive. When the abuse is too much, and one leaves the church, ALL of those relationships are forfeit, since their entire context was within the walls. This is a painful loneliness that may lead some to renounce the whole concept of church. The potential for loss and renewed loneliness is always there.

  148. IXQUS on June 15, 2015 at 2:06 am

    Not to be too critical, but these are simply excuses; these are not the answers. It is written that there is a great falling away, before the Shepard would come again for His Flock. It isn’t something that happens overnight. It isn’t something that happens in a generation. It happens over many, many generations. It’s a gradual effect.

    People place limits on the Father, insomuch as to read over the Scriptures, failing to truly appreciate the Word. If we are lovers of the Word–we will seek out their deep, interconnected, and profound meanings. We hear it often, people speak of the signs, but surely I say to all here in attendance of this forum–the Day draws near, continually.

    Are you ready? Going to a meeting place is void of meaning, if one doesn’t find within their true motivations for attending. One might as well stay at home, lounging on the couch, if all their attendance is for is that they would be seen of others, to get a pat on the back, and then return to a generally wicked way. The Body isn’t an attaboy system. It is the Church of the Firstborn, who is our High Priest, and who intercedes on our behalf, before the Father.

    We’d rather argue about the divinity of our Savior, whether or not He is the Father of Creation, than we would about our own worthiness to be fulfilled with an answer to this question oft asked in recent millennia. Here’s what I think: if you’d waste your talents, let your lamps burn dry, deplete your reserves, and ask of others to do the same–stay right where you are. Keep far away from the righteous, because, your deceit is well-known to His Children. And they are under the wings of the One who went before us, and rose again on the third day. If you are prepared to use your talents, even so much as to be a light that shines upon a hill that is bright enough and tall enough for it to be seen by all men–even if you only know of one talent, share it and inspire others, go and do good Works, Godspeed.

    • IXQUS on June 15, 2015 at 2:11 am

      Also, I see that some have used the “Church of the Firstborn” as the name of their fellowship. There is one Body, one Head. Not many heads with some kind of quadruple helix all in one. So, in short, I’m not talking about any entity, except the fellowship that truly walks in the footsteps of the One that went before us, dying on the cross, now being risen, ascending to the Father. [James 1:26-27]

  149. SMC on June 13, 2015 at 1:20 am

    I love the church and have switched churches twice in the last 20 or so years, trying to find a church that will deal lovingly and biblically with the issues I’ve faced throughout my marriage, which have been intensely difficult. I married a man who claimed and still claims belief, but was addicted to pornography behind my back for the first 18 years of marriage, while adamantly lying to me the whole time about what he was involved in. He was deceptive to himself and others and emotionally and spiritually hostile to me much of the time, while giving others in the church a wonderful impression of his ‘spiritual maturity.’ We also have children, and his sin and deception has deeply impacted and wounded us all. To seek help from pastors and ‘counselors’ in the church has been traumatizing to me and I have grown very distrustful of the churches and pastors that I’ve dealt with. (We have sought out help from 4 pastors and 2 different church staff ‘counselors’ in a total of 4 local churches, and a professional Christian sexual addiction counselor who was pretty helpful, but very, very expensive and we can’t afford to keep going for professional help.) I know that there are trustworthy and loving pastors and counselors in the larger church as a whole who have written excellent books and articles and given excellent and Biblical counsel through their writings (I thank God for them every day!!), but as these authors have pointed out in many of their books/writings/ podcasts, etc., MANY women like me have experienced pastors who minimize, ignore, and excuse the horrible and prolific sin of pornography use in the church. Many pastors are not at all equipped or willing to address this plague in the church and have ignored the needs of women who desperately need their support and help and have even blamed women for not being loving enough and being the cause of their husbands’ sinful choices, even in situations when the husbands have been using porn since childhood and didn’t tell their wives the truth about their problems before marriage!! How can addictions or enslavements that have been well established before marriage be a wife’s fault? I’m not saying that wives are not responsible for their own sins, but we are talking about serious addiction and serious long term hidden sin here, that is not at all uncommon in the church. There are wolves in sheep’s clothing in the church and let’s not forget that fact! Why are so many pastors and fellow believers also so ignorant and dismissive of the deep relational problems and enslavement to sin that require years to work through and much patient and wise help from the body of Christ in coming alongside both spouses in situations like mine?? I have had more than one pastor who has simply suggested that I forgive and that my husband and I should start going on dates or that we learn some communication skills and that’s about the extent of their help/advice/support, while my husband has still been enslaved to habitual lying and hostility towards me. And, when I try to explain this, they view my communication as my lack of forgiveness instead of a plea for help and understanding with the ongoing sin issues! They seem to think that if my husband has confessed, then that’s all that is required and there are no more problems to deal with or help needed in the relationship!! I meet with a group of women in similar marriages and many of those precious ladies have stories of pastors who have blown off porn use by husbands, explaining to the women that men just do it to relax and that it’s no big deal, really. And, have you seen the statistics of porn use by pastors?? The church needs to wake up and take sin and it’s terrible consequences much more seriously and help and support wives in this situation instead of blaming them! They also need to take the plight of the women in the porn industry seriously as well, and not keep it all going by consuming and supporting it! Not once did any of the pastors or counselors mention this in their counsel to my husband! For now, I feel absolutely no safety with pastors, but will trust God to use the other women in my life who are drawing together to support each other and seek God in the midst of trying to deal in godly ways with our husbands’ sins that local pastors are not really addressing and do not know how to counsel. I have even heard of pastors that church discipline women for their lack of forgiveness, when really the problem is not so much forgiveness as a lack of trust, in light of their husband’s lack of real repentance and continuing enslavement to the various and deeply rooted sins that always go along with pornography use, i.e. deception, poor view of women as objects, extreme selfishness, spiritual blindness, etc. So, that would be one reason why churches today are really not always a very safe place for women like me and why it is extremely hard to trust or open up with church leaders or fellow believers, and why women need to be very, very careful and prayerful over who they seek help from in the body of Christ. I am still ‘attending’ church, but it is not a comfortable thing for me. I cry a lot. I am grateful for those in the larger body who are seriously addressing these issues and for the local women that I meet with. God has been very gracious and faithful to provide those precious ones in the midst of some pretty scary and very tragic experiences with pastors and other ‘leaders’ that we’ve encountered. In writing this in the context of the larger body of Christ, would you please pray for me and my husband, and for all of those in the church in similar situations, which according to statistics is a LARGE number of people? And, pray for church leadership to have their eyes opened to the seriousness of the sin of pornography and the resulting blindness that comes when men (and increasingly women, too) shrink their souls in turning to it instead of God for years on end? Thank you.

  150. Wynn on June 11, 2015 at 9:41 pm

    I love God and the church but I think the church is a man made thing not commanded by God. I recently wrote all the pros of church in one list and cons in another. There were more cons.I have heard so many sermons and read so many scriptures that when I return from church and ask the question, I didn’t learn much. I can worship at home and visit the people on my own and get more out of it . Just sayen…. So I don’t go to church as often because I feel it’s a waste of time and have heard this from others.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on June 12, 2015 at 6:42 am

      Wynn…you are not alone in feeling that way. But I want to encourage you to search scripture. You’ll see the church was Jesus’ idea, not ours. In fact, you wouldn’t be a Christian if it wasn’t for the church.

      • Wynn on June 12, 2015 at 12:03 pm

        What is the sctipyure. I know the assembling of yourselves together but that isn’t a church building per say that takes thousands of dollars a year to function. There’s a church on each corner. Somehow I don’t thing Christ would approve. My mother led me to Christ not a church. She had an old Guideon bible and it had nothing to do with a church. I am referring to the building not the people.

        • IXQUS on June 20, 2015 at 5:30 am

          The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.

          The Christ comes to minister to those that are in need of healing. When He forced man to think, He was killed for it. In His righteousness, He was risen, on the Third Day. When He arose, He didn’t take down the houses of worship. Rather, He admonished those that would follow Him, “Feed my Sheep. Feed my Sheep. Feed my Sheep.” The commandments, the new Covenants, they could not be more clear, anymore plainly spoken: Love God and each other, as you have unending love for yourself. There isn’t a limit to where one could minister to others. Especially with the Great Cloud, the Internet. So, if you, in your heart, feel you should reach others, on each corner, go and do Good Works. If you feel compelled to build a chapel, it is likewise that I would admonish you. Go and do Good Works. Faith without Works is dead. The Word, without Works–is dead.

  151. Julie on June 9, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    I’ve seen, that a main cause for decreased attendance of those who “love church” is just that…they love “church”. They are in “love with the idea” of being a christian but are not in love with & sold out exclusively to Christ. If you are attending church because you love church – which has in a sense become an overgrown recreation/activity center – then you have taken church &/or christianity (good things) and made them into idols (obviously, not what God intended). We have to be extremely careful that we are worshipping the Creator not the created. It does not matter whether church is viewed as an institution or as a movement…either places undue value upon itself.

    The real question is: “Why do we think church/attendance is an accurate measure of one’s dedication to God?” Yes, church attendance could be considered a “fruit” by which we see proof of commitment, but really we have no way to (and no biblical permission to) judge one’s relationship with God. We can only be accountable to God for ourselves.

    Let’s stop emphasizing attendance and start focusing on life transformation! Personally, I would rather see people’s lives radically transformed and then see them taking action to participate in discipling others which leads to further transformations outside the church than to see a church be full of “dead souls” because they feel that attending church is some how fulfilling their call to the Great Commission.

    The next question is: “What are Committed Christians (whether or not they attend church) DOING to produce “fruit” – evidence to the world – that facilitates life transformations, discipleship, charity, and Godly cultural change?”

    Just a thought…

    • Carey Nieuwhof on June 10, 2015 at 7:16 am

      Attendance matters for a variety of reasons, but I agree, we need better metrics far beyond attendance. Thanks!

  152. lisetteDeBorchgrave on June 1, 2015 at 11:01 am

    You’re close, but not quite right. The church is, and must be, BOTH institution and movement. It is a challenge to keep both parts in balance. Institution without the spirit of the movement results in a male-style, left-brained organization with popes and bishops and legal courts and Spanish Inquisitions. A movement without the organization inherent in institution results in a herd of cats, free-range hippies and independent gurus. For most of the church’s history, the greater danger has been the former. An overly male-dominated institution has too often squelched the spirit of the movement, resulting in the phenomenon you describe: people repulsed and staying away. Fundamentalism (the great heresy of the 20th century) is little more than men’s attempts to stifle the movement that was bringing the world a more enlightened and compassionate Christianity and returning to the militaristic model.

  153. J Buchanan on May 31, 2015 at 7:42 pm

    I love church and the church. I am a church person. When I’m away from home, I attend church. However, I am finding a diminishing desire to attend the church where I am a member for only one reason–terrible preaching. I’m not talking about delivery or length or jokes. I’m talking about confused and confusing doctrine, flat out errant doctrine and an embarrassing lack of biblical understanding. Just FYI.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on June 1, 2015 at 7:54 am

      I get that. You’re triggering a post in me about consumer Christianity. Thanks for the impetus!

  154. Craig Morrison on May 30, 2015 at 9:43 am

    Thank you Carey and everyone for the discussion. One thing I have noticed is to not over look the fact that just because families/individuals are not at OUR location (church) does not mean they are not engaging in the Church.

    Even when families from our local body of believers go to the beach, mountains, ball games, wherever… They usually go to church or connect online to our services…

    Growing in our faith and finding community is an on going process and I’m not sure worship attendance (at one particular location) is the best metric to use to gauge if this is happening in a believer’s life or not. That’s not to say worship attendance is not important, but it maybe happening in more ways than one. Great article!

  155. Kerri on May 30, 2015 at 9:33 am

    I would say one of the biggest struggles is for people with young families like myself! I have 6,3 and new baby. My kids get sick and I cannot go or I was up with them all night or the nursery will not accommodate until 6 months or older. Or my kids just got healthy and I cannot risk exposing them to more sick kids because that means more time off work during the week which could cost someone their job. I love going to church, but I will say that makes it extremely hard to have good attendance. I know other people in my shoes feel guilted by that and then do not want to go because they feel judged. 🙁

  156. Rita on May 30, 2015 at 7:57 am

    Several thoughts come to mind, the committed, are they being challenged intellectually, spiritually and even practically?

    In some cases it could very well be they are seeking to fill those voids as committed Christians outside of the church.

    The challenge still remains what or how then would the church need to change to increase the level of engagement and attendance for those desiring more? How do you balance ministry areas of worship, serving, giving and discipleship for those at the surface and those desiring to go deeper?

    Thank you Carey for the thought provoking and poignant article.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on May 30, 2015 at 9:59 am

      Thanks Rita.

    • Prissy on June 1, 2015 at 3:12 pm

      I try to attend church every Sunday. There are some Sunday’s that I don’t attend because I am traveling. I do however often visit a church in the city that I travel to. My church is now 28 miles from where I live, but I still make the effort to be there and attend choir rehersals. The personal relationship one has with Christ is more important than thier attendance.

  157. robbwebster on May 29, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    I would say simple laziness. They claim they are just busy and wanted a day at home.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on May 30, 2015 at 5:47 am

      I agree that laziness is a growing issue in North American Christianity.

      • Joe Stroup on June 3, 2015 at 3:41 pm

        Robb and Carey, would you say that they are lazy or exhausted? I’m also curious about the pressing busyness that fills our lives and sucks a lot of vitality out of us and attending a worship service becoming another thing to do on the day we are called to rest in the Lord. I don’t disagree that laziness is a problem in western culture as a whole, but there also seems to be a crushing amount of stuff demanding our attention and time and we are not great at really taking time to pause and attending church can often not provide that sense of restfulness that Sabbath is supposed to be. As a parent of a young kid, getting to church in the first place is really exhausting so there may be a desire to find that rest alongside a realization that this activity isn’t going to fulfill that need. Just my two cents.

        • Carey Nieuwhof on June 3, 2015 at 7:01 pm

          Thanks Joe. Young family is hard for sure. And yet I think over the centuries Christians loved to gather. It wasn’t an obligation, it was an opportunity…a priority. The early church gathered daily, before work. I think ideally, the church is an opportunity, not an obligation. Maybe the rest of our lives are too busy.

          • Joe Stroup on June 4, 2015 at 10:30 am

            Oh, I absolutely agree. We’ve let far too much creep in and the wide variety of options leaves us spread far too thin amongst the potential good things we can be plugged in to. The value of the church coming together for support and encouragement in daily life is something I long for, but I don’t see happening. With the worship service structure (since we are talking specifically about church attendance) the way it looks right now, does it create a place for that encouragement and refreshing? Is that also part of why it’s easy for people to say no or miss a week?

            I appreciate this dialogue because I want to help the church take ownership of their community and have real buy-in to the congregation they call home, but I sometimes wonder if the structure we’ve developed is a hindrance to that happening as our lives become more and more demanded upon.

    • Longing for Fellowship on August 18, 2017 at 6:33 pm

      What a smug, blanket statement to make. Sure there are lazy
      people, and that may be why they miss church. But to think
      that’s why all people don’t go to church on a regular basis
      is a cop-out. I went to every church service, three times a
      week then twice a week once they stopped one of the service
      times. I went to extra services when there was a guest
      speaker. I attended the ladies fellowship meetings. I once thought
      every person that didn’t show up on Sundays was a rebel, a
      troublemaker or too lazy to show up. That was when I was a fairly
      new Christian. I never thought I would be in the situation I was in just
      2 or 3 years later, when my pastor, whom I still love and respect, starting
      verbally abusing me every chance he had, from the pulpit. Believe
      me, others close to me noticed it too and it was not my imagination. He refused
      to admit there was a problem and I got tired of being bashed and
      shamed every other Sunday so after thinking hard about it and feeling
      a release to go, I did. I miss my church friends but I because I didn’t
      talk about it with all of them, most have no idea why I went, I just
      went quietly. They may have noticed the abuse themselves, but don’t
      fully realize how it was affecting me. I felt like a battered wife, except that
      my husband is a good man. I was battered in the church, not my home.
      But I still love God, love people, love that church and the pastor. I pray,
      read the word and still would love to find a good church in my small town.
      But I know from experience it’s very hard to find fellowship when you’re
      wanting to start over. Most of the people in the church already have their
      own friends and I felt like an outsider when I tried again.

  158. Darciann Post Samples on May 28, 2015 at 9:39 pm

    Here’s an add…mean people, church cliques, insincerity, hypocrisy. We have moved several times due to life changes. Even churches who focus on being welcoming have generally assigned a small group as welcomers and the rest go on with their normal activities.

  159. RLR on May 28, 2015 at 8:08 pm

    Here’s what baffles me. In the church I serve, the affluent who frequently travel (the world!) are always so apologetic about their absence. One of the most committed couples in the church who traveled with us on a mission to build a school in Africa (engagement!) support the church with passion…when they’re home, which is about half the time. They’re great Christians and love the church…so please stop telling me how sorry you are that you’re going to be gone again for 4 consecutive weeks! (Sorry for the rant.)

    • Carey Nieuwhof on May 30, 2015 at 5:48 am

      One of the questions we’re wrestling down is how we can go with people when they can’t be with us (social media, online etc).

  160. Adam on May 28, 2015 at 9:18 am

    As a church-planting family in Cleveland, I can say this article is right on. Our most committed, engaged people attend/participate once or twice a month. This is especially true when working among people who have zero church experience. They value faith community, they are impacted by the ministry, but they have so little time.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on May 30, 2015 at 5:47 am

      Love that you’ve planted in Cleveland Adam.

  161. Lisa Horner Sepelak on May 28, 2015 at 9:10 am

    One thing to add….work schedules. I work night shift at a hospital and work every Sunday, Monday Tuesday night, since working has shifted to this schedule I don’t get to church as often. Rely more on things you mention, self learning, pod cast, etc…

    • Carey Nieuwhof on May 29, 2015 at 6:50 am

      I should have made this post 11 Reasons….you’re right. Work is huge!

      • matthew hooper on June 19, 2015 at 7:37 am

        Carey is there any research on the relation between shift work and church attendance? I’m trying to address this issue in a research paper and from what I can see no one has researched the issue but many like yourself are starting to observe this.

        • Carey Nieuwhof on June 19, 2015 at 8:23 am

          Not that I’ve seen but I’m sure it’s out there. And yes, that has to be a factor!

      • Tarnya Burge on April 12, 2016 at 5:01 pm

        And aren’t more women working more hours as well. I think that is a significant factor. ” As of 2008, close to 80 percent of mothers with children between ages 6 and 17 worked outside the home. That is a rise of about 10 percent since 1984.” For me it feels like the tide just broke. I used to go every week, now it just seems too hard. Not only that I do evaluate the value of the 2 hours. Honestly, I think there needs to be a shift to the importance of small groups and fellowship. Praying for one another, helping one another in our walk, deeper and smaller.

        • Carey Nieuwhof on April 12, 2016 at 5:40 pm

          For sure that’s an issue Tarnya. I can empathize. I think for adults it’s so important to have community, and for kids too.

    • Abel Dumaup on May 29, 2015 at 10:08 am

      I agree. I’m a health care professional as well, working night shifts and every other weekend.

  162. mikesensei on May 27, 2015 at 5:47 pm

    One question I keep asking about this is, “What have we as a church done to foster the attitude that regular time with God and His people is negotiable or optional for a believer?” I can’t help but think that with the rise of seeker-sensitive church models and churches adopting a widespread consumer-driven Burger King mindset (“Have it your way!”) has in large part led to this. We shouldn’t be surprised that regular church attendance is not a priority for many families nowadays because when the message they hear from church leaders is, “Come as you are!”, “Church on YOUR schedule!”, “Worship God when you get around to it!”, we have trained them to think this way.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on May 28, 2015 at 6:07 am

      There’s a difference between seeing our relationship with God as a duty and seeing it as an opportunity motivated by gratitude. Please don’t make the simplistic characterization of attractional church as Burger King. The truth is, those churches are reaching far more people than most and have many sincere Christians in them. I know many churches that see God as ‘duty’ who actually reach few but look down on everyone who doesn’t attend. I’m sure that’s not where you’re coming from but I’ve seen it too often to leave it unremarked.

      • Greg Kittredge on August 27, 2015 at 10:10 am

        I’m a pastor and tend to agree with Mike’s analysis. I believe we have