5 Reasons People Have Stopped Attending Your Church (Especially Millennials)

Ever wonder why generating momentum in the local church seems harder than ever for most leaders?

You’re not alone; the conversation about momentum and shifting attendance trends is happening at every level of church, including some of the largest and fastest growing churches in North America.

Everyone is feeling at least two realities:

First, even people who attend church have stopped attending as frequently as they used to (I wrote about how to reverse that here).

Even in communities that are home to growing churches, the overall percentage of the population that attends church continues to drop, especially among under 30s.

A few years back, the Barna Group released a new survey citing (among others) five compelling reasons church attendance continues to decline, particularly among Millennials.

The good news is that once you spot the trends, you can work at reversing them.

5 Reasons People Have Stopped Attending Your Church

In the study, Barna cites 5 specific reasons Millennials have stopped attending church that drew my attention:

1. The church is irrelevant, the leaders are hypocritical and leaders have experienced too much moral failure

Yes, I know. That’s three reasons in one. But the Barna study groups all three reasons together as one reason.

And I think that might because that’s what most people do in real life. I mean, just have a few conversations with unchurched people.

They will go something like this: the church is irrelevant (why would anyone go) and full of hypocrisy…just look at the moral failure of so many of its leaders.

To some extend, I can’t blame people for this perception. I wince every time I see another headline announcing a new moral failure. And far too many of us have been burned by the judgmentalism of the perpetually self-righteous.

So what’s the antidote?

Just because many churches are like that doesn’t mean yours has to be. It’s more than possible to create a counterculture of integrity and grace.  It’s actually a bit strange to call things like integrity and grace countercultural (even within the context of church culture), but they are.

Jesus said that it would be by our fruit that people would recognize us.  Live a life of integrity with each other and outsiders, and your church will become a magnet, not a repellant.

Too many people have been burned by the judgmentalism of perpetually self-righteous Christians. Click To Tweet

2. God is missing in the church

People go to church looking for God but are having difficulty finding him.

This one hurts, but in an age where perception is reality, you can’t ignore this criticism.

The paucity of personal experience with God is disturbing. It would be easy to point at rock show churches and blame them (I lead one after all), but the truth is that people in all kinds of experiences from liturgical to charismatic have left the church in search of God.

Although some would disagree with me here, I’m not sure leaving the church for an individualized, personal or even home-based experience of church helps people any better. Although our consumer culture certainly applauds individually tailored experiences, what if the real paucity is that we had have even lost a sense of what true maturity and the experience of God is?

So how do we address this? Seeking a new definition of spiritual maturity (also blogged about that here) is a great place to start.

A clearer understanding of Christian maturity and experience could go a long way in better helping people connect with God.

3. Legitimate doubt is prohibited

Honestly, I simply agree with this criticism. It is very difficult to have an honest conversation in many churches today.

In many conservative churches, legitimate questions get dismissed with pat—and often trite—answers.  In many liberal churches, there is often so much ambiguity that questions that actually can be answered are left unresolved—as if leaders were taking people nowhere.

Church leaders today simply have to get better with handling the tension that comes with questions.

4. They’re not learning about God

It’s amazing to me that people come to church seeking God only to not understand anything they’ve heard.

One couple that attends our church told me that they tried to go back to church when their kids were young only to give up in frustration after a year. The reason? They couldn’t understand anything the pastor taught. The woman said “It was like he was speaking a foreign language.”

After 5 more years out of the local church, they decided to give it one more shot when they came to our church. I’m so grateful they were willing to try again.

The truth is you and I can relate. Every one of us has listened to a sermon for 45 minutes only to walk out the door tremendously unclear about what was just said. And—preachers—come on, we’ll all given more than one of those message.

The solution to this is simple: clarity.

Speak in everyday language, not in church speak or in a meandering way. It takes far more work to be clear than it does to be confusing.

Have a clear point to your message.

Be clear about what you want to have happen when people leave.

 If you want to read more, I outlined how to write a message series for unchurched people here.

In addition, I have a course on preaching that will help you preach better sermons almost immediately. You can check it out here. 

5.  They’re not finding community

The Barna study points out that despite a growing epidemic of loneliness, only 10% report going to church to find community.

Sometimes I wonder if it’s because people expect the church is the last place they’ll find community. And that’s tragic.

Of the many criticisms that can be levied at the church, lack of community shouldn’t be one.

Nobody should be able to out-community the local church.

Nobody should be able to out-community the local church. Click To Tweet

You can make a legitimate argument that one of the reasons behind the explosive growth of the first century church was because of the way they loved each other and the world. Love should be a defining characteristic of the local church.

If we loved the way Jesus loved, people would line up out the door.

As your church grows larger, small groups become essential. For us at Connexus, everyone has a place in a group…from pre-schoolers right through to seniors. No matter how big or awesome the weekends might be (and they can be awesome), small group is where life change happens deepest.

Personally, I’m so grateful for research like this latest Barna data. It can only help us get better at being the church as Christ called us to be.

If you have to add more reasons, what would you add?

Any other ideas on what could help all of us in the local church better realize our mission?

Love should be a defining characteristic of the local church. Click To Tweet

How’s your church?

Do you need to make any changes?

Leave a comment below!

5 Reasons People Have Stopped Attending Your Church (Especially Millennials)


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  2. Matthew Thompson on October 2, 2021 at 8:00 pm

    I get myself energized to go to church but then Sunday morning rolls around and I realize how much it feels like going to work and for what… rarely does anyone in the church reach out to me. I was raised in the Baptist church but I hardly recognize it now and I feel like a stranger in my home…so I try other churches with mix results. Now I read the bible, talk to God in the car and at times listen to ministry on the radio. My coworkers know I’m a Christian as the atheists always try to trip me up. Its tiring because at 45 years of age, I’m single, my parents are gone, my siblings are busy and I’m am tired and all but alone, if it wasn’t for Christ. But I feel no pull anymore to attend church. Clearly not meant for old loners like me.

  3. kristin on September 26, 2021 at 8:39 am

    again, your scroll button doesn’t work bc your web designers are idiots. again, you come up on google when you should be cancelled. i dont go to church bc of judgemental nasty people like you who spew hatred and negative articles all over the internet. door greeters at church are interrogative trolls who have no social skills and people who aren’t socially awkward want nothing to do with them. they’re controlling normal people which is why we don’t come back. the men are creepy, old, fat, and successful, beautiful women who smell good and not like toxic waste, do not want those guys chasing them asking them to coffee, making them look mean in the first 5 minutes when of course you are appalling. we want real men to ask us out. that doesn’t make me a b****. go ahead and write me back, i dare you. you always ignore my comments. you need to be cancelled and so does your cult of a church.

    • anton viljoen on October 26, 2021 at 1:35 am

      Matthew , we know to follow Christ will be difficult , and its going to become more tuff . Keep your chin up …to the heavens , keep your prayers , stand strong in your faith to Christ . remember its going to be a spiritual victory . keep well and stay sharp …..cheers

  4. DC on August 4, 2021 at 10:20 am

    “They will know you are my disciples by your love.”

    Sadly, the pandemic has exposed the local church’s unpreparedness to express love to anyone who has even the slightest difference of practice regarding masks, political issues, etc. (These are not primary gospel issues, but they have been treated as such.) They are also ill prepared to minister to others who have been grieving loss of friends and loved ones to this horrid disease and suffering from mental illness – as if the only cure is to return to meeting “in person” no matter who you are and if you don’t – you have no faith, only fear. This is not biblical love at all. It’s even more devasting when the shepherd of the church is leading this way.

    I love the bride of Christ. I love the Lord. This breaks my heart a thousand times over.

    • K Smith on August 16, 2021 at 9:12 am

      I concur with this. We took a break from attending our smallish non-denominational church in person (in spring 2021) after my wife and I felt judged for wanting to continue wearing masks in church. It didn’t feel safe, and our concerns weren’t given much regard. Our church is solid in biblical teaching, but it feels theoretical in a way — there isn’t much serious consideration given to how it should impact our involvement in the local community. The church is cross-culturally mission focused, and gives a lot of money for a small church toward missions work, but seems to not be able to see the pain and basic needs in the community around us (including being willing to listen to the deep pain felt by our fellow believers of color). We, as white evangelicals, are very self focused, and I’m getting so weary of it. I’m not losing my personal faith, but I am questioning my faith in the local church in its current form. For reference, I’m a white, male, late 40s GenXer who has spent my whole life in the evangelical church world.

    • Miles on September 24, 2021 at 5:17 am

      Spot. On.
      We the church have slowly, like a vine growing up a wall, given our hope over to worldly means and our focus is there. Christ will not bless what He has not authorized as means of reaching people with the Truth. The two great commandments 1. Love God (as He is revealed in scripture not our own political creation) and 2. Love our neighbors. Calvin stated the most difficult thing to do is to love/reach our neighbors and seek their ultimate good at the cost of our own. This , I believe is where we are today and is the primary source of failure within the church.

      • Jeanette on September 25, 2021 at 3:15 pm


  5. Thomas & Patrice on August 4, 2021 at 8:42 am

    Do you ever proof read these (your) emails? Please do.

    • Ken on August 4, 2021 at 11:18 am

      Thomas and Patrice, with love and respect I ask why that is your comment to the article. It sure seems a bit abrupt and off topic. Who cares if there is a minor issue with regard to “proof reading”. The message that Carey and his team have layed out is in my opinion what deserves a comment…. Not the delivery. This is just maybe why some of Gen Z is frustrated with Gen X and beyond;). Anyway, food for thought! Praying for Carey and his team… I love the work and messages… even when they are sometimes hard to hear!

    • Carey Nieuwhof on August 5, 2021 at 12:30 pm

      Hey Thomas!

      We do… What did we miss?

  6. V. S. on July 10, 2021 at 5:51 pm

    The topic is Millennials and Church. I am 56 and my son is almost 18. I feel that I speak for both of us in perspective of the old and new generations that are in the world we live in. My son and I are both an only child and I am a single parent.
    Up until about 2018/2019 we whole heartedly believed in Jesus. My business was a faith based not for profit that we believed was by divine inspiration. Everything in our world revolved around God and His promise. For a few years prior to 2020 we attended a conservative Lutheran Church. My son was a Sunday school student and I looked forward to Bible study with greatest enthusiasm. To keep this short, when we was not able to attend as usual do to world challenges, I thought someone from the church would notice and call out. Only about a hundred people were members and half that many attended weekly services. Still to this day, no from the church has reached out. But hey, I got over myself and let that go.
    In August 2020 something happened to my son. A police officer came to my home and hesitantly asked me “are you the father of my son’s name?” That is a parents worst nightmare in the beginning. I thought my son was dead, but when I arrived at the scene he was still alive. The injuries were horrific. Both of us mentally went into a different world. Time has healed and we now survive. What this has do do with not going to church is this. Facing my son’s potential death, I realized that there is no God that’s going to save him or I. We are all going to die and that’s the end of it. I will suffer the greatest sadness when my end comes for I will lose life and love. My son will experience sadness of losing me for as long as he lives. There is no God in any of that. I had false hopes in eternal life. Now I realize that God didn’t save his own kid from dying therefore God is not going to save me or my child from dying, nor raise us from the dead. Because Christianity hangs entirely upon Jesus coming back to life, I no longer have faith in an after life because there is only a weak witness of someone seeing a person that looked a little like Jesus after his Crucifixion. Granted, the Scripture is the best words of wisdom and life guidance in the world. However, you and I will die and over time will be forgotten. And, that’s how it will be forever. So, even if our Church wanted us back, I would not go because what the church preaches about everlasting life through Jesus Christ is all just an illusion to make us feel better and make a bigger donation. We stopped going to Church because people are not saved from death. We make our own choices and that’s it. Thank you for the opportunity to post.

    • E.J. on July 18, 2021 at 3:27 pm

      I just don’t understand worshiping a man and a supposed supreme being that’s never once shown itself .

    • Abiyot Gurasho on August 4, 2021 at 8:51 am

      Dear Sister/Brother V.S., Let the peace and health be with you. I really appreciated your openness to express what you were thinking about God (before) and what you are thinking about the same God (now). As to the fact that God definitely knows and understands our thoughts and motives, He want us to speak the reality rather than pretending. To tell you frankly, you are lucky that you do not hiding your weakness or your foolishness. As the Bible says “”The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” Psalm 53:1. Anyways God loves you greatly more than you love yourself as well as more than you love your only son. Things will be chnaged soon. Don’t give up.

    • Andrew Urbanec on August 4, 2021 at 9:22 am

      I’m sadden to think of your experience and the lack of empathy that you felt. My experience with Jesus has been far different. Although the people I meet sound the same as some of those you have fellowshipped with. Folks that I expect a certain response from might respond in a contrary manner. I find that I must disappoint others at times for a variety of reasons as we find the we all fall short of Gods Glory. Its a result of being a sinful man. Death is the last enemy we face, the apostle Paul wrote “Oh death, where is your sting.”
      The apostle Paul wrote in the First epistle to the Corinthians, recorded in chapter 15:19
      “And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world.”
      Another encouragement from Paul is found in Colossians 3:
      v2. “Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.
      3 For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.
      4 And when Christ, who is your[a] life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory. ”

      You expressed your dissatisfaction with church folks and you severed your relationship with them. But what has been or is your relationship with Jesus Christ? How does he disappoint.

      Peace and Grace to you.

    • David adams on August 4, 2021 at 1:54 pm

      Wow. I’m so very sorry for your experience. Sadly, it happens a lot today. Partly because we are all so very busy. Still. We need to do a better job of being the hands and feet of Jesus. For myself, I have witnessed several miraculous answers to prayer. A direct answer to a direct prayer from a God who is alive and who responded. I can’t answer why God doesn’t answer every heart felt prayer. All I can say is I have seen things firsthand that prove to me there is a God. I will pray for you and specifically that God makes Himself known to you. When it happens, you will know.

    • Church member on August 4, 2021 at 3:06 pm

      We rejected Gods authority over our lives(the fall of man) . Death was the punishment so that we didn’t have to stay in rebellion. God wants us to acknowledge Him and His authority over us(because He IS God!). He says he will give us an opportunity for restoration and peace, but the choice is ours to make, rejection is eternal separation and if you accept His authority and yield your life to Him, eternal peace. He is gentle and will not force you, hence “free will” He may allow you to reject him repeatedly, but there will be an end and a consequence for your choices. He loves you and wants you to make the right choice!

    • Susan MacNeil on August 4, 2021 at 7:40 pm

      I am so sorry that you and your son went through such a horrific experience. I am pleased to hear that healing is happening, but so sad that you have continued horrific spiritual injuries.
      You see, I spent 185 days in hospital, and went through some challenging and life threatening situations. Through it all, I felt God’s presence – particularly when I handed control of the situation totally over to him. Every time I called to him, an amazing peace came over me. He did not take away my pain or my challenges. He did not speed up my recovery. That was not his job, nor did he promise me that. Instead, he raised me up when I needed it. He brought me friends to show their love and with whom I could pray. He gave me strength to carry on. He gave me hope.
      You sound as if you have lost your hope and sadly reflect on the inevitable end we all reach in this human experience. I wish you well, and pray you recover the hope that only God can bring us.

    • Chad Boxford on August 29, 2021 at 2:06 pm

      V.S. I’m glad you’re son is alive and doing better. Read Job, his faith stayed good.I would highly recommend to go to another church like Calvary chapel. I will be praying for you. Look up Grace Church in Amarillo TX. Pastor Bill.

    • Rose Brown on August 30, 2021 at 3:34 am

      My brother often when one does not reach out to us, we have to reach out to someone. You did not share if you reached out to anyone.
      Even if you don’t believe in God anymore, a basic instinct is to show love. On our life journey if we are not doing it already “befriend the lonely” because the world will never be short of lonely people. Please don’t forget that there is always someone
      waiting to receive even as you were waiting. Have a great day.

    • Robert Johnson on September 16, 2021 at 3:53 pm

      Which do you believe to be true? That there is no God? or that God let his son die and didn’t save him? because you claimed both, and both can’t be true. And the truth is that neither is true. God didn’t let his son die. The Father in fact asked his Son to sacrifice Himself so that people would not have to face their own death in judgement. Jesus did in fact CHOOSE to be tortured and killed to pay a blood debt for sin so that when we die physically (which all but the final generation will do), we would not face the second death that is eternal separation from all that ids good, namely God.

      My heart breaks that your church did not notice your absence. As a father myself, I hurt over your son’s accident. What I can’t sympathize with, however, is your choice to blame God for all of it and conclude that either there is no God, or that God is powerless or couldn’t care less about you. What you failed to take into account is that all people are sick, all people and selfish and all people are incapable of imitating God without the work of His Spirit in them. If a ‘church’ has failed you, that was not God, if your emotions have faltered, that was not God. If you choose not to truth the truth anymore, that is not God. God has not caused any of those things that people are responsible for. But He DID do something to fix our brokenness, And I believe you know what that was (even if you ignore it now that you are angry with God for what you perceived as Him abandoning you and your son.)

      Jesus brought us truth. Jesus brought us Grace and Love and Hope and Life. If ANY other person does not demonstrate those attributes, they do NOT represent God. They may be broken and beaten themselves (like you) trying to follow Jesus, but for an example of Who God is, you can ONLY look at Jesus and no other.

      Jesus DID raise from the dead, and it was not simply ‘someone’ who ‘thought’ they saw ‘someone’ who ‘looked’ like him. there were “Many convincing proofs” as well as many miracles Jesus performed including predicting his own death and resurrection. (Not to mention the Bible predicted over 300 things about the Life, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus more that 300 years before he was born. I think if you are willing to look back at Jesus again (and not all of us failed attempts to imitate Him), you will see again the love and grace and hope and Life he brings us. Death isn’t the end for anyone (Jesus said so), but your future after that first death will be blessed or tortured based ONLY on your response to his offer of forgiveness and life.

      By example, you are leading your son one direction or the other. don’t do to your son what that church did to you when Jesus is SO close to healing you both.

  7. Kalevi Kolttonen on June 26, 2021 at 5:08 pm

    I fucking hate churches and religions hahahaha 🙂

    • Chad Boxford on August 29, 2021 at 2:16 pm

      God said , A fool says there is no God. For the preaching of gospel is foolishness to them that perish. Kalevi, you do not want to face hell. God cares about you.

  8. Bill Smith on June 25, 2021 at 4:13 am

    A church should not be preaching to the unchurched on Sunday morning. Some unchurched do come, but most there are already connected in some manner. Build them up. Help them grow. Challenge them to pull apart and really learn what is Written.

    Then let them go out and “do the work of an evangelist” instead of trying to get them to draw more unchurched into a service!

    That is a more Biblical approach, though few do that and I have not been able to find one.

    • Robert Johnson on September 16, 2021 at 4:01 pm

      Amen to that! Gatherings of the Church are for the worship of God and the feeding of the faithful. We should not exclude unbelievers who wander in looking for truth or understanding, and we should speak plainly so that they can understand if they are listening, but the ‘church service’ has ONLY serverd its purpose if the faithful are filled with the Spirit of God, challenged to walk closer to Jesus, and blessed to take the gospel back into a dark and lost world.

      Incidentally, as a pastor, I am one who takes this approach. I do pray you find a gathering that does the same where you live!

      • Jane on October 9, 2021 at 11:35 am

        With all respect, your statement stunned me. Surely Jesus wants unbelievers to come to the church and learn what God is about? Is church really just about “feeding the faithful”???

        Pardon me, Sir, but do you think that all “believers” can hear what the Bible (or pastor) is saying?

        Over to you. I’m really interested to know your point of view.

  9. D. Gremillon on May 11, 2021 at 11:24 am

    Many Churches over spend, select the biggest givers for committee or board assignments, sing too much, entertain too much, worship in quiet too little and try to be a country club. Little to no disussion about current events regarding our cultural problems. Boring! This formula has caused church worship in Europe to fall flat on it’s face. Time for leaders in the USA to wake up, especially in the Catholic Church.

    • susan Catchpool on June 21, 2021 at 4:19 pm

      I am a millenniaalist. I attend an amillennial church as thats all there is near me, or in my town. It’s a nice church, but I am struggling as I don’t understand why they can’t see what I see in the Bible. The future kingdom of God, distinction between nation Israel and the church, the pre trib rapture, the promises of God to Israel, etc, I could go on. I study under Andy Woods and believe me, he’s an excellent teacher. But it has left me frustrated. I feel like I am an outsider, an oddity, like I am being watched. I must go somewhere and I know getting others saved is the main thing but I’m struggling. I believe prophecy is important and God hadn’t forgotten israel

      • Bill Smith on June 25, 2021 at 4:11 am

        Imagine not being able to connect at all. It is far worse for many men.

        I do agree that I would have a hard time in a church like you note. I don’t want to put all the effort into attending to argue all the time (or sit quietly by while someone preaches doctrine inconsistent with the Scriptures).

        That is a far more serious concern that is not addressed at all.

    • Laura McDonough on July 29, 2021 at 12:37 pm

      Churches are social clubs today,money pits and shallow preaching. Only a few smaller ones are old time, w/ hymns and old fashioned reformed preaching like the puritans preached (5 pt calvinism or sov.grace teachings) exist today. Some are non 501c3 and have no ties to gov. or heirarchies/ nat. assoc. telling them what or not to preach. Ind. unaffiliated is way to go or home church, meet w/ friends use : sermonaudio.com for real sermons. We have no room for “free willism” in the pulpit, not of works.

  10. Woman of God on May 10, 2021 at 5:51 pm

    The church has change a lot the people the leaders they are focus on the same people going there for years, and the don’t see the potential of other new People visiting the church, Pastors Evangelist, leaders that have moved to there church, they leave them sitting down and don’t give them an opportunity to preach, they’re afraid I don’t know of what they are the Pastors and leaders, they all to themselves no one is taking away their church, we all suppose to work tour the same purpose and that is to preach the gospel so lives be save for the kingdom of God. Why afraid, we fill discouraged our kids been raised in the church and in the word of God we were Pastors but we moved and attending to a church that my husband know the Pastor since he was a kid and attended the same church, we moved here from another State and my kids are being left sitting down because no one wants to give them an opportunity to participate in the church, because they are focus on the Locals.

  11. May L on May 8, 2021 at 11:06 am

    Firstly a relationship with God is what the church is supposed to help each member facilitate. And that’s why a person should primarily attend church. It’s easy to get caught up in church politics, cliques, events, etc . So if a relationship with God is what we all need, then why go to church? Going to church helps us learn to serve others and gives us opportunities to forgive, love serve, etc. It’s easy to think that all who attend church are there for God, in reality alot of church members are just there for the club like atmosphere, or friends for your children type thing. Which in turn I guess is alright, but let’s go back to the root of the gospel and gathering together, and that’s to be born again by accepting and confessing that God, the Lord Jesus Christ is your personal saviour who died on the cross for your sins and redemption back to him from your fallen state and you’re committing to turn from your old sinful ways. Each person’s walk is slightly different but we all have to come to that confession if we truly are members of the church of Jesus Christ. God bless you all. May God find you and reveal himself to you.

  12. Chuck on March 28, 2021 at 10:54 pm

    My problem is that churches no longer call to find out if everything is OK, if you miss several Sundays. More than 10 years ago, we skipped church all summer. Only the late service had Sunday School, but it conflicted with my mother’s lunch at her nursing home. She had dementia, and her disposition often declined after lunch. So, we skipped, so we could see her every Sunday before lunch.

    No one called.

    Our son got fed up with a youth pastor who liked lecturing and writing on a white board. Despite skipping youth fellowship for 9 months, the youth pastor never contacted him.

    The new youth pastor said that he would contact our son to arrange a meeting over coffee, to talk about what he wanted out of youth ministry. That never happened.

    We have yet to watch a church service since our church went remote in March of 2020. Part of it is that it’s on Zoom, and my wife’s employer (she works in financial services) strongly discourages using Zoom, due to security concerns. Part of it is that watching church on a screen seems too much like watching Billy Graham, Robert Schuler, and other televangelists.

    Yet, despite the membership committee and the pastors claiming that they are trying to stay in touch with all 1600 members, we have yet to be contacted since the pandemic started.

    • jane on March 29, 2021 at 1:27 pm

      Hallo Chuck, how sad to read your post. Surely a pastor (like everyone else) should keep their word and show the care that they promised, right?

      Is it possible that your young son spoke to the youth leader at all? Just thinking out loud.

      Maybe change churches???? Because of Covid, I haven’t personally done it and tbh, am not expecting much.
      However, I very much enjoyed the book of Carey Nieuwhof. Maybe you will too?????

      • Mark Sprague on June 13, 2021 at 3:39 am

        Christian’s seem to think single people like to fast all the time Mark Sprague

    • Gangstalean Paradise on April 11, 2021 at 5:44 pm

      The god of the bible has more respect for the people who nailed him (jesus christ) to the cross than the ones who took him off of it and that’s the reason why I reject christianity. Also, you have to look at the “holes” in the christian mythology: 1. “god” impregnated a virgin with “himself” so that “he” could be crucified in order to save people from a “sin” that “god” created in the first place. 2. the bible specifically states that humans were created by “god,” not because “god” needs us, but for the sole reason of worshipping “him” and our options are a. eternal servitude or b. eternal damnation. That’s not “love,” that’s EVIL. And even if I still believed in “god” or “jesus christ” or whatever, I wouldn’t worship something that was Evil.

      • Anon 12121414 on April 15, 2021 at 4:32 pm

        The bible also says to “fear the Lord”.
        If God just acts like a loving father and loves you no matter what… well, people will just turn away nevertheless. You’ll have people asking for all kinds of things and start to get angry when they don’t get it.
        So… being a bit more strict may be necessary.
        By the way, who was the first to see Christ resurrected? No, it’s not the people who nailed Him to the cross. They never saw his glory.
        I don’t know much, but to be honest I suppose you are right about servitude, in some way.
        Yeah, it will seem like a burden from the attitude you have now. But, to some other people, especially those who find joy in singing praise to God, it’s a different story. So… I’m not saying that you will be *sent* to eternal damnation, but… just be careful… It’s alright that you are sharing your opinion, just don’t send hate to anyone who believes, please and thank you.

        • Anon 12121414 on April 15, 2021 at 4:34 pm

          This is just my personal opinion, but I feel like heaven is for those who choose life instead of death. I feel like there will be plenty of factors that may lead you off-track, and… potentially turn away from the offer.

      • Steve S on July 5, 2021 at 12:26 am

        Good Day to you Gangstalean,
        I believe I can answer you on those points. You’ve probably got it pretty nailed down actually, but the perspective is a bit wrong is all.

        Answering #2 first, the perspective you appear to have is that an evil god made a bunch of rules for you to live by and if don’t follow the rules then he’ll cast you away. It is a common misperception actually. The bible, if taken in proper context, if a bunch of rules to follow or else be cast away, it is more of a road map where you choose you own destination.

        When a person begins to choose a path leading away from the light, he tends to reject God and makes his own decision about which way he wishes to go voluntarily. When you lie, it leads to more lies, which leads often to other things such as theft. As your morals are redefined by your own actions, you drift further and further away until you make your own voluntarily choice that you decide to lead to the path of darkness. Drugs, theft, murder… it’s all a walk that grows and grows, until you yourself have made your own final destination decision yourself. The Bible isn’t rules to follow or else, it’s a guidebook for those that wish to follow the path that leads to the light and a better life.

        Now to answer #1… the gift of life is just that, a gift. And so is free choice. You can’t have hot without cold, and you can’t have free choice without consequences. You do drugs, you get high, it feels good, but for many their life goes down the tubes. It’s free choice. You complain about an evil god who impregnates a virgin with himself so he could be crucified to save people from a sin that god created in the first place. That’s actually also a misconception. Life is the gift, as is the free choice. The sin you speak about is nothing more than the consequence of action without your own soul by your own choice, one leads to light and the other leads to darkness. The way your soul goes is your own. The purpose of the conception and the crucifixion while seemingly odd at first is quite simple actually. I once heard an army sergeant tell his troops that he has never told anyone to do anything that he himself has not done. Life may be hard, but you can now be assured that God himself has also lived it, and has lived it and suffered in worse circumstances that you ever have.

  13. Yvette on March 22, 2021 at 2:11 pm

    Love the answers to the topic. It’s the same reason I quit church. I didn’t quit God but I did quit religious systems. Hungry for God tired of empty rituals, indoctrination of the opinions and traditions of men, etc.

  14. Robert treskow on January 13, 2021 at 8:48 pm

    This is an interesting topic and it has only a little bit to do with millennials. I think the church is failing many people because it is out of touch with culture and where people are at, it speaks its own language that no one else understands, and frankly most are managed in an unhealthy way. There are too many mega churches with celebrity pastors that only a select few can communicate with and they are divas. When I see pastors who love to talk about leadership and marketing, I tend to turn them out. The reason for this is because many of them have toxic leadership styles. I won’t say the leader, but he speaks quite often through podcasts and video, but his team is reluctant to speak up. The reason for this is that he crushes Teams morale when he addresses them. Then there is the pastor has the only brain and is the only person who is allowed to have ideas. This is a dangerous place to be. This is not just being critical church, but it’s been critical about what is not being taught in the seminaries. What I find is interesting is that there’s not one Christian organization listed on the top places to work. I don’t know about you, but this is disturbing. Yet, you have secular companies like Apple Hill create a culture of creativity, sharing of ideas, and investing in their staff. Along with this, there’s no glass ceiling. At these companies, you have every opportunity to excel and potentially become the CEO. The company does not belong to one person, for if it did, it seldom last.

    Coming back to the church. There are so many things that have turned me off over the years and it is not just the scandals that we’ve seen highlighted. It has basically been the toxic leadership styles of many pastors and their teams. The other thing is that every Sunday seems to be a show. Everything has to look a certain way and it is really a false sense of worship. And then with Covid, many churches are seemingly sticking their nose is up at anything that could remotely help their communities. What I mean is that we have the ability to go online, yet this is a good enough and we want to be exempt from wearing masks and having limitations because it is our right. I could go on but I don’t think it’ll be profitable nor do I feel like there will be any healthy discussion from this. I just thought I would chime in and get my two cents.

    • jane on January 14, 2021 at 2:30 am

      Good morning, I believe that all contributions on here, negative or positive, help the right people or teams think differently. Yes, your two cents are worth it. Even Jesus listened to the woman who put her last buck in the offering.

      Yes, some pastors are not good at their jobs and demotivate their team, but I’ve also seen pastors (and other leaders for that matter) who…….listen to everyone. An example of my own to maybe make you laugh.

      As a very young girl, I was brutally frank (I’ve been working on that:o). Our pastor at the time (I was maybe 7) presented slides of his holiday to the congregation during a social event. He couldn’t understand why some people seemed irritated and no longer went to his church. So, from the height of my 7 years, and in a spirit of compassion, (!!!) I told him that many people couldn’t afford holidays and his holiday slides made them angry. To his credit, he was really embarrassed and just hadn’t thought. People don’t always operate from a spirit of meanness – it could be darnright stupidity or, more often than not, insensitivity to the plight of others.

      Brainstorming – putting our thoughts out there – the tiniest ones and the biggest ones – do actually do something. You might be criticised, told off, scolded, praised or whatever (silenced?????) BUT someone out there will hear you, and reply in the vocabulary that YOU want to hear!

      That is my most loving wish for this blog.

      Happy New Year!

      • Lorraine on March 29, 2021 at 11:33 am

        because it’s DEAD…I remember when the church was alive and God was really there… it’s been dead for about 25 years now

        • jane on March 29, 2021 at 1:29 pm

          Oh Lorraine, as a child, and as a young woman, I had wonderful pastors. Maybe some churches are alive??? Thoughts? Wishing you (and anyone else that is reading) love.

        • Steven on July 9, 2021 at 11:55 pm

          That is BS go to the HIllsong you will see indocrination of the young through religious music is still alive and kicking

    • SHERLY HENRY on March 20, 2021 at 12:02 pm

      i can agree with you on this one, the way you put it in my opinion would be a healthy way to discuss this issue that needs to be addressed in churches today. many of our churches are misleading people into thinking that there are certain rules and ways to follow in order for God to love you and accept you which is not what God’s words say in the bible. but regardless of what is going on in the church today, we have to continue to seek Gods guidance to help our leaders to walk in a way of Love and not of their own selfish desires that would lead people astray.

    • Sara on May 2, 2021 at 10:06 pm

      I agree. Church becoming a show is probably the most damaging. And toxic leadership styles where it is ‘my way’ or the ‘highway.’ It is painful to see local churches not thrive because they do not incorporate the gifts and ideas that the people called to that church bring. A good leader will welcome people with Bible revelation a heart for God and people and who wants to serve. When that doesn’t happen, people go somewhere they are appreciated and included. Church should be family not a place you have to compete for a place to serve.

  15. Seraphima Shagoury on December 31, 2020 at 2:16 pm

    The reasons I will not continue to visit a particular church compared to another are this: Parish Council members that won’t learn or inquire of non-council members who are duly gifted on how to accomplish a project in the most effective way (parish council clusters off to itself all the time and doesn’t think, just hobnobs with one another) 2. Choir I can’t join because existing choir members refuse to follow the service outlined by the pastor and insert their “own things” out of disobedience, or force the pastor to shorten the service by skipping ahead because they didn’t bring the material expected of them 3. A parish that won’t keep up with english translations of anything such as septuagint greek….etc. etc…..translations are necessary to help people THINK and LEARN. 4. When people look at you like you smacked them accross the head with a board when you propose an extra-helpful step that goes one step beyond the project at hand. I found all of these factors combined in one local parish, wound up only being close to the pastor and his wife, and to highlight it all, the pastor wound up having to joke openly to the people about how much they hate one another. Incredible. I find it impossible that people would continue to live that way year after year, thinking they are righteous in God’s eyes.

    • D. Gremillon on December 31, 2020 at 2:27 pm

      What you are describing goes on in every walk of life so this should come as no surprise to you. It is disturbing but a fact. As far as learning about anything in church, the teaching is 3rd rate at best, has little to do with contemporary real life and, for me, is like the movie Ground Hog Day. Same thing every time. It’s like going to a 4th grade class every Sunday and hearing the same thing. Like I have referenced before, when did church began to be a variety show?

  16. D. Gremillon on October 27, 2020 at 2:32 pm

    Church attendance dried up in Europe. It is drying up now in the U.S. Covid is one nail in the coffin. People need to attend church to learn. Not much of that going on anymore. Just blah, blah, blah, and bad entertainment. I would rather read and watch youtube to learn. With all the pain going on with the poor and homeless in the U.S. why do I want to send my money overseas to a mission. Vexing.

    • Marilyn Willett on November 22, 2020 at 9:48 pm

      I’ll tell you why church attendance dried up in Europe, I lived there for years. being a member of an Independent Fundamental Baptist church I don’t mince my words. I had European friends of course so yes I am qualified to say that the liberal leaders in Europe kicked Jesus out, and when they did that the devil filled the void, namely; islam. Now they want to do the same to America. BLM has anti-jewish roots, the media does not report the many synagoges and jewish schools that are targeted and destroyed.

    • Brian Masinick on December 28, 2020 at 6:08 pm

      Human beings make mistakes. We wrongly judge others, we think we are either better than we are (boasting) or we go the other way and think that we have little value (worthless). Both extremes are mistaken. Human beings are flawed, we ALL make mistakes, whether we have a Christian “label” or we don’t even know what the words are or what the theology means.

      Despite all of this, I believe that the Bible I read says that we all have worth, even the most rotten individual. God makes forgiveness available, some accept it and embrace it, others see no need for it at all, but at least it is available.

      A good church isn’t a perfect place because people are the church, but a good church does realize that we are all deeply loved, fully accepted and completely forgiven by God, personally achieved by God Himself as He became flesh and blood, lived among us as the person named Jesus, became known as The Christ, and desires to redeem anyone who will admit that this is something that they (we) desperately need. This is the LOVE that came to us at Christmas. I pray that you will find this real, genuine, life changing love and that at least one ordinary human person will live it out and allow you to witness it. Don’t mistake anyone for God – we are NOT God, we are not perfect, but we can still love one another, and we can share, learn, grow and love together. I hope that you seek this and I pray that you genuinely find the REAL thing – for all of this is very real and very personal. May God bless you richly as His love inhabits your surroundings!

      • Tyna on March 21, 2021 at 9:44 pm

        This is beautiful. It’s really time people realise they are the Church not the building. Love is really all that matters. We just don’t have God existing in those buildings anymore same reason there is no love there. Everyone should develop a personal relationship with God and allow Him be his or her teacher, guidian, potector, provider and all in all. This is the only way one will find and enjoy life. Shalom

    • jane on December 31, 2020 at 4:03 am

      Hallo there, thank you for that clarification. For what it’s worth, because maybe someone is listening to us – really this time, with both ears – people don’t go to church for a reason. You said it. To learn, to grow spiritually and to help others to grow spiritually. Yes absolutely about sending money overseas to a mission – I would much rather use my money to help those directly – my church as a very young girl did this – very discreetly, I have to say. They REALLY did show care to their congregation. By listening. This gift is so precious.

      I received the book by Carey Nieuwhof today – so looking forward to reading it – maybe church as in a building has gone out of style. Maybe you are right there – and youtube and books will replace it.

      Happy New Year to you. And to everyone who might be reading this.

  17. Joy on October 27, 2020 at 2:25 pm

    I grew up in a small community American Baptist Church. I was enthusiastic…at first. The longer I attended, the more I realized it was a lot like high school. “Cliquey”, if you will. One BYF meeting we spent the whole time listening to one young lady (a member of a wealthy family and long time parishioners) sing. She was a pageant girl, so this was supposed to be something “special” for all of us . During one prayer meeting, we were instructed to join hands to pray. The boy next to me dropped my hand and shuddered….I wasn’t someone who he wanted to hold hands with. It was blatant and I never saw him get called out for it. He happened to be the son of a well connected parishioner. These things mounted up over the years (and through several different pastors). I guess what I’m trying to say is, I found church more worldly than Godly. I don’t feel like I’ve missed a thing frankly.

  18. Douglas Ralson on August 8, 2020 at 12:26 pm

    I sit here and read some of these comments and have been brought to tears!!!!! Its terrible to know that there are church’s that allow their members to treat other members that way.. without LOVE we are nothing!!!!!! Galatians 6:7 GOD WILL NOT BE MOCKED……

    • Brian McMichan on August 8, 2020 at 7:08 pm

      Yes Douglas so, so many “churches” (and the people who attend) are adversely influenced by “man made rules and flesh dominated leadership” ….. to understand more about this … and who is behind it, read 2 Thessalonians 2: 1-4. Plus, the consequence for those who are NOT led by the Holy Spirit is learnt in Rom 8:13 ….. and the benefit of being led by the Holy Spirit (Rom 8:14)

      Then read John 15:1-12 ….. plus as Christ Jesus advised, “You must be born again” (John 3:3) … spiritually cut off the old Adam vine by Father and grafted into the True Vine (all the branches are one with the Vine) …. then as you simply rest in the Vine you become “as He is, so are you in this world!” (1 John 4:17).

      A great book to help understand this is “In my Father’s Vineyard” by Andrew Murray … a free download is available off the web.- plus I recommend all of Murray’s books starting with “Waiting on God.”

      • Brian McMichan on August 9, 2020 at 3:09 am

        Hi Douglas, My apologies … The book I recommended is “The True Vine” by Andrew Murray.

        “In my Father’s vineyard” is a book I am currently re-reading – by Wayne Jacobsen

    • jane on August 9, 2020 at 2:16 am

      I have given up on my church where I had gone for years. It only takes a few hypocrites. I am divorced, and am treated as a leper among all the married women, i.e. their socialising does not include me, yet they’re the first to ask me (force me even by hassling me) to do all sorts of demeaning tasks for them. I’m divorced, right? I was totally fed up the day that they said that there was no room for me at their Bible class (while, of course, married women naturally are included and even encouraged to go). It is particularly irritating that it is a woman who started all of this ostracization.

      I am a kind, gentle compassionate person and have been the first to help out. Now I’ve decided 1) not to go any more 2) to be slower in helping 3) to spend any extra money on those who need it truly.

      • Brian McMichan on August 30, 2020 at 8:44 pm

        Hi Jane,
        I was just reviewing e mails and saw your submission … I must have missed it earlier in August.

        I too have not attended “church” very often for many years due to the ever-increasing worldliness of many “believers” including pastors, etc.

        Please read Matt 6:14-15 and forgive all.

        Here is how I was led to do that in 1992 – 28 years ago … I had a pad and pen (to show God I was serious), and I appealed to Him to remind me of anyone that I had not forgiven (I thought I had forgiven everyone).

        The very first names I was given were my Grandfather and Grandmother. I promptly questioned God, “Why do I have to forgive them? They died before I was born!” His prompt reply was, “You resented them dying because you didn’t have grandparents like other children did!” I replied, “Yes, that’s true.” I wrote down their names.
        Over the next hour I wrote out about a page and a half of names (people who had wronged me) at school, a teacher, work associates, etc. etc. and of course myself for various things I had “buried”.
        I then imagined Jesus beside me and one by one, I pictured each of the people coming to me. I forgave them and related why I needed to forgive them. Then I asked Jesus to forgive them and they then disappeared from view. That took about an 1 and ½ hours.

        WOW, what a difference in my life. My understanding of God’s forgiveness and love was powerfully strengthened. I have not taken a headache tablet since. I used to wear prescription glasses. I am not on any medication. I have no aches or pains and I can’t remember the last time I had a cold.

        As advised in Matt 6:15, we need to promptly forgive others, and ourself for any wrongs.

        Here is a poem that Father gave me in 1996 ….
        Father, You expressed Your love to me by giving me Your poem… it is a poem to everyone on earth!

        Thank You Father for loving me and accepting me unconditionally.
        You cared enough to give Your Son, and You give this love to me.
        You do not ask that I strive and toil or seek a victory,
        You simply accept me as I am, and You give Your love to me.
        All You ask is that I love You, and trust with all my heart,
        because You sent Your Spirit, to shield me and direct my path.
        Thank You Father for always being there, to hear my praise or plea,
        to listen to my every word. Thank You for loving me.
        Thank You Father for loving me, I know on You I can rely,
        so I let your love envelop me, knowing You value me so high.
        And with Your love inside of me, to others I can pass on,
        that they too can know Your love, because You sent Your Son.
        Thank You Father for loving me and accepting me unconditionally.
        You cared enough to give Your Son, and You give this love to me.
        Received from my Father, a poem/prayer from Him and back to Him. Brian McMichan 1996
        After being directed to read all 5 books in 1 John, every day for about 3 weeks, I awoke one morning to hear the start of the above poem. I quickly wrote down the words on a pad next to my bed …I could hardly keep up with what I was being directed to write.
        It is the only poem I have ever written. … I highly recommend frequent, prayerful reading of 1 John… I use Amplified Bible.
        John (the only Apostle to live to an old age), wrote his epistles shortly before Lord Jesus gave him Revelations, so he was truly and specially used by Lord Jesus and Father.
        We are all being moulded by Father …. Romans 8:28 – ALL things happen for good – often Father will let some things happen to get your attention., 1Thes 5:18, Gal 2:20

        John 15 … just be a branch that Father has cut off the Adam vine and grafted into the True Vine (Lord Jesus) … rest in Him KNOWING THAT HE WILL SUPPLY ALL THAT IS NEEDED TO BEAR MUCH FRUIT ……plus His Light will shine from you to the world. Let go and let God do it all! …. Plus read 1 John 4:17 an have a consciousness of that.

        Look to Lord Jesus … the Light, and you will see that He has freed all mankind on the cross (Read Luke 4:18-19 … His purpose of coming to earth PLUS His closing words ON THE CROSS were “It is finished!” John 19:30 …… believe!

        All are required to be baptized, as Jesus was (full immersion), to wash the “old man” away and be born again and receive the Holy Spirit. (John 3:3) .. (baptism can be done under your shower .. it is between you and Father). Then follow Eph 6:10-17 …. THEN v.18 – intercede for ALL the saints (Father knows who will be saved) IN THE SPIRIT.

      • Barbara J Stephan on December 28, 2020 at 9:41 am

        Jane I hope you have not given up entirely. I am sorry for the experience you had in that church where you felt left out. There are plenty of churches out there that won’t treat you like that. Just find a church that teaches the Word rightly. There are hypocrites everywhere and there will always be. We don’t worship the hypocrites we worship God. Jesus went to the Temple despite that there had to be some hypocrites among the worshippers. I hope you find a good body of believers that welcome you. Don’t be slower in helping. It is for the benefit of others and to glorify God, not for ourselves.

        • jane on December 28, 2020 at 10:41 am

          Hallo Barbara, how strange that you should reply to me today when all over the Christmas period, I had decided not to go to the church’s zoom meetings. I will go to a church, when I find one, that isn’t so “married people orientated”. It is disappointing for me, as a single person, to be treated so badly but I won’t put up with this.

          The church has obviously learnt that they have lost me, and hankered for me to go to church, twice. At a certain stage, this is harassment.

          I am still helping – good habits die hard, however my help (donations) is given in a secular sector.

          Certainly I will be far far more cautious as to where I go to celebrate God.

          Thank you for your kindness in replying to me and happy New Year to you.

        • D. Gremillon on December 28, 2020 at 12:39 pm

          I have just about given up on using a church as a social springboard. When I go I go to worship God and pray. Enough of all this fake friendship. I was raised a Catholic in the 50s so am happy to go to a Latin Mass, be quiet, follow the liturgy and pray. That’s enough. I have friends and family for my other needs.

          • jane on December 30, 2020 at 4:21 am

            With all respect, I’m not convinced that church IS a social springboard. I think that your Latin Mass sounds more of a communion with God than the chit chatting of those who wish to soar above the crowds with their power, money and social success.

      • Beatrice Kalk on May 28, 2021 at 5:40 pm

        Good for you. There are a lot of dysfunctional people in churches as everywhere but, you’d expect more from a church setting. You are TOO good to be treated like that because G-d loves us equally.

        • jane on May 29, 2021 at 3:55 am

          Thank you. I’m now with a new companion – whether we will be married or not is a real question – but I’ll still keep my eyes open for inequality, particularly at a church. God bless you for such a lovely response.

    • jane on September 25, 2020 at 11:59 am

      Douglas, sad as it is, many people don’t learn about LOVE at church. Many young people don’t go to church, possibly because the church fails to communicate to them in the way they are used – facebook, twitter, music that they would choose themselves. There has to be a reason why the young don’t go to church. How can they believe in a loving God when they: are homeless, cannot find work, are ill, have emotional problems, etc.???? If they opened up, who truly would listen to them?? And more importantly, would the clergy actually do something for those in their own congregation????? I see them fuffing around for prisoners, the sick, the homeless, etc., (generally large organisations) but my experience is that they don’t do very much for their congregation, except ask to pray for them. What good is that, concretely????

      Just my opinion here.

      • Brian McMichan on September 26, 2020 at 6:37 pm

        Hi Jane,

        God is love.

        (Amp) 2 Cor 5:17 Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh {and} new has come!

        The success of your life, as a child of God, is in direct proportion to the consciousness of the living Christ, and the almighty power of God, that is in your heart.” F J Heugal…. Rest in Him.

        We don’t learn about love from people, we receive love from God by His Holy Spirit.

        Please re-read and apply my previous submissions – January 20, August 8 & 9 and August 30.

        (Amp) Zech 4:6 …..Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord of hosts. …. Ask and receive … let go of self-effort and let God do it all …… and Col 3:15 And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ’s] one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always].
        1 Thess 5:18 Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will].
        Guide others, including children to do the same. With His Light in you, shining out to a troubled world, people will want what you have.

      • D. Gremillon on December 30, 2020 at 12:59 pm

        it is where I live.

        • jane on December 30, 2020 at 1:56 pm

          Hallo there – do you mean that you live at church??? Or??? I’m sorry, your reply isn’t clear to me. Would you like to explain please?

          • D. Gremillon on December 30, 2020 at 5:08 pm

            I live in Nashville. Every church I have been to has been transformed into an entertainment show and quasi-country club. Brass bands, choirs singing 8-10 songs per service, guitar solos, dinners, picnics, golf tournaments, etc. Enough already.

    • Brian McMichan on September 26, 2020 at 6:39 pm

      Hi Douglas,

      Please see the reply I submitted today to Jane

    • Yollie on October 16, 2020 at 10:11 pm

      I have a question. Why are Pastors not calling people to the front for prayer or making the altar call? I have hear well Jesus never called anyone to the front. Well it was a different atmosphere. He did call and He layed hands on the sick and they got healed.

      • jane on October 17, 2020 at 1:35 am

        I think that some people may want to be treated more discreetly. It is quite possible to go to a pastor in private. I have seen what happens when pastors DO call people to the front – people don’t go. Well, of course, some people do but others are more reticent.

        • Brian McMichan on October 17, 2020 at 7:12 pm

          Hi Jane, please read my reply to Yollie today.

          When a person is born again and relying on the Holy Spirit, ALL NEEDS will be suppled to us by Father and Lord Jesus by the Holy Spirit …. so we are their vessels on earth to “let our Light shine” to attract a troubled world to learn that all the world was set free by Christ Jesus on the cross … Read Luke 4:18-19 and John 19:30 …. all that the 7 Billion people in the world need to do is turn to the Light and see and learn that they HAVE BEEN set free.

          • jane on October 18, 2020 at 1:49 am

            Hallo Brian, thank you for taking the time to reply. I’m sorry but I don’t agree with you, at least, at the moment. Although this is not true in my case, this does not explain away poverty, childlessness, illness, homelessness and hunger, unemployment and other societal problems. So what exactly is God doing to help their needs????

            Prayer is one thing, results are another.

            I respect your beliefs, even if, on a concrete basis, I’m not convinced.

            I wish you a lovely day

        • Brian McMichan on October 18, 2020 at 3:57 am

          Hi Jane,

          There was no “reply” at the bottom of your October 18 submission to me .. please forgive me if you didn’t want a reply.

          I was drawn to Christ Jesus (see John 6:44) when I was “anti-church” stemming from no help/assistance given or offered to my mother when she was bed-ridden for weeks after an operation following a hernia that strangulated her intestine. She was a Bible reading believer, attended church often (a :main line church.) I said to her, “If this is Christianity, I don’t want it.”

          21 years later, never having attended a church, I was stricken with agonising back/body pain, often falling on my knees in agony … I was under treatment for 9 months with little easing of the pain. I was advised, “Another 9 months & we should see some results OR we could operate but you may end up a total cripple!”

          I went home in total despair. I had reached “the point” of “I can’t take this anymore!” So, alone in my house I looked up and called out, “Help me!” ….. within 15 minutes a friend drove in my driveway. He handed me a book on self help for body pain, as he said, “I was at home and got this prompting to get this book from my book-case and bring it to you.” I thought, “WOW, that was quick!” (Father was likely smiling as He said, “Ah! I finally have your attention!”

          I used the techniques in the book for three days …. and I became pain free AND I haven’t had a twinge of pain in 30 years.

          I looked up again giving thanks and asked, “What else do you have for me?” Over the next few months I received so much information about God, Lord Jesus, the Bible …. following a set of “unusual” circumstances I committed my life to Lord Jesus on 7 October, 1990.

          After full immersion baptism I received the Holy Spirit.

          A few months later, I learnt about forgiveness (Matt 6:14-15) and with Father’s help I compiled a list of about 30 names (myself included) dating back to when I was a small child …. over about 2-3 hours I recalled each situation and forgave ….. when we follow Father’s “rules” He will reward us …. I have not had a headache or cold in over 28 years.

          So, when you reach “that point” of being “fed up enough” call out “Help me!” …. father is waiting …. and God being love, He gives EVERYONE a choice to call out … He will NOT impose His will on you until you choose His help!

          John 3:16 …. Whoever believes, will not perish …… we have to choose to ask for His help!

          • jane on October 18, 2020 at 5:21 am

            Thank you for that reply, Brian. I appreciate your time. I’m happy that for you, it worked out.

      • Brian McMichan on October 17, 2020 at 7:02 pm

        Hi Yollie,
        As advised in my previous comments (please read them all), “You must be born again (John 3:3, 7) … that command applies all people in the world (including Pastors and teachers**), so that they can be vessels for Father and Lord Jesus on earth (2 Cor 5:17)… Through them being in you with the Holy Spirit, (John 14:23) Their love and Light is shining out to a troubled world, where most people are looking into darkness. The promise is given, “Whoever believes, will not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) …. That means ANYONE!
        It is essential that we let Them do all the work by the Holy Spirit (as Christ Jesus set the example.) Also, as He did, spend time with Father to receive guidance and instruction plus supply all your needs. As you shine, people will be saying, “I want what he has!” ….. and Christianity is so simple .. be born again so that Father grafts you into the True Vine (John 15) and He supplies all your needs as Father takes care of you as the fruit grows on you for the world to see and enjoy. As part of the Vine, as He is, so are you in this world (1 John 4:17) …. Resting, receiving as you put your trust in Him.
        ** Unless Pastors and teachers are born again they will be relying on self … the flesh ….. read Rom 8:13 for the consequences of that.

  19. Heidi on January 12, 2020 at 5:56 pm

    People are not nice! This handshaking and asking where people are from and about their reason for coming etc. Good for networking businesses, but not for making friendships. No. Organic relationships, please. If a newcomer joins a Bible study, don’t snub the person because of personal dislikes. Allow them to be one of the group- you don’t have to take them home with you. Don’t assume the worst about folks. That is, unless you like to do so, which is the case quite often. I get to know people over time and within the context of group activities and I can tell you, women particularly are clannish and catty and critical of newcomers. So, I don’t go out of my way to introduce myself to anyone there. I get what I came for: a service that inspires me, special time to pray and the feeling that the community is at least somewhat joined with me. I haven’t found more than that. Long ago, people were less selective – yes, neighbors had to share common values and morals; beyond that, all the kids on the street played together and there was a place in the group for everyone. People were not scrutinized so much. We need to figure out why it isn’t so now and remedy that.

    • Brian McMichan on January 14, 2020 at 5:02 pm

      HURTING PEOPLE HURT PEOPLE!….. Get rid of the hurt and softness, gentleness and love can be expressed!
      Un-forgiveness is like having a pebble (or pebbles) in your shoe. Once the pebble(s) is removed the discomfort and pain is no more!
      Sit quietly at a time when you know you will NOT be interrupted for a few hours (so turn your ‘phone off). Have a pad and pen (to show God you are serious), and appeal to God to remind you of anyone that you need to forgive.

      When I was led to do this 30 years ago, the very first names I was given were my Grandfather and Grandmother. I promptly questioned God, “Why do I have to forgive them? They died before I was born!” His prompt reply was, “Because you resented them dying because you didn’t have grandparents like other children!” I replied, “Yes, that’s true.” I wrote down their names.

      Over the next 2 hour I wrote out about a page and a half of names (people who had wronged me at school, a teacher, work associates, etc. etc. and of course myself for various things I had “buried”.

      I then imagined Jesus beside me and one by one I pictured each of the people coming to me. I forgave them and related why I needed to forgive them. Then I asked Jesus to forgive them and then they disappeared from view. That took about an hour and 1/2.

      WOW, what a difference in my life. Any ailments I had disappeared and my understanding of God’s forgiveness and love was powerfully strengthened. I have not taken a headache tablet since. I used to wear prescription glasses. I am not on any medication. I have no aches or pains and I can’t remember the last time I had a cold.

      That day I was taught a great lesson – Matt 6:15 But if you do not forgive others their trespasses [their reckless and wilful sins, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment], neither will your Father forgive you your trespasses….. and I know this will inhibit my requests to God. 1 John 5:14 -15 And this is the confidence (the assurance, the privilege of boldness) which we have in Him: [we are sure] that if we ask anything (make any request) according to His will (in agreement with His own plan), He listens to {and} hears us. And if (since) we [positively] know that He listens to us in whatever we ask, we also know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that we have [granted us as our present possessions] the requests made of Him.

      Luke 1:37 For with God nothing is ever impossible {and} no word from God shall be without power {or} impossible of fulfilment. (all He wants is for us to seek His help).

      Unfortunately people, including many (supposed) Christians, generally misunderstand what love is or involves ……
      Love is …. Love is not …. You choose what you want in your life. … (1 Corinthians 13)
      * Love endures long and is patient and kind.
      * Love is never envious.
      * Love never boils over with jealousy.
      * Love is never boastful or vainglorious or displays itself haughtily.
      * Love is not conceited, arrogant and inflated with pride.
      * Love is not rude or unmannerly.
      * Love does not act unbecomingly (unsuitable, not socially acceptable).
      * Love does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking, or expecting to have needs met by others.
      * Love is not touchy or fretful or resentful.
      * Love does not take account of the evil done to it – it pays no attention to a suffered wrong.
      * Love does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness but rejoices when right and truth prevail.
      * Love bears up under anything and everything that comes.
      * Love is ever ready to believe the best of every person.
      * Love has hope that is fadeless under all circumstances.
      * Love endures everything.
      Love (God) never fails – never fades or becomes obsolete or comes to an end – because God is love (and God is in you).
      As God is love, any step away from love is a step away from God… separation from God. God loves you and wants you to
      receive His love and share it with others. ……and He will meet all our needs.
      He is love….. He is in constant union with all born again believers … what the world needs now is love!
      A helpful reminder to guard against Satan’s attack and deception is to have reminders that can be read or speak out often … maybe on cards on your bathroom mirror, the dashboard of your car and where you work…. I use,
      • Ps 139:23-24 Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!
      And see if there is any wicked {or} hurtful way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
      • Gal 2:20 I have been (spiritually) crucified with Christ [in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ (the Messiah) lives in me; and the life I now live in the body I live by faith in (by adherence to and reliance on and complete trust in) the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me
      Always remember, Christ Jesus totally relied on the Holy Spirit for everything ….. He knew Zech 4:6 Not by might, nor by power but by Your Spirit Father ….. and as stated above keep in your thoughts – it is no longer I who live, but Christ (the Messiah) lives in me – 24/7 …
      So I frequently reflect on ….. The success of your life, as a child of God, is in direct proportion to the consciousness of the living Christ, and the almighty power of God, that is in your heart.” F J Heugal…. Rest in Him
      As you encounter people who have “pebbles in their shoes”, give them a copy of this.
      – what the world needs now is love!

      Plus read 14 December, 2019 comment.

    • Posha Johnson on January 27, 2020 at 5:38 pm

      So very true I feel the same way.

      • Claudia on April 5, 2020 at 9:13 pm

        I’m sad that god is no longer in the church! I feel it. I have no peace when im there! People r rude/ ask tons of questions which is non of there business! And, r very clickish!!! What a better place to b for all Hippocrates!! I am 67 &, no longer go to church. I do anyother way i can. Church is not Social Hour! Get it people…..

        • Brian McMichan on April 5, 2020 at 11:30 pm

          Hi Claudia,

          Yes it is sad that so many of the people that attend churches and who believe they are Christians (Christ-In) are in fact driven by their fleshly impulses and worldly teachings … if they read Rom 8:13 (and believe it) they will get a big “shake up” and hopefully plead to Father, “Help me!”

          I truly believe that the current Covid19 pandemic is happening for a very good reason … when “things” get bad enough for a person, they will reach “a point” when they will look up desperately and plead, “Help me!” …… Father of course will be waiting for that call (Read John 3:16 …… “whosever believes will NOT perish!” … but Father, being love, waits for everyone to reach “that point” when they will make the choice to call out.
          God is love …. and love is patient! …. but so often He will smile and say, “Ah! I FINALLY have your attention!” ……. Reda Rom 8:28 …. ALL things happen for (ultimate) good ……. and God is calling everyone … seeking their attention …. after all, John 3:16 says it, Go so loved THE WORLD (everyone) …. but He knows that Satan is constantly deceiving people to live “fleshly dominated lives” …… even if a person has made a “commitment to God” (so often as taught by man’s teaching), John 15 teaches, unless a person abides in Christ Jesus (the True Vine) …. apart from Him (that person) can DO NOTHING …… a person MUST be BORN AGAIN (die to self) and be “grafted” by Father into the True Vine ….. so, the new branch simply has to rest in the Vine AND MOMENT BY MOMENT ALL THAT THE BRANCH NEEDS to bear abundant fruit for the glory of Father, WILL BE SUPPLIED BY THE TRUE VINE. Look all around you at EVERY tree, shrub, bush, vine …. Father wants us to learn by what He has created.

          Read Gal. 2:20 …… The more a person can have a consciousness of what Paul said, they will simply “Rest in Lord Jesus (the true Vine)” …. our bodies are simply “earth suits” for Father to use (as we surrender) to let the “Light” shine out to the troubled people on earth ….. forgive the hurtful, worldly people any they will see your Light and ask, “I want what you have!” …… then you can share the above with them!

          Please read the other comments that I have contributed to others on this post.

        • Robert Douglas on April 13, 2020 at 5:38 pm

          I suggest praying for a church, where there is love and acceptance. There are some good churches out there.

    • Brian McMichan on March 17, 2020 at 7:29 pm

      In reply to Bev’s reply …….

      Please read my 14 December, 2019 comment … then under your shower, make a plea to Father … “Help Me!” and wash away any “old Adam influences” – He will supply all your needs.
      30 years ago I was a virtual cripple with back and body pain. After no relief after over 9 months of medical treatment I asked, “what is the prognosis?” I was told, “Maybe another 9 months and we should see some results … or we could operate, but you may end up a total cripple.”
      I went home totally distraught. Standing alone in my house, looked up and pleaded, “Help me!”. Immediately “things” started to happen and within 3 days I was totally free of pain …. and not a twinge in 30 years. I later reflected on what happened when I made my desperate plea …. I pictured Father shaking His head and saying, “Ah! I finally have your attention!”
      I asked, “What more do you have for me?” Over the next few months I received all sorts of guidance. Then I was directed to a small, old wooden Pentecostal church in a small town and made my commitment to Him. I was fully immersed in baptism and soon after, a lady on a bus gave me a brochure. “Forgiveness is the power that heals!” Father guided me in the forgiveness of a long list of people …. The result, not even a headache or cold in 29 years.
      Luke 1:37 For with God nothing is ever impossible {and} no word from God shall be without power {or} impossible of fulfillment. (all He wants is for us to seek His help)

      Matt 8:17 And thus He (our Lord Jesus) fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah, He Himself took [in order to carry away] our weaknesses {and} infirmities and bore away our diseases.

      Father is waiting to heal all who submit to Him … NOTHING is impossible for Him … BELIEVE!
      Always remember, Christ Jesus totally relied on the Holy Spirit for everything ….. He knew Zech 4:6, Not by might, nor by power but by Your Spirit Father and Rom 8:14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

      So I frequently reflect on ….. The success of your life, as a child of God, is in direct proportion to the consciousness of the living Christ, and the almighty power of God, that is in your heart.” F J Heugal…. Rest in Him …. You too can say, as Paul said in Gal 2:20 .. it is no longer I who live, but Christ (the Messiah) lives in me – 24/7 plus, John 15 … He is the True Vine, all born again believers are branches that Father has cut off the Adam vine and grafted into the True Vine … so, moment by moment they receive all their needs from Him …. Love, joy, peace …. (read Gal 5:22-25)
      Hopefully, through the terrible suffering in the world today, including Coronavirus, Father will get many, many people’s attention so they will call out “Help me!” Father is in control!
      Sadly, a large majority of “believers” have been deceived by Satan and “man’s rules” … Refer 2 Thess 2:3 …. But I am believing that Father WILL get their attention and turn to the Light, so they can see the Truth. Father wants His children to be with Him for eternity …. Not what Lord Jesus warns in Rev.3:16.
      Let us believe that because of what Father will work in you, many in your church and elsewhere will ask, “What happened?” “Tell us”, “Teach us”.
      We are simply vessels for His use … branches of the Vine, bearing fruit for Father’s glory.

      • Bev on March 18, 2020 at 1:36 am

        Brian – I’m not entirely sure what you are trying to say but I am born again and I’ve been baptized in the HS and I’ve forgiven everyone and constantly forgive as they say hurtful things. I’m disabled in my brain from a car accident and also from defects from birth in my heart and suffering a heart infection right now. I’ve lost 3 organs and 5 babies and those surgeries causes 2 more disabilities – bladder and bowel. Miraculously God healed my bowel disability on October 20, 2019 when my daughter prayed for me to be healed! I had suffered for 4 years up until that day. I’m believing him to heal my entire body and waiting for it.

        It saddens me that the church as a whole is not compassionate anymore. The true sheep of Matthew 25 are indeed rare today. I believe all I’ve gone through would have been better and easier to deal with, had someone cares for me.. or even visited me in the hospital or brought me a casserole. Even though I’m disabled, I do these things for others.

        • Brian McMichan on March 18, 2020 at 6:46 pm

          Hi Bev,

          Here is a poem that Father gave me in 1996 ….
          Father, You expressed Your love to me by giving me Your poem… it is a poem to everyone on earth!

          Thank You Father for loving me and accepting me unconditionally.
          You cared enough to give Your Son, and You give this love to me.

          You do not ask that I strive and toil or seek a victory,
          You simply accept me as I am, and You give Your love to me.

          All You ask is that I love You, and trust with all my heart,
          because You sent Your Spirit, to shield me and direct my path.

          Thank You Father for always being there, to hear my praise or plea,
          to listen to my every word. Thank You for loving me.

          Thank You Father for loving me, I know on You I can rely,
          so I let your love envelop me, knowing You value me so high.

          And with Your love inside of me, to others I can pass on,
          that they too can know Your love, because You sent Your Son.

          Thank You Father for loving me, and accepting me unconditionally.
          You cared enough to give Your Son, and You give this love to me.

          Received from my Father, a poem/prayer from Him and back to Him. Brian McMichan 1996

          After being directed to read all 5 books in 1 John, every day for about 3 weeks, I awoke one morning to hear the start of the above poem. I quickly wrote down the words on a pad next to my bed …I could hardly keep up with what I was being directed to write.

          It is the only poem I have ever written. … I highly recommend frequent, prayerful reading of 1 John… I use Amplified Bible.

          John (the only Apostle to live to an old age), wrote his epistles shortly before Lord Jesus gave him Revelations, so he was truly and specially used by Lord Jesus and Father.

          We are all being moulded by Father …. Romans 8:28, ! Thes 5:18, Gal 2:20

          John 15 … just be a branch that Father has cut off the Adam vine and grafted into the True Vine (Lord Jesus) … rest in Him KNOWING THAT HE WILL SUPPLY ALL THAT IS NEEDED TO BEAR MUCH FRUIT …… Let go and let God do it all!

          (Here are a few hugs OOOOOO)

          • Bev on March 20, 2020 at 7:10 pm

            Thank you so much Brian for your poem and advice and care!

  20. Michael on November 29, 2019 at 5:40 am

    Hi. I used to be a churchgoer myself but I stopped going for a long time. My reasonings were mainly personal. For the most part, besides the hypocrisy and a bit of false leading, it was quickly being judged for my taste in music and having an open yet creative mind. The other part was a betrayal of trust.

    • Bill Bernasconi on December 4, 2019 at 5:22 pm

      The problem with all this is that many people are being misled about the body of believers known as the body of Christ. God our Father through His Son has offered salvation to those who will accept and be obedient to the faith. These places called denominations are not religions but man ade businesses they will only led you astray. You need to study the inspired written word of God.
      I have created a site that can help all those looking for the truth about faith.
      Please trust this.
      Thank you

    • Brian McMichan on December 14, 2019 at 12:53 am

      John 3:3 Jesus wants all people to know …, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, that unless a person is(spiritually) born again (anew, from above), he cannot ever see (know, be acquainted with, and experience) the kingdom of God.
      Jesus showed the world how that can happen … He came to John the Baptist and was fully immersed in the River Jordan, and as he came up, He left “the old man” (the carpenter) spiritually behind in the water and was anointed with Father’s Holy Spirit.
      This freedom, this victory over the troubles of this world, was made available to all human spirits by Christ Jesus on the cross. He bought everyone with His life and He cleaned all spirits and set them free … when any person turns to the Light, they will see what He has made available for them! … free, renewed spirits to enter their “earth suits”.
      Acts 2:38 .. Repent (change your views and purpose to accept the will of God in your inner selves instead of rejecting it) and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of {and} release from your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
      2 Cor 3:16 But whenever a person turns [in repentance] to the Lord, the veil is stripped off {and} taken away.
      2 Cor 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (emancipation from bondage, freedom).
      2 Cor 3:18 And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His {very own} image in ever increasing splendour {and} from one degree of glory to another; [for this comes] from the Lord [Who is] the Spirit.
      2 Cor 4:4 For the god of this world has blinded the unbelievers’ minds [that they should not discern the truth], preventing them from seeing the illuminating light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ (the Messiah), Who is the Image {and} Likeness of God …AND many of those who profess to be Christians are looking away from the Light and “falling away”. 2 Thess 2:3
      2 Cor 4:5 For what we preach is not ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves [merely] as your servants for Jesus’ sake.
      2 Cor 4:6 For God Who said, Let light shine out of darkness, has shone in our hearts so as [to beam forth] the Light for the illumination of the knowledge of the majesty {and} glory of God [as it is manifest in the Person and is revealed] in the face of {Jesus} Christ (the Messiah).
      2 Cor 4:7 However, we possess this precious treasure [the divine Light of the Gospel] in [frail, human] vessels of earth, that the grandeur {and} exceeding greatness of the power may be shown to be from God and not from ourselves.
      So, as soon as any person understands that, and believes and takes that step of faith, they become new spiritual creations and become a child of God and cared for by Him.
      Heb 1:3 He is the sole expression of the glory of God [the Light-being, the out-raying or radiance of the divine], and He is the perfect imprint {and} very image of [God’s] nature, upholding {and} maintaining {and} guiding {and} propelling the universe by His mighty word of power. When He had {by offering Himself} accomplished {our} cleansing of sins {and} riddance of guilt, He sat down at the right hand of the divine Majesty on high,
      Acts 26:18 To open their eyes that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may thus receive forgiveness {and} release from their sins and a place {and} portion among those who are consecrated {and} purified by faith in Me.
      All that is required, is for anyone to turn from the darkness of the world to Jesus Christ, the Light, so that they can realise that their spirits have been set free. Today on earth, there are almost 7 billion people, and most are still looking into darkness.
      As God so greatly loved and deeply prized the world, that He even gave His only begotten Son. His desire is that all people realise that spiritual freedom is available. Father is aware of all people’s circumstances and will “seek their attention” when the time is right … John 6:44 Christ Jesus said, “No one is able to come to Me unless the Father Who sent Me attracts {and} draws him {and} gives him the desire to come to Me,” … God, being a loving God, gives people a choice about turning to the Light!
      When a person makes that choice, they will understand that as soon as the “old spiritual man” is washed away (following Jesus’ example in baptism), this allows the Holy Spirit to come to them and they become a new “spiritual” creation … they become a child of God, cared for by Him .. 1 John 5:4 For whatever is born of God is victorious over the world; and this is the victory that conquers the world (and all evil influences in the world.) – even our faith. …. God is love …and love overcomes all things. God is Spirit – to be spiritually minded is life and peace. (Note: It is “whatever” .. not whoever … it is a renewed spirit)
      This step of faith is available for anyone, when they believe …. be it in a river, a pond, a lake … or even under a shower. God knows their faith and sees them taking the step of faith!
      1 John 5:5 Who is it that is victorious over [that conquers] the world but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God [who adheres to, trusts in, and relies on that fact]?
      As a person believes and gives thanks, the Holy Spirit covers, protects, guides and supplies all needs … the person who takes that step of faith, is spiritually engrafted into Christ Jesus by Father … the same as a twig is engrafted into a grape vine … 2 Cor 5:17 Therefore if any person is [in-grafted in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh {and} new has come!

  21. gary tickner on November 2, 2019 at 3:24 pm

    Pastor my name is gary i am 61 growing up in my years in hebrews 6:4-6 i fell away i pray to jesus and think about jesus would jesus forgive me i am so frightened and scared i am in canada nova scotia i dont have much money to call far if i give you my number would you call me please

    • Stephen Thomas on December 8, 2019 at 4:11 am

      hi – I am a Christian Gary – please know that if you are feeling guilty, and condemned, and frightened, you can turn to Jesus and confess all your sins, and turn away from them – he forgives those who truly repent from the heart, trust his blood to cleanse you, and stop sinning as best you can – keep pushing into Christ, and rejecting temptation. Practice ZERO TOLERANCE for sin, and believe that Jesus cuts you off from the old man, as you trust in him and walk in the Holy Spirit. Please read the New Testament and put into practice there what you read. We are right to be frightened if we have backslidden, as we can forfeit our salvation and become apostate. So act fast and be decisive. Search the Bible for verses about God forgiving those who truly repent and return to God the Father with sincere hearts.

      => James 5:19  My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, 
      20  let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.  [ESV]

      • Brian McMichan on December 23, 2019 at 4:41 am

        Yes, great! Plus ask Father & the Holy Spirit to advise you of EVERYONE that you have yet to forgive.
        I did that 29 years ago …. Father gave me a list starting in my very early childhood (Grandparents that I was :cranky with” because they died before I was born.) then a long list.

        The RESULT … not even a headache or a cold since! ….. Matt 6:15 … If you do not forgive, He cannot forgive you!

        Plus — The Holy Spirit is ALWAYS there waiting to help & guide … See Rom 8:13, 14

    • Jeromy on January 26, 2020 at 6:07 am

      Gary, God will forgive you. God loves you. Just pray and seek Him. If you draw close to Him, He will draw nearer to you. Read your Bible my friend. We get close to Him through prayer and the Bible. You say that you pray, if you are praying then you are not rejecting Him, you are still seeking Him it seems to me. In my opinion if you were rejecting Him, you would not be seeking Him through prayer, and you probably wouldn’t be reaching out here in this comment section.

      God bless you Mr. Gary

  22. Red on October 18, 2019 at 3:00 pm

    Up until fairly recently, education and income were unattainable for women – at least on par with men. Now that women have achieved this independence, their reliability on the intangible has been replaced with self confidence. This is not a bad thing. Education and independence bring a lack of interest / reliance in religion – it’s as simple as that. Each generation is more educated than the previous. As this occurs, religion will fall to wayside. It’s inevitable. In this day and age why women continue to support religion, I will never understand. It must be why the abused housewife has a hard time leaving the violent man she married. It’s hard to leave the only way you’ve ever known, I guess.

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  24. Michelle Reading on August 11, 2019 at 8:36 pm

    Hi. Lately, I have been actually dreading going to church. My pastor is terrible at his job. His sermons are confusing and go off on unconnected tangents. He also comes off as arrogant and phony. He hisses, clicks and orders people to say “amen.” He is VERY condescending and speaks to the congregation like they are stupid and repeats his points 5-7 times. He has been there for a few years now. When he started he knew the salary of the job he was applying for but demanded $20,000 more. The head of the search committee gave it to him without letting the other members know. Eventually, they found out and this didn’t sit well with several believers. Fast forward 3 years after he was hired. 1/2 of the congregation has left. There are other problems, I’d have to type all night.

    • Rodger Niemeier on August 11, 2019 at 10:53 pm

      Hi Michelle. I understand what you’ve shared, and that sounds like a controlling “pastor” (which is an oxymoron). Why is anyone still going to that church!? (And you? : ) It sounds like people, the ones still remaining, keep putting up with this bully and paying him and enduring him….for what reason! If the church board has the decision-making power in the church, or the church does by vote, then it is their own fault for allowing this man, if he is as you say he is, continue to dominate. If the pastor has the authority to keep himself as the controlling top dog, then there’s an easy answer: leave! Sounds like it may be time to confront, strongly but humbly, then let him preach to the air each Sunday morning! There ARE fellowships of believers out there – you have to be in step with the Holy Spirit within you to be led to where He wants you to be.

      • Cassandra on June 7, 2020 at 11:11 am

        Hi, my name is Cassandra . I stop going to church because I felt it was not right that the pastor who only preached and did not go to work on a daily basis, but yet he drove a Mercedes Benz and lives in a million-dollar house. Meanwhile, I go to low paying job and I have a bachelor’s degree . I lost my car because I could not make the payments anymore. I am also months behind on my mortgage. This is so ridiculous because he is taking the tithe money for himself and this happens in so many churches! I left two other churches in the pass for the same reason. We are supposed to tithe 10% of our income to help support the church and give to God , not make the pastor rich! This is one of the reasons why people do not want to give their hard-earned money to churches or attend church.

        • Brian McMichan on June 8, 2020 at 7:34 pm

          Hi Cassandra,
          Due to my deep concerns at the “mighty falling away” of believers, I have submitted quite a few comments re this article.
          Today, in the world, there are so many troubles and distractions that seek to draw our attention and focus. This often results in us putting more reliance on our flesh, others, worldly ways and our own reasoning.
          The consequence of that (and who is behind it all) is explained in (Amp) 2 Thess 2:3-4.
          So many “believers” rely on their flesh, self-effort or seek teaching/guidance by men with fleshly/worldly ways, often with the fleshly goal of being “better achievers”.
          Also, tithing, as used in many churches, is old covenant, it is not applicable “after Jesus” .. we are to give as led by the Holy Spirit … in love (not a set of rules).
          Unfortunately, “self-effort” is contrary to John 14:23 and Zech 4:6.
          Seek Father’s help to simply rest in the Vine (Lord Jesus .. read John 15) and receive, moment by moment from Him.
          The success of your life, as a child of God, is in direct proportion to the consciousness of the living Christ, and the almighty power of God, that is in your heart.” F J Heugal…. Rest in Him … Wait on Him.
          Highly recommended to all believers … access the web for a free download – Download “Waiting on God.” by Andrew Murray PDF

    • Raven Smith on October 28, 2019 at 6:49 pm

      I’d advise you to find another church (not another religion) to attend. There also must be some higher ups–someone who is over your region as far as the church goes. I would express my concerns and complaints to whoever oversees him and has authority over his job besides this committee that caved into his demands. I’ve had a crisis of faith in the church I attended my whole life and nearly renounced Christianity on the whole as a result. My mother, God rest her soul, gave me a wonderful piece of advice that helped me hold onto my faith. She said, if we keep our eyes upon Jesus and his perfect example–he will never fail you. But as soon as you take your eyes off of him and start looking to man as your example, you’ll be disappointed every time. God go with you.

    • Trish on December 22, 2019 at 4:01 pm

      I have been there. After years of frustration… realized none of the complainers… including me… were praying for him. It is amazing the change in all of us through prayer for him.

      • Brian McMichan on December 23, 2019 at 4:33 am

        Join with the Holy Spirit & Lord Jesus in intercession (see Rom 8:27, 34) … simply restin the Vine (John 15) and intercede (Eph 6:18) … we are simply vessels, as Christ Jesus was on earth, filled with, guided, empowered, etc. by the Holy Spirit (See Zech 4:6)

  25. Leon on August 4, 2019 at 11:27 pm

    I have no problems with the faith. My journey with churches has been pretty negative, like working as a slave for some big corporations. I left the church because I was young, & felt that I didn’t receive the much needes help for the church to grow, for my 1st time around. I went back to church (a local college church)again because of my promise to God, if I got to go home alive & in 1 piece from the Army in 2003. I continued to attend 3 other churches. 1 of them wanted to conform me into their way of life. I didn’t fit in for the 2nd one. The last church that I attended was all about getting me hitched. I was being respectful about the situation for 2 to 3 years. They still kept at it with me after I confronted them about it. Still didn’t stop after telling them to back off angrily SEVERAL TIMES. I just quit & cut my ties with churches entirely after that. The sensation of the decision has been great & freeing.

  26. Higenyi jimmy on June 5, 2019 at 2:50 pm

    I have loved the component of community.really when you get born again,the world mocks you and in reality you don’t almost fit their,now you expectation is to meet a community in church that you share the belief with.unfortunate you get their and it is the contrary.the love you meet their is occasional evidenced during Sunday services but the rest of the days,through challenges no member of the church wishes to know. it is so ridiculous that the worldly tend to get more concerned of our challenges in life than the fellow Christians,you come to have a fuss of the irrelevancy of the church compared to the worldly community.

  27. glen warren spencer on May 28, 2019 at 10:47 pm

    Mark 16:17 any church iv ever been in since 1973 i only see preaching & teaching, nothing else, maybe because we born again Christians are more carnal Christians then spiritual ones, & that includes r leaders, musicians, authors of books, counselors, we teach the new comers what the church fathers taught , how they interpreted scripture, & more often than not when we make a point we go way back to others like Billy Graham or Dwight l moody, Martin Luther,John Calvin,John Knox,Erasmus Alber,& the list goes on i guess we doint have any body now days to quote from who live it & know it, i go because i doint know what else to do just keep going “northward” i guess

    • Rodger Niemeier on May 29, 2019 at 12:11 am

      Brother Glen, I so relate to what you’ve shared. However, the Lord convicted me about what to do about this, as far as being in churches that do not seem to be going in the right direction of true, full-out commitment and discipleship:
      1) You just shrug your shoulders and quietly follow along, with great frustration within, waiting for leadership and others to initiate needed change.
      2) You become a voice within that fellowship, humbly sharing with leadership and others, about your frustration especially focusing on your own need for true discipleship and leadership that helps you progress spiritually, but also in being a fruitful witness, leading people to Christ: and if leadership dismisses your concern or pushes you out – then you accept that and look again, with the Lord’s guidance, for a fellowship that is truly “sold out to Jesus”; if your honest and humble sharing sparks change, then praise the Lord and carefully follow His guidance and work heart-to-heart with leadership.
      3) You get together with others who want more, and just start praying together, fellowshiping, seeking the Lord’s guidance in what He wants you as a group to do – how He wants to use you.

      I’ve chosen the latter for many years since the 70’s when I, too, was in a remarkably committed fellowship of believers – and when that ended in the 80’s, I had to be the one to take the initiative to continue that kind of fellowship, since I couldn’t another like it. Sometimes that frustration is meant to be a launching pad by the Lord: simply because you have that frustration which is the result of seeing how things are (and aren’t), but knowing within how it needs to be! I pray the Lord shows you YOUR PART in what you are to do next.

  28. Catherine Freed on May 2, 2019 at 3:51 pm

    I would love to attend church but I don’t have a lot of formal dress clothing and oftentimes are teased from members of the congregation and at times even the pastors themselves because of this. I am a Christian that would like to fellowship with others about the Lord and contribute my gifts and talents in and outside the church walls, but it hurts that I don’t feel comfortable doing that because of the cruel treatment and unprovoked reactions I receive from those in the church. If I had fancy clothes I would wear them, if only for peace sake, but I don’t have expensive things. Shouldn’t I be welcomed with the same kindness and respect as anyone else? Is the poor not welcomed in today’s church?

    • Gail Drisdelle on May 13, 2019 at 5:02 pm

      Just my thought….wear what you want! Be proud & know that they are wrong. There are a lot more people feeling the same.

    • charles j hollingsworth on May 19, 2019 at 7:54 pm

      You know that is awful, come as you are there should be no shame because of who you are or what you have. when i was growing up in church here in alabama our town was of mostly farmers and factory workers and the farmers wore overalls to church and the fried chicken was fried in crisco shortning like it was supposed to be. we were a small country church that at one time had 155 members every sunday and the people enjoyed one anothers company. lord those 5th sunday night singings were fantastic.. we had a few business owners in our church that were better off financially i’m sure than others but they were brothers and sisters there to learn about our lord and savior. i wished i had a church like we had back then now as i don’t go, i need to. i have yet to find a preacher that is fit, i mean a old country bumbkin non educated preach it from the heart thru the lord pastor. i like one that yells and screams and slams the book down and points his finger across the congregation while i’m setting there knowing i am guilty of what he just said. a preacher that when he calls for the final hymn to be sung people go to the front with tears in their eyes.. and you know that you have been to church..

    • William Michael on May 25, 2019 at 10:28 am

      Years ago when I was in college, I experienced the same treatment. I had on a dress shirt and tie. I just didn’t have on a suit jacket. An older lady from the congregation confronted me and asked me if I didn’t have something better to wear, along with a suit jacket. I didn’t have a lot of money, so I couldn’t go out and buy one. I remember telling my mother about the situation…I wasn’t living at home any longer…and my parents were not giving me money for college. My mother was agitated by the woman’s comment when I told her about it. My father was a businessman and let me have a suit jacket out of his closet. I must say however, that the situation RUINED my experience and I never enjoyed worshipping there again.
      If the older lady had a suit jacket or was willing to find someone who could donate one…I can understand. A lot of people at churches can be very rude and cruel. Shortly after this event, I stopped going there. In today’s houses of worship, I don’t think people missed me or even cared that I didn’t worship there.

      • D. Gremillon on May 25, 2019 at 2:04 pm

        Some of the least friendly people you will ever encounter go to church every week.

        • Rodger Niemeier on May 25, 2019 at 2:56 pm

          Contrarily, some of the most loving, caring people you will ever encounter in this world are those who know Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and Lord – and attend a “good” church! Yes – there are Christians who are the greatest examples of the Christ they worship: but then that’s true with every group, be it religious-based, ethnicity, etc. To expect that every person of a certain category of people-groups is going to be perfect is totally unrealistic. Frankly, the most unfriendly people I’ve ever met are atheists with an ax to grind. Christians are not Christ; they may believe in Christ, be “in Christ”, but they are “works in progress”, in that process of change from their old ways of thinking/feeling to new ways. It’s funny how we can project on others our own unreal expectations (that we often don’t even put on ourselves!).

          If I meet an “unfriendly” person (who’s having a bad day or is even persistently unfriendly) who works at McDonald’s, do I then write-off all McDonalds, the CEO’s, all the workers, because I met one (or two, or three, or four…) unfriendly employees? Of course not – unless I have an underlying reason to want to write them off to make myself feel better (about myself?). Pretty soon I’ll have to write-off every organization, because there are unfriendly, unhappy human beings everywhere! It’s not that there aren’t a good number of unfriendly people (no matter what their philosophy or religious persuasion), but if my focus is continually on finding and pointing them out, maybe that’s more indicative about something that needs to be faced and addressed in myself.

          It’s like it’s been said: “If you find a perfect group of Christians (or whoever), don’t join it! For it won’t be perfect anymore!” None of us is perfect: but I want to be part of an imperfect group of imperfect people who are at least latched onto a promising, even proven, process where real change, real personal transformation, is possible. It’s easier, as I personally well know, to retreat and isolate seeing the faults of everyone else: but that is a terribly lonely place to be. People more likely change when they come together and learn how focus on the positives and encourage each other in that direction.

          • Rodger Niemeier on May 25, 2019 at 2:59 pm

            Correction: 2nd sentence I left out “NOT” – “… there are Christians who are (NOT) the greatest examples of the Christ …”. Sorry about that. : )

      • Susan Bobo on July 14, 2019 at 1:25 pm

        I know supposed to attend church to worship God, to get something good from it for myself. And I have conflict within myself about going because of …ugh, people. They judge you. I can’t afford to dress “well”, my teeth are bad and have no insurance, I CAN NOT go to church and focus on the scripture with all the mortal eyes judging me!

        • Rodger Niemeier on July 14, 2019 at 3:26 pm

          Yes, Susan – if only the Church didn’t have people in it, it would be so nice! (I’m being sarcastic, even though there is some truth in it!). : ) Here’s the thing: there will never be a perfectly loving church because….people, even in Christ (which is a growth process), ARE NOT PERFECT! I heard a person once say: “If you find the perfect church, DON’T GO THERE – because it won’t be perfect anymore!” I got the point. I have my issues, too, because I, too, though I know Jesus Christ as my personal Savior & Lord, I am most certainly “a work in progress”! Matter of fact, our heavenly Father “made” the Church (Jesus told Pete He was going to build His “church”) to be a place of “iron sharpening iron” – which means everyone can cause sparks!

          Don’t get me wrong, Susan – I’ve experienced the same thing (I own one inexpensive “suit” for weddings and funerals) – not so much for dress (I’m in the Pacific Northwest, Seattle area – it’s very casual here, even at most churches – no dress-up expected), but other things some other Christians just didn’t like about me. And while that does sting a bit, I realized that staying away from fellowship would only hurt me – just because of a couple/few who were yet learning how to love unconditionally (it’s just where they are in their growth).

          What I’ve learned is to be prepared for such condescending comments/looks. Like, purposely go sit next to that brother or sister, and with a huge Christ-induces smile, introduce yourself and ask how they are doing. Paul said that by being DELIBERATELY LOVING on your own part, it would “heap coals of fire on their head”. Interesting way to put it! I don’t think he meant to love your critics for the purpose of making them “hot” with indignation, but rather that could be the result – but that puts it on them: they have to acknowledge their judgmentalness and let God deal with them about that. As one Bible teacher used to say, “Pray for them: “God, bless them with a brick!” LOL BUT…NEVER LET THEM MAKE YOUR RETREAT & ISOLATE YOURSELF! Take the upper hand: act in the genuine love of Christ so that THEY, who are being prejudicial or judgmental, have to make the choice to stay or retreat! Sometimes we give in way too easy.

          I think, of course, we should be practicing good hygiene at least: that’s just healthy for myself and a blessing to others. I may not have the dressy clothes, and if that bothers them, then they are very petty Christians and need YOUR help to realize it! Just kindly respond: “I’m so sorry the way I dress seems to be bothering you. I’m afraid I don’t own dressy clothes; but then, don’t you Christians believe that God looks on the heart and that’s what matters? (said ever so sweetly and gently, humbly). I thought character was more important, like being truly welcoming, loving, caring, and kind. I know I need to work on those!”

          Lastly – if indeed the whole congregation seems to be of the same judgmental mindset – leave! There is a smorgasbord of churches out there! From my own experience – and I love small churches, not so much on the mega big ones, which are even less personal – if you sincerely pray and ask the Lord to lead you to the church fellowship where HE wants you to be (no matter what shape it is in), then step out in faith and start finding and visiting smaller churches (like “storefront” ones, that are meeting in rented store spaces, or community centers, etc.). And go at least 2 or 3 times, to be fair – to hear the sermon, discern what kind of heart the minister has, and the church (how friendly they are, if they deliberately reach out to greet and meet you when you visit). Take a more PRO-ACTIVE approach, instead of reactive. It helps if you are really trusting the Lord, as you visit and explore churches, to truly lead you to the fellowship He wants you to be. He really wants you to be nurtured in Christ: to have good, kind and loving mentors in your life; good pastors, teachers, so you can grow in grace. This doesn’t mean you can’t grow in grace through your own consistent prayerlife and constant habit of meditating in the Scriptures (praying the Word) – you can, but only to an extent. Why? Because it IS our Father’s will for us to be in good, healthy fellowship: you just need His guidance to find that place of believers who are practicing the love and grace of Christ.

    • Rodger Niemeier on May 25, 2019 at 3:08 pm

      Jesus said, “You know the tree by its fruit”. If the leadership and several others (members) are actually criticizing your dress, you know then that this church is focused on the outward appearance and not on the heart. Why would you want to go where this is evident? Almost anywhere in the USA you can find several churches to choose from (I know in rural America that can be different); pray for the Lord’s leading and start visiting around. There ARE churches that are focused on the love of Christ and true spiritual growth, but they can be hard to find. Sadly churches can fall into a rut where they are more about their traditions and rules than the intent of the Gospel. But you don’t need to sacrifice your spiritual growth by attending such a place. May the Lord truly guide you to a fellowship of true believers who are earnestly seeking Christ, practicing love-one-another in truth, from the heart, and move in God’s will in being His witnesses to those who don’t yet know Him.

    • Tammy on June 4, 2019 at 1:56 pm

      It’s Shameful that people who are supposed to show God’s love would behave that way! Just remember that God looks at what’s on the inside(your heart), and is not looking at what’s on the outside! A lot of nicely dressed people(like the ones laughing at you) will be going to HELL NICELY DRESSED, and A lot of people who can’t afford the fancy clothes will be enjoying their NEW Ones in HEAVEN! Glory be to God! If it continues, I’m sure there is another church that will welcome AND Love you dressed just the way you are! God Bless you! 🙂

      • Scott Proctor on June 5, 2019 at 4:56 pm

        I’ve been going to church for years until recentely. I paid tithes my whole life and when I was down the church didn’t want to hear anything that wasn’t positive. The church today has no ideal how to help people that are down or hurting. Matthew 23:3 spoke volumes to me. Do as your teachers and preachers say, but don’t do as they do. No man is good, but they sure act holy and think they are without reproach. I have zero interest in ever returning I never even got a word of encouragement. They just said there he is after I had surgery. The preacher said it’s easy to say I love you after I told the choir director that I loved him, My thoughts, they need more prayer than anybody I know. Also a lady said that a new young man first attending smelled terrible. She should have thought I wonder what he is going through. at least he is trying. He never came back after a couple of visits. He probabley sensed it. He was smarter than thye gave him credit.iI

    • Queen Ester on June 11, 2019 at 6:27 pm

      The bible says you have not cause you ask not. Ask God for clothes I did now and I got too many and many expensive ones. I went from salvation army to Gucci and the church hates me. If the church is screwed up it will laugh at you dressed up too. I have a horrible church but serve an awesome God who helps me to stay focused on him and keep my eyes on the prize and not the people . Keep your mind on him while there and you will have perfect peace the bible says and ask God for his help .

      • Khristy Laguerre on January 16, 2020 at 6:53 am

        Amen I am really learning from many comments posted on here. Been through similar and many more of which I’m afraid to speak. To me this is like group therapy. I am also glad to see many firm believers redirecting and using strong biblical references to help. Because you may never know who might be sitting up around 5am looking for comfort from a dark place(depression/sickness) and searching for satisfaction for their soul/spirit that they probably cannot get anywhere else.

    • Chantal on June 26, 2019 at 9:59 pm

      Super relate here. It happened here in the Philippines. Sometimes you need to adjust your lifestyle or even faked your self in order to show them that you’re belong to them. Very sad reality.

    • helena on February 2, 2020 at 7:56 am

      Catherine, of all the sad ways people treat others in church, this must be one of them. You don’t have to dress up for church – far from it. In fact, as a child, I once went to a wedding where the bride and groom were in their everyday clothes, because they only had the money for the rings.

      Find another church where they accept you or don’t go at all.

      When I go to church (which is really rare these days), I go in my t-shirt and jeans and sneakers and sometimes, in a dress too. If they said something, I would certainly make a formal complaint.

  29. Anon Observer on April 20, 2019 at 10:37 am

    There is a church that has a food pantry, a “clothing ministry”, and things to help people, yet one could witness people who would go to the church sleeping on benches. When someone presented one of these people to church staff for the purpose of helping, there was almost a look of disdain and a reluctance to help–and after, one could still see the person sleeping on a bench. Someone going through a very hard time actually requested, from the pastor, to get compassion. They did not get it. Someone lost a fiance and about the only response was, “sorry” and recommending a class in the church.
    Outward form of Christian service but the inward “heart” of it is missing?
    It seems to me that a church that lacks the love commanded in I John would be a church that people would leave.

    • Jed Godwin on April 23, 2019 at 9:46 am

      I am a member of a church but I was demoralized a few years ago and now I almost never am able to bring myself to attend services. My pastors preach about Grace very well and truthfully I think-and I need it. But when our son was 14 and began to rebel-using drugs, running away, stealing,etc., we got no support or even suggestions on how to deal with him although we bared our tortured consciences about his disobedience. Our pastors have rarely spoken about divorce-and said God considers it a sin like no worse than any other. As I father I look to the church to lift up the family, to support it energetically, just as we should the church and to teach us the practical application of Biblical precepts. We tried forgiveness, but how does forgiveness address completed divorce and children with police records who can never find a job. Doesn’t prevention of such small scale catastrophes have any place anymore?

      • Rodger Niemeier on April 23, 2019 at 2:27 pm

        Jed, I sympathize with you. Frankly – which you have learned – most pastors are NOT trained in how to effectively minister to those who get caught up in chemical dependency, or advise/guide the families of their youth when abusing drugs. I don’t know that most pastors ever will – probably should – get the training needed for ministering to this issue. Partly because they don’t face it often (though it’s certainly more present in their congregant families than they are likely aware), nor have the means/time to get that additional training (though, frankly, it doesn’t have to take much training). The truth is, an area of pastoral training that is often lacking (in Bible colleges/seminaries) is “pastoral care” (“counseling”); and even if there is pastoral care course(s) required, they are often focused on ministering to the bereaved (by terminal illness), hospital visitation, and funerals). But ministering in crisis, traumatic situations – divorce, suicide, drug-abuse, etc. – that is not often part of typical pastoral training.

        Though every pastor would benefit from such training, at the least pastors should be ready to refer for those challenging situation they are not prepared to effectively minister in. So they should have a working referring relationship with a nearby Christian counseling group or person; and/or counselings or agencies that specialize in the particular critical need (suicide prevention, domestic violence, etc.): those agencies are always open to be readily available to help those referred to them by pastors or churches (whether they are Christian-based or secular). That was a great learning point for me as a young pastor, and I continue to use a good, healthy relationship with a couple Christian counseling groups in our city for referring those with whom I do not have the skills to truly help them. Pastors need to be honest with themselves (and before the Lord) about their real abilities, but for many of these kind of needs, you CAN do more harm than good by just thinking all you need to do is offer a prayer and tell folks to read their Bibles more. I know specific, real cases where suicide and murder resulted in domestic violence situations where the victim sought help from pastors and were told just to pray more and submit to their abuser. As particular issues increase, as we are seeing, pastors need to re-think just what ministry skills they need to have!

    • Amelia on April 27, 2019 at 2:23 pm

      The reason I find it very hard to keep going to church is that too many of the people who are the active, higher positioned people, are so unloving. They’re not at all down to earth, they’re not regular people, they don’t come across as humble, they don’t understand people who are that way, and they don’t even recognize that they’re horribly deficient in kindness and gentleness and understanding. They’ve got it all together, but they have no ability to imagine themselves in another’s shoes. Basically they don’t seem to have any depth of character. And yet they’re in charge, leading everyone else! They’re so uninspiring. Amazingly underwhelming. And yet they seem to be 100% oblivious that this is the case. And they’re EVERYWHERE. It’s like they have too many machines leading the church. As a non- machine, this is unbearable.

      • Peter on April 27, 2019 at 2:54 pm

        There are hundreds of other churches, unless you are in a very small community . There will be a church where you can first meet the needs to worship God, second find ways to help others, and third feel connected with the people.
        I and my wife recently had to step down pastoring a church due to health reasons. We immediately began to find a church family to worship God and feel a part of a family. Not a part of a group of friends but a family. Asking God to lead us to a church where we felt we could first worship God and feel a part a family.
        We visited three churches and they all had positive things about them. However, my wife and I felt God’s nudge which church we should attend. It was the one furthest from our home but we both feel God’s confirmation.
        You will notice I never said we were looking for a church that had programs that would meet our needs or desires.
        We wanted a church that 1)God told us to go, 2) a church where we could worship God freely, and 3) we felt like part of a family .
        It took a little over a month but God lead us to the church He wants us to be a part of.
        God will do the same for you. As for all of us the difficult issue is to let God give the final Okay.
        Will be praying God’s will for you.

      • Domenica on May 11, 2019 at 12:15 am

        You hit the nail on the head! This is the biggest reason I feel I can’t be open or my true self in front of people from church. I went to a young married life group tonight where the couples leading confessed the problems and temptations in their marriages as “not being romantic enough” or forgetting to take out the trash. These people have no real idea about real problems or struggles.

    • Stephanie on May 10, 2019 at 7:21 pm

      What you have shared is similar to what I have experienced. My conclusion so far is, most of those still attending church nowadays are spiritually dead. They are busy with their own life, family and career. They are probably not praying but depending on the blessings the pastors prayed for them. Many of them are demons possessed. Once I attended a Presbyterian, I get so hurt with members only know how to control me. I left the church after a few years. Before that, I have attended A/G church for 20 years, I was feeling rejected when I fell ill. They only tell me, “Why are you always sick?” They don’t pray. They will only accept me when I was not sick. They said it openly. Now I don’t attend church anymore. I pray at home. I study the Bible through the internet. I give my tithe through my own judgment

      • John White on August 8, 2019 at 2:40 am

        Oh dear. I go to church regularly. Am not religious. Enjoy the fellowship. God? There must be a creator
        no one knows what or who. God as good a name as any. The Bible good stories!! Am not lonely am involved
        in many out of church activities. Just enjoy the company at the Methodist Church. Happy to donate ten
        pounds gift aid weekly. Am made welcome even as the confirmed doubter that I am. Probably just selfish!

      • Bev on March 17, 2020 at 12:23 pm

        Stephanie – That is exactly what I’m experiencing. I’ve had many medical issues, many surgeries and have disability and all I ever hear is along those lines – “Why are you always sick?” I’ve even been mocked for missing church due to my disability. I’ve been met with mockery and NO CARE – when I should get compassion, care and even someone to visit me all the times I’ve been hospitalized!! WHERE is the TRUE church?? No one texts or calls and asks how I am during these times. I’ve felt rejected by church people and I’m close to doing what you did and just staying home. I just keep forgiving them, even though they don’t even realize they’re doing Satan’s work and not Christ’s. I have to stay bitterness-free and sweet in my soul but I’m so hurt.

        • Rodger Niemeier on March 17, 2020 at 1:05 pm

          Sad to say, there are a lot of churches whose main mindset and goal is to provide Sunday services – period.. Even many pastors do very little “visitation”, likely limiting it to when a congregant is in the hospital (and even here, many will leave it to the hospital chaplain to do any visitation).

          HOWEVER: I am glad to report that this is not ALL churches. I don’t know if you could even say “most” (hard to measure); BUT because there are many church pastors/leaders who have the Sunday-service-only mentality, YOU HAVE TO SEARCH TO FIND A MORE COMMUNITY-MINDED, SERVANT-LEADERSHIP church. They ARE out there; but you have to do some church “shopping” and even talk to the leadership (make an appointment with the pastor and ASK THE HARD QUESTIONS). It won’t do you any good to be in a Sunday-service-only church, keep your membership (because you’ve been there for years or whatever reason), and just continue to complain about what it lacks. It won’t change because you’re struggling with the way that church is!

          So I suggest:
          1) Contact the pastor/appropriate leader: tell them your situation and ask why they aren’t providing ministry to those with disability/illness that keeps them home. “Do you (pastor) provide spiritual home care?” If the pastor says, in any way, shape of form, “No”, then….
          2) Leave that church and pray, asking the Lord to lead you in your search for church with leadership that purposely takes care of those members who cannot regularly attend Sunday services. Do it by phone, even: call a pastor at a church and ask that same direct question, and state that you are praying for the Lord to help you find a church fellowship where the pastor(s) and congregants value all members and have a visitation program in place (“Leave no child behind”: or in this case, “Leave no church member behind!”).

          If more Christians would do this (instead of just slipping quietly away into a church membership roll’s shadows), pastors would have a “WOK” moment and realize they better do more of the ministries that characterize a “pastor” (pastoral care) by definition (biblical definition) – or they aren’t going to have a church left! Frankly, I think WE need to put healthy, righteous pressure on churches/leadership to BE what they ARE SUPPOSED TO BE (by biblical definition and examples)! We need to break the more modern church leadership mindset that pastors are just public speakers on Sundays! We’ve made the PULPIT the main if not only focus of “ministry” (pastoral esp.) anymore, and that needs to be shaken up and changed; and it will likely have to be the everyday, church members who make this happen!

    • Gail Drisdelle on May 13, 2019 at 5:05 pm

      Just me….I’m looking for the right church too. One take helps the community including those on the street.

  30. D. Gremilion on April 8, 2019 at 11:03 am

    Services too long. Messages repetitive. Too many songs/hyms written 500 years ago. Nothing of import ever discussed from the pulpit or elsewhere in the church. Always asking for money for projects and for operating expenses. Too much money sent overseas. No time for contemplation. Every minute filled with standing or sitting or singing or listening to the choir or violinist or celloist of the day. No discussion about abortion, muslims, illegal immigration, projections for the future of the church, what has happened to churches in europe (turned into music halls.) When I leave I feel like I have just watched an Ed Sullivan show.

  31. my singing monsters on March 27, 2019 at 3:21 pm

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    • Christopher on April 15, 2019 at 6:45 pm

      here are a few questions to ponder…

      1. why don’t we start looking for Jesus in our “heart” FIRST? i mean ALL of our heart!

      2. why Jesus came into the world so HE can lives in us?

      3. where can we find HIM?

    • Brian McMichan on March 17, 2020 at 8:15 pm

      Roger, We are warned -(Amp) 2 Thess 2:3 Let no one deceive {or} beguile you in any way, for that day (Lord Jesus return) will not come except the apostasy comes first [unless the predicted great falling away of those who have PROFESSED to be Christians has come], AND the man of lawlessness (sin) is revealed, who is the son of doom (of perdition),
      2 Thess 2:4 Who opposes and exalts himself so proudly {and} insolently against {and} over all that is called God or that is worshiped, [even to his actually] taking his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming that he himself is God. …….. BVM my emphasis added

      NOTE: It is clearly stated who is behind all this … Satan …. who has deceived “believers” for 2000 years and time is running out fast — I am believing that the “great falling away” will be turned around WHEN the majority of those “controlling” churches repent and turn to Lord Jesus to learn of all the false preaching/teaching that has resulting in this situation.
      Some examples of false teaching are 1. Christ Jesus was crucified on a Wednesday (after 3 full days and 3 full nights in the tomb (as Jonah was in the belly of the sea monster) 2. No where in the Bible is Jesus’ birth date revealed … I take it because Father doesn’t want His birth date “celebrated” BUT “Christianity” follows 25 December “chosen by ?? Constantine, to fit between 2 pagan feast days & for many, many years Santa (move the “n” and you get the real culprit Satan is recognised as the central person by billions of people. 3. Today, I believe it is not a “constant practice” to forgive others …. But Father clearly tells us”If you don’t forgive, I WILL NOT forgive you. 4 Baptism. Many millions of people have been “sprinkled” as babes (and is still the practice by many thousands odf “churches”) BUT Jesus was fully submerged in the River Jordan and came up Jesus the Christ …. He left behind the “old man” (the carpenter) … born again spiritually (John 3:3) …. The Greek word “Baptismo” means … “to immerse” … PLUS baptism should always follow a step of faith by a person who is mature enough to know and believe what they are doing. 5. Despite Christ Jesus’ command, Very few “church attendees” … preach/share the Gospel ….. likely though being “flesh led/fear of rejection/lack of knowledge”. If you are interested, I have a very simple “sharing” tool that even children can do that in my expeience over 30 years results in every person shared with wanting to use the tool themselves … Carey has my e mail address.

      In all the above examples, Satan is laughing at what he has achieved among “professing believers”.

      • Rodger Niemeier on March 18, 2020 at 12:47 am

        Brian, it seems to me, while I very much appreciate and would never question your salvation experience (and Praise God for how He intervened in your life situations and brought you to Himself as your Savior and Lord!), there are some interesting doctrinal/theological views you’ve expressed that I find questionable, from what I’ve come to understand.

        1) The “apostasy” is indeed those who have, according to the definition of the word “apostasy”, professed to be Christians but have then renounced it: much like the former Pentecostal minister, Dan Barker, who renounced the Christian faith, became a devout atheist (with his wife), and founded the Freedom From Religion Foundation, now striving to extinguish the church of Jesus Christ through lawsuits utilizing the concept of “separation of church and state” to persecute Christians in the USA especially. This is different from born again Christians who still love the Lord, but are not living as fully committed as they could and should be. I think we have to be careful not to be judges of our Brothers and Sisters in Christ, who by their own profession confess that they love the Lord and are trusting in Jesus as their Savior from their sins. Remember Jesus’ parable of the wheat and tares: He admonished His disciples to not become judges to separate the two – likely because we do not have the capacity to rightly discern and judge, as our Father does, Who knows all hearts. When we engage in this, we slip into a Pharisee mentality and it’s so easy to become prideful and end up actually hurting struggling believers (instead of coming alongside and encouraging them in Christ).

        2) The “false teachings” you’ve shared – esp. that of what day Jesus was crucified on, “Christmas Day” as a time, originally, Christians would yearly remind themselves (though those in Christ do daily) of the Father’s amazing mercy in sending His Son, born of the virgin Mary, to be the sacrificial Lamb for the sins of the world, and baptism (how it must be done – though of course sprinkling babies with water doesn’t achieve God’s purpose and meaning for baptism, since they are babies and not making a personal decision regarding repentance from sin and yielding their lives to Christ) – these are NOT the “false doctrines” we need to worry about! False doctrines, as even the Apostles were already dealing with in the newly formed early churches, were more devastating doctrines, like the risen Jesus being a ghostly being, and not really risen “in the flesh”, in a body; or that Jesus had already returned; or that Jesus wasn’t really the Son of God or one with the Father and the same as (the “Tri-une” God); or that even as a born again Christian you still had to be “under the Law” and by effort keep it; or that Christians (non-Jews) had to also become Jews, be circumcised and keep all the Mosiac Law and observations/rituals; or that Jesus was just another prophet of God, but not the promised Messiah: these were the false doctrines that corrupt believers and Paul was constantly castigating in his epistles of why they had, after coming to Christ, been so deceived from Christ into keeping more outward rituals (which cannot save you or enhance your life in Christ). It’s not whether you understand Jesus died on “Good Friday” or a Wednesday (never heard that one before!), or “Christmas Day” as a designated day to remember the amazing love of God our Father Who became God-incarnate in Jesus. We don’t know the exact day Christ was born, as you said; but to have a time where Jesus is particularly remembered (I know the Santa Claus stuff, materialistic gift-buying, etc., is off track; and Christians who truly love Christ know that), while you also seek to walk in Him every day of the year, is not make you “apostate”. Christmas is actually one of those observed holidays that kept Christ in my thoughts each year, as a un-born-again nominal Christian growing up (parents took us kids to a Christian church regularly: at least I heard about Jesus weekly, even if the preacher and church as a whole was not “Evangelical”, but more “nominal”). The mystery of the Son of God being born a human being, coming from God, was not lost on me growing up: it kept me wondering about it up to the day, as a young adult, I encountered Christ in my Kent State University dormitory room! Our God is amazing in what He can use in His pursuit of us!

        3) Baptism: ah, the continuing bone of contention between Christians who focus on the trivial. Yes, Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist (and John used this Jewish-faith-rooted practice of purification in preparing people to have a repentant heart ready for the Messiah’s coming) and the practice was immersion: but again, when we focus on the outward instead of God’s intended meaning, we become just like the legalistic Pharisees making “laws” of the outward practice and losing the purpose and meaning. As a minister of 46 years, I’ve always encouraged and offered baptism, and because I didn’t always have a sanctuary with a nice baptismal tank (actually NEVER had a church facility with one – always had to borrow use of them), I’ve baptized folks in kiddie pools, Immigration Detention Center’s women’s bathtub – for a man’s baptism (and not quite enough water to immerse, but the Lord blessed anyway – He judges the intentions of the heart, not the outward practice), etc. If all you have at the time is a glass of water, it’s better than nothing! The point, the purpose, is the person’s true repentance and turning from their former sinful life and sins, to new life in Christ as their Savior and Lord.

        But to state that Jesus Himself had to be “born again”, even as He described what it was it to Nicodemus, is not too Scriptural: Jesus admonished John the Baptist to do this to Him because it “fulfilled all righteousness” – since Jesus, though completely sinless, one with the Father, and committed to the Father’s complete will, was setting an example for us that would be meaningful to us: which would come later when the Apostles began baptizing and calling sinners to repentance, obeying the Lord Jesus’ “Great Commission” of Mt 28 to make disciples, baptizing them, and teaching them all that Jesus taught them. While we should make every effort to provide baptism for new believers to memorialize their conversion, there are those times it may not be possible. I don’t think we want to tell that person that therefore they just can’t be accepted by Christ and saved from their sins – or rather, make it to heaven. Some on their deathbeds welcoming Christ can’t be immersed; does that mean that Christ can’t or won’t save them and welcome them into His heaven? Jesus said to the repentant thief hanging beside him, “Today you will be with Me in paradise”.

        Lastly, it is likely true that many Christians are not sharing the Gospel with others: they either aren’t being encouraged to by their church leaders, or afraid to, or more often, don’t know how to do that. They just need preaching/teaching that reminds them of our commission, how this is an overflow of our love for Christ and being moved by the love of Christ in us towards lost souls (as they once were), and how the process of a soul being regenerated in Christ happens. To a great part, besides that, it is just telling others what great things God has done for you!

        • Brian McMichan on October 18, 2020 at 6:18 am

          Hi Roger,
          I must have missed seeing your response on March 18, 2020 to my submission of March 17, 2020 – I had only returned by ship from New Zealand 10 days previously, the day before Covid-19 was made known and there were a lot of demands being placed on me.
          I was “directed” to use the Amplified Bible a few years after I committed my life to Lord Jesus on 7 October, 1990 and after I received the Holy Spirit soon after. Then I learnt about forgiveness (Matt 6:14-15) and led by Father to forgive a long list of people (including myself) dating back to my early childhood, the result being … I have not had even a cold or a headache in over 28 years.
          Apostacy is falling away …. Rom 8:13 Tells us of the consequences of relying on self/the flesh to do things (or as 2 Thess 2:3-4 points out … Satan leads astray or deceives people.) For at least 25 years I have had concerns about many “believers” … what they say, what they do, what they don’t do, etc., plus the “teachers and guides” in many churches that should have taught them and guided them in line with Scripture ….. AND Father supplies the Holy Spirit –(Amp) John 14:26 But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you. Plus John 14:23
          Of course if a “believer” is not born again (John 3:3, 7) they do not have the Holy Spirit to help and guide them.
          Born again is “the old man dies spiritually and you become a new creation” … 2 Cor 5:17.
          Jesus came to earth as “a guise of a man” (Rom 8:3) so He didn’t have the Holy Spirit until He followed Father’s instruction and was baptised (fully immersed to wash away the “old man” (the carpenter) and to become Jesus the Christ.) Of course this happened so that He could be “in ministry” for the next 3 ½ years plus pay the price for ALL mankind’s sin ……. Please read Luke 4:18-19 – He explains His purpose of coming to earth ….. then, His final words on the cross were “It is finished!” (John 19:30) ….. He had freed ALL mankind of sin a (spiritual) blindness …. All it takes for ANYONE is to “reach that point” where they turn to the Light and see what He achieved for them …. Then, the cleansed and free spirit is imparted to a “believer” when they follow Jesus’ example BY CHOICE and wash the “Old man (or woman) away. (there are quite a few Scriptures that tell us this is what happened.)
          I believe that when any person takes (a genuine) step of faith, they can be baptised even under their shower … Father draws us and He knows and sees their faith. (a Pastor, Priest, a church building, etc. is not necessary.)
          Christ Jesus explained how it all works with this analogy .. John 15:1 I AM the True Vine, and My Father is the Vinedresser.
          John 15:2 ….He cleanses {and} repeatedly prunes every branch that continues to bear fruit, to make it bear more {and} richer {and} more excellent fruit. …. (and 1John 1:9 .. as we confess our sins, He will forgive us and cleanse us.)
          John 15:4 Dwell in Me, and I will dwell in you. [Live in Me, and I will live in you.] Just as no branch can bear fruit of itself without abiding in (being vitally united to) the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in Me.
          John 15:5 ….. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing. …… apostacy.
          1 John 4:17 In this [spiritual union and communion with Him – one with Christ] love is brought to completion {and} attains perfection with us, that we may have confidence for the day of judgment [with assurance and boldness to face Him], because as He is, so are we in this world.… branches grafted into Him, the True Vine, moment by moment receiving all that He is and has (Christ in … Christian), including the seeds of the fruit … cleansing, purifying, strengthening, equipping us, so that we can bear much fruit for Father’s glory and use (John 15). The fruit being .. Gal 5:22 -24 But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge]. And those who belong to Christ Jesus (the Messiah) have crucified the flesh (the godless human nature) with its passions and appetites {and} desires.
          Col 1:16 For it was in Him that all things were created, in heaven and on earth, things seen and things unseen, whether thrones, dominions, rulers, or authorities; all things were created {and} exist through Him [by His service, intervention] and in {and} for Him. Col 1:17 And He Himself existed before all things, and in Him all things consist (cohere, are held together). – so everything that is needed will come from Him … not by our effort! …. So simply rest in Him and wait expectantly.
          Joined to Lord Jesus, all can say and know …I am as He is –born again – part of the Body of Christ (He is the head … thus we have the mind of Christ), anointed with the Holy Spirit. Apart from Him, I can do nothing! The Body of Christ – Him and all branches are the True Church on earth …. because as Lord Jesus is,(the Word of God), so are we in this world (1 John 4:17)
          1 Cor 3:16 Do you not discern {and} understand that you [the whole church] are God’s temple (His sanctuary), and that God’s Spirit has His permanent dwelling in you [to be at home in you, collectively as a church and also individually]?
          As an example of what I have encountered many times. …. In January, 2020 I was invited to a “main line” church by a neighbour. An elderly couple entered the seats immediately in front of me. He was almost doubled over and had a walking frame. She had two walking sticks and were long term attendees of the church. I asked, “Would you like the Lord Jesus to heal you?” Her reply was, “We are too sick for that!” Obviously, in all their attendance at “church” they had not been born again.
          I was given an insight into “the cause” soon after. The Pastor gave a 30 minute “talk” based on Scripture … BUT the emphasis he placed on it was more of a physical need rather than spiritual ….. Paul (Saul) tells us how all “Believers” should believe … Gal 2:20 I have been (spiritually) crucified with Christ [in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ (the Messiah) lives in me; and the life I now live in the body I live by faith in (by adherence to and reliance on and complete trust in) the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me. … Paul was baptised soon after the platelets fell from his eyes. Maybe a lot of “church attenders have platelets on their eyes?
          After the service I chatted with the Pastor, an elder and some other seniors from the church. I was advised that a home group was starting near to my home. I requested if I could attend and added my details to a list. I received an e mail a few days later to the effect – “You cannot attend the home group … you are too “full on” and it may not be good for the others.”

          like you have, I have made quite a number of submissions to this topic, plus others … maybe you can review some of them to “get a better idea” of “where I am at!”
          Corey has my e mail address – if you wish to share further, please obtain my e mail address and contact me.

  32. tpattonjr@yahoo.com on March 11, 2019 at 3:43 am

    Saved at 16 and I knew and understood what I was doing! But since high school I have doubted my salvation. Because of bad circumstances I have been in bars and women strip bar’s, I have stolen, I have cursed God and said that He is evil and His word is from devils, I have committed fornication, and looked at stuff that should not even exist. That’s a real serious anger towards God that I have, that He still created humanity knowing the evil and horrible acts that they can do to any living creature all sexual perversion. Anyway, I have prayed for forgiveness after I survived colon cancer which was found by mistake and I feel that God cannot or will not forgive me because I knew what I was doing was wrong. So what do you think did I loose salvation? I want to make sure that I’m really saved but after praying the prayer I still feel dont and even uncomfortable being in His House! What should I do, does God hear my prayers? Is there ever a point that He could retract your salvation? Of course this is a condensed version would be too long otherwise

  33. Theodore Wright on February 4, 2019 at 9:31 am

    The article here mentions 5 reasons people have stopped attending your church. Actually, what you will commonly find is that they have not stopped attending church altogether. They have just stopped attending what you call “your church”. What makes it “yours” anyway? Oh, because it is your favorite or what you most usually attend?

    What you see more often now is that Christians will attend more than one church and visit around also. These are called “Maverick Christians”. This is a growing prevalent movement going on. Read more… http://maverickchristians.com

  34. DeeDee on January 23, 2019 at 12:17 pm

    I have received and learned so very much, just from the 5 reasons given on today. I am told that I am considered as a leader in my church, where I have worshipped for several years. I am very active in womens ministry, am an assistant adult Sunday School reacher, a certified Christian Chaplain, a published author, radio personality and gospel music promoter. I could not have accomplished anything without Jesus Christ in my life,(Philippeans 4:13). I know how it feels to experience the blessed Holy Spirit, stirring in my soul. Yet over the past couple of years, while sitting in service at my church, I have not been feeling the safe (a word leadership does not like to use in the Body of Christ), environment to express my praise and worship. I am discerning that I have been oppressed in many ways and that my deeds, words, teachings and service to the Lord, are not received by the pastors and the leadership, in the same way that Christ does receive it who had no respect of person, (Romans 2:11). Seems as though only certain persons, in the services, are allowed to express the joys of the Lord. When I attempted to share this wound with my senior pastor, his answers were most passive and dismissive. And he sometimes call issues of concern, complaints. I can assure anyone, I am not a complainer, I am a mediator and problem solver. However, I still stood on the promises and praying without ceasing, and giving thanks, ( 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18).
    My main concern is, how am I to give all my best, my first fruits, which He deserves. And continue to grow in Christ, while at the same time, consistently feeling isolated, restricted and dismissed by leadership?

  35. Angela Norwood on December 7, 2018 at 4:38 am

    😂😂 I have a peeve with that too and with grammatical errors. However, it may be an oversight on my part about the typos and misspelled words but overall it’s an article in which I agree BC I am experiencing these things right now to the present day.

  36. Kate on November 22, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    This post needs some serious spelling checks.

    • Yvonne Jenkins on November 27, 2018 at 10:31 pm

      Churches made of brick and stone are businesses. Not once did king Jesus build a building to conduct services in. The church/temple is your body. These pastors and their families make merchandise out of people. Jesus Christ came to serve not to be served. If you want to please God give to charities that will feed, clothe, provide medical attention to people who are in need. Stop putting money in these churches for the money is going into their bank accounts and their children will inherit their ministries that they say belong to God…

      • Dale Miller on January 4, 2019 at 6:20 am

        So true, and they tell you to give so that God can bless you when the preachers are the richest ones in the church. I have been involved in different churches and seen this repeatedly and don’t care to see it any longer!

      • D. A. Taylor on January 4, 2019 at 10:47 am

        I struggled with these issues for many years. So I decided to write a book about it — and yes, the book does not ask for money!

        So if you are interested, I would appreciate your thoughts on what I have written.

        You can find the book here: https://www.christsreligion.com/Volume-1.html

      • DeeDee on January 23, 2019 at 12:46 pm

        Wow. This statement is so interesting because another worshiper and myself, had a similiar conversation, recently. The mutual feeling is that the church is not for the congregation and the people of God. It would seem more for the children and grandchildren to inherit, like a business would pass down. Now I know that we all love our spouses, our children and grandchildren, family and friendships. But I must ask the question, is this the way that God intended?

      • Gail Frye on April 14, 2019 at 8:47 am

        That has been my experience with my church, mostly ever since the older members of the congregation have passed away. It is just sad, but I feel like they were the heart of the church, still had a grasp of correct theology, were sharing their passion for the Gospel 24/7. My Sunday School teacher was 98 when she died, and taught our class almost right up until the day she died.

        After she and others passed on, it was like there were a bunch of folks just waiting for them to get out of the way so the church could begin introducing more and more contemporary music AND VIEWS into our services. Contrary to popular belief, stuff like this does NOT hang on to millenials. Those kids come back to church to find the church of their youth, the constant glue that held their families together for generations, only to find something nearly unrecognizable and convictions that once were sacred tossed for more modern, tolerant, viewpoints. All for the purpose of putting butts in the pews and money in the plate. It is having the opposite effect. Those millenials don’t see us as trying to reach out to them … they see people they were counting on to remain steadfast in sound Biblical principles going off the rails — lots of noise, little substance, and no talk of repentance. They then ask themselves the question: Did our parents really believe any of the things they said they believed when we were little? And if “I’m okay, you’re okay” is now the rule of the church, why do we need to bother?

        We stopped attending for the following:

        Too much focus on the busyness of the Church, rather than the Gospel.

        Feeling under attack by a group of people who were give the directive to “divide and conquer” by separating us from our children and each other into various small groups. We come to this church to worship TOGETHER, not to get busted up so it is more difficult for us to leave the building.

        Being put to work almost immediately upon just visiting! We both already have jobs … we did not come here looking for a second job. Just because my husband is a music teacher does not mean your choir director can hand off the choir, the bell choir, the children’s choir, that awful “Praise Band.”

        Missions, missions, mission, and more missions. Here’s a thought – stop adding more and more missions and pick one or two where you can really make a difference rather than letting every member of the congregation start their own mission, hence spreading church money and resources so thin that do no mission much good at all!

        We gave up when the preacher started doing “commercials” from the pulpit for light bulb fundraisers to help pay for updating the audio visuals. In my opinion, they were unnecessary in the first place. If you truly had something worth sharing, you would not need them.

      • Gail Drisdelle on May 13, 2019 at 5:09 pm

        Guess it’s call KEEP IT SIMPLE,
        It’s not about the building…that needs maintenance….that costs!
        It’s about people…needing people…sorry, not going into song!

    • A.N on December 7, 2018 at 4:36 am

      😂😂 I have a peeve with that too and with grammatical errors. However, it may be an oversight on my part about the typos and misspelled words but overall it’s a article in which I agree BC I am experiencing these things right now to the present day.

  37. BANNERMKR on October 29, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    Honestly its because the church is too big it’s now all about glitz, glamour, and putting on a show. If people go it’s to blend into the walls. The pastors are not accessible they have security guards around them, no real ministry by pastors anymore people are just funneled off into groups. I’m a preacher’s kid and believe that everything has been lost with stupid megachurches it’s too much of a circus now

    • Rodger Niemeier on October 29, 2018 at 6:23 pm

      I hear what you’re saying, Bannermkr: not sure if your only experience has been with a “mega church”. It’s interesting that only 2.41% of America’s Christian churches are “mega” (1k or more members). Even large churches (500 to 999 members) are only 4% of all the churches; 35% 100 – 499 and 59% are just 7 to 99 members (http://hirr.hartsem.edu/research/fastfacts/fast_facts.html). Myself, I’ve always liked the smaller churches, simply because they often don’t get into the “circus” of performance-audience clamor and the opportunity for real relational connection is more likely (though, still, leadership has to promote and demonstrate this).
      The other wonderful thing about the smaller church is that it’s more apt to respond to change (yes, they possibly can have controlling pastors/elders, too) when a member or a few begin to express and pray for getting back to any lost sense of the Lord’s Presence and community in Christ. I’ve been in small churches where there are enough truly sincere lovers-of-Christ that they respond to a fresh wind of the Spirit and spiritual renewal; and I’ve also been in churches where it became apparent any attempt for change would not be welcomed.
      I have a feeling, though, this is not a new thing. Yet it will be up to those Christians who are sensing the need to break the apathy of sleeping churches, by prayer, by sharing concern with others, church leaders….. I think it’s where we have to start; and if church leaders resist even a kind approach, perhaps we need to find a fellowship where the attitude is different and open to the Lord’s leading; or, get together with any like-minded believers who want to seek the Lord anew, afresh, and see if the Lord wants to start a new fellowship on the “right footing”.

      • Arturo Sanchez on January 14, 2019 at 12:47 pm

        Roger, truth and the following 4 angels of life which lead to Jesus Christ is what needs preaching in every Church of God. Belief, preaching the four angels of life will always lead to Jesus Christ and all the blessings come from God. When we preach Gods heart, all things begin to happen even to cause the enemy to rise against anyone preaching this everyday. The 4 angels of death will come seeking to destroy the truth and the 4 angels of life which then lead to our Lord Jesus Christ. Theirs only one true church of God and its not called catholism, mormonism, methodist, baptist, JWs, 7day adven., its called the true and only “Gospel,” which we find in MATT: 28.19. We have left and as such we have many splinter groups just as we did back in “33 AD” The Nostics, Mountainist, Marichians and Novations. After this period came Sabellist, Calvinist, Arianism and by the way, many others who were seeking entrance into the Cannon when it was finalized sometime in 325 AD. We havent left. Currently, im in direct church with God our Father, Jesus Christ and they Holy Spirit and guess what? They neither lie to me nor do they hide from me amen..99.9% of all churchs in this world are not entering heaven not because i say but because God has spoken. Terribly sad. Having false doctrines, brothers and sisters who preach not the word of God but the word of mankind does not help. May God help us. Amen

    • Gail Drisdelle on May 13, 2019 at 5:14 pm

      Sorry, I know where the really big churches are….they are non-denominational and on a beach, in a parking lot, in an old school! It’s not about the building….it’s about current & help me find God!….and lots of great music!
      I have seen over & over….1000 attending….and beyond.

  38. D. A Taylor on September 26, 2018 at 11:13 pm

    When will people start following Christ (the real Shepherd) instead of self-appointed pastors (a word that means “shepherd”)? Jesus plainly said He is the ONLY Shepherd!

    • Rodger Niemeier on September 26, 2018 at 11:39 pm

      Amen! No one should follow “self-appointed” pastors; nor are we to follow pastors at all. Pastors’ biblical role is one of tending to the followers of Christ wherever they come together, to encourage and support one another in edifying fellowship. As Paul said, “He (God) gave some to be pastors, evangelists, teachers – etc. – for the purpose of building up the believers …”. Do we need them – of course we do! Jesus ministers through His appointed/called ministers to the Body, so that we’re all together following Christ, supporting each other in the most challenging venture on earth. So Paul said, “Follow me even as I follow the Lord”. I wasn’t calling for people to make Paul God and follow him, but rather exhorting them to follow Jesus with every bit as deliberateness as Paul himself was following Christ. Those God raises up (as opposed to “self-appointed”) are there to encourage individual believers, as well as the local assembly of believers, in following the Lord carefully, prayerfully and rightly. They are part of the Body, too, just serving in the pastoral role, as the Lord directs.
      As the old saying goes, “Don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater”. You can’t generalize and be truthful, and call all Christian pastors, ministers and/or leaders, “self-appointed”. If you’ve never had the experience of being called into church leadership or pastoral ministry, be careful not to diss those who have. They are fellow Brothers & Sisters in Christ, with all their own issues they’re still working on in Christ, just called to a leadership role for whatever length of time, as our Father so leads. There are some pastors/leaders who are “off”; but there are some who are genuine in their relationship with Christ and take their calling to leadership very seriously, and humbly. Surely we should seek out a local fellowship where the pastor and/or leaders are humble, devote followers of Jesus.

      • D. A Taylor on September 26, 2018 at 11:52 pm

        Thus the commandments of Christ again become meaningless!

        In the Bible., the words “shepherd” and “pastor” are the same original language words. And Jesus said He is the ONLY shepherd/pastor.

        Furthermore, Jesus said He is our only spiritual leader:

        But do not be called Rabbi; for one is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ (Matthew 23:8-10).

        So why do you disagree with the teachings of Christ?

        • Rodger Niemeier on September 27, 2018 at 12:14 am

          Christ’s words never become meaningless; but there certainly can be the problem of us not accurately understanding what He meant. Context, context, context: you can’t pull even Jesus’ words out of context and rightly understand His intentions. He was speaking this to His disciples in light of the interaction He was having with and about the Pharisees, who coveted titles of importance, out of pride, for the purpose of being held in awe and basically worshiped – which, as Jesus was emphatically addressing, robs God of His glory. For the same Jesus was preparing His disciples-become-apostles to feed His sheep (to Peter, 3 times), to take oversight over the young believers who would come to Christ, and nurture them, not for recognition as leaders (prideful hungering for power or glory), but to serve humbly – to fulfill a particular role in the Body of Christ.
          If you take Jesus’ words out of their context, then you end up with a contradiction of even Jesus’ words. For if he literally meant to not even acknowledge your earthly father and call him father, or someone who, in Christ, teaches His Word to build up believers in Christ, as they are called to do, then Jesus doesn’t make sense. But if you understand these words of our Lord in the context of His teaching His disciples (which we are to be doing, from Jesus’ own words and commission given just prior to His ascension: “Go TEACH…and make disciples….” (Mt 28). Jesus spoke these words to negate the Pharisees’ abuse of titles for the purpose of being authoritarian and dominating: that’s what He was speaking about in regards to those who follow Him.

  39. Dereck on September 10, 2018 at 6:39 am

    Great article. I’m assuming the 5 reasons have not been given in order of importance or magnitude, but if I were to arrange them in order of magnitude, Id’ say the biggest reason people are turned off, is (2)- God is missing in the church and (5)- They’re not finding community.
    This bizarre and tragic, but the name of our blessed Lord Jesus is not uplifted and magnified in far too many churches. As a result there is no fire, no movement of the Spirit – therefore no power. Too much worldliness in the church.
    Also, churches can be incredibly lonely and unwelcome places, especially the big ones. People soon congregate into their small cliques of ‘like-minded’ people and discuss work, sport, holidays and other worldly concerns. Newcomers can find it extremely hard to break into these well established ‘small clubs’ within the church. So that many churches are in fact huge collections of small clubs. They don’t resemble the body of Christ.

    • Matt on November 9, 2018 at 10:49 am

      I agree with you 100%. At one church my wife and I atended for 3 yrs and in that time the Holy Spirit was taught only once. And that time it was taught that it was not for today to speak in tongues and that the moving of the Holy Spirit as seen in certain ministries of the 80’s and 90’s was wrong. Also taught that laying on of hands was not for today. Needless to say we felt released to leave that church that Sunday night after presenting the truth to our small ” life group” and being completely ignored and shunned because of it.
      I think that most Pastors today wouldn’t know what to do if the Holy Spirit was to begin to move in their church. Most churches has so structered the service to make sure there is no time for that stuff.

  40. Keith on September 9, 2018 at 9:19 pm

    This was a good article. My journey has led me to be a member of three churches, and all three have gone through tragic church splits, with much in-fighting, back-biting, pastors leaving, etc. I guess I can’t pick’em. I’m waiting now to hear from the Lord where to go. Meanwhile, what’s the point if you’ve been burned by a fire three times, to jump back into a fire to get healed? That’s what everybody says I should do, i.e. go back to church, but it doesn’t make sense to me. Too many bad memories. I love Jesus, just not his people at the moment after what his people did to me (three times!).

    You asked if there are any other topics or complaints why people don’t go to church, and my friends (I am a man) all say that churches are mainly too feminine, controlled by women, and pastors who aren’t “manly” men. They don’t relate. Also, the songs are way too high for men to sing. Just a thought. And that’s why they seek out bible studies, or promise keepers or other non-church events or fellowships for their edification.

    • Gail Drisdelle on May 13, 2019 at 5:18 pm

      The songs are often way too high for a women too! We love singing…put it in most people’s range or show 2 octaves…a high & a low.

  41. Marc Jelinek on August 17, 2018 at 9:58 pm

    I agree with Cameron Rowe to some extent. I too have worked in the Church, and unless you are in some sort of “group”, you really don’t feel connected. I believe this is what the American Church is missing – it’s connection to men and women.  I don’t believe our Churches have equipped the elders to make a difference in it’s member’s lives. We are too concerned with growth or Church “projects” instead of taking care of the people that are already there. How do I know this? Because, I believe our culture is a reflection of what is going on in the Church. Our businesses are more focused on quantity over quality. Loyalty only lasts as long as the money lasts, and our faith is wrapped up in how the economy is doing. Our Church leadership is modeled by worldly standards. People in today’s Church do not know God’s Word, and what little they do know is taken out of context and worn as a badge of honor, which, in turn divides. Any serious discussion of what’s going on in our society turns into a political debate, instead of falling on our knees and praying for. In a world with information at our fingertips, we have become spiritually unaware. I believe this is the spiritual war talked about in Ephesians 6. We have so many distractions in this country of affluence. “For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens”(v12). We must, as the Church in these United States, repent from these distractions, and focus on the only One who can set us apart, and make us holy through His unending mercy, love and grace. Only then will we be able to truly be united through our Lord and Savior Jesus, the Christ, the one and only Son of God, in whom we can find the ultimate redemption from our sin.

  42. Phyllis on August 16, 2018 at 8:38 pm

    One of the many reasons my Father led me out of organized churches was because almost all preachers do not care to go into the scriptures deep enough to get doctrinal issues correct. What we believe has a direct impact on our relationship with God, relationship with each other and our quality of life. They preach what the attendees want to hear for fear of member loss.
    For example, the apostle Philip had 4 preaching daughters. Paul named a female apostle. Junia. Paul told women to cover their heads (just a custom) when they prophesied, which means inspired teaching. Etc. etc and etc.
    So, total male domination leaves a church handicapped for the word of God needs to be filtered through a female’s brain occasionally. This is only one example of the many false teachings coming from the pulpit.
    Stagnation is a disease that will stunt our growth and cause a church to rot. We/preachers are supposed to be looking into scripture on a regular basis to find out where we are wrong and have the courage to share it with the congregation.
    I actually was told by a pastor of a large church that they have all of their doctrinal ducks in a row. Wow! I can’t believe that people actually think that they can be perfect like God is with their thinking. Scary.
    Pastors that are teaching that tithing will bring blessings for them are teaching the opposite of new testament doctrines. Hebrews chapter 7 makes that very clear and the apostles never, ever took money from the brethren.
    After 38 years of attending church God led me out and my spiritual growth took off.
    I still get together with other believers as God helps us find one another yet I wish I could find that group of believers that can dump their pride and admit they can’t be right about everything as I struggle to do.

    • Brenda R. on September 26, 2018 at 5:42 pm

      I love this response. Where did you go when you went out.

      • William on November 11, 2018 at 9:29 am

        People claim to want to help the Church or help out in the Church. The same people who are helping act wrong in the eyes of the Lord. Those people who help, will not speak to a new person nor let that new person. Even if the person tries to ask a question they are ignored like they dont exist. GOD will judge them accordingly. They dont care if they hurt someone feelings. So how is that one can come to Church every Sunday for the last 2 years not be liked for no reason is beyond me. People have jealousy in thier heart? One has to think I will not be mean or not say hello. They can ignore that one person. Next time some people you see them by the coffee machine. I shall not engage in any conversation at all. It’s really there loss as they act like they are so much better than you are. I am not exactly sure of the reason and dont not care, it’s silly to be so immature like a little child. We are suppose to be adults not act like little children.

    • Gail Drisdelle on May 13, 2019 at 5:22 pm

      Love this response….it’s called thinking and listening to & about God.

  43. Joyce Orenson on August 12, 2018 at 4:48 pm

    Although I agree with this list of reasons, I think one glaringly obvious reason is being overlooked…and most likely on purpose. Who was it who said, “It’s the economy, stupid”? IMO, a major, perhaps the major reason that people have stopped attending church is because they simply cannot afford it anymore. Church has always been, for the most part, a product of the middle class, which has provided the money for its existence. Prior to Reagan and the Moral Majority/Christian Coalition’s unholy alliance with the GOP, one man could work one full time job and support his entire family. He could pay for a house, a car, a vacation to Disney or the Grand Canyon once a year and could even afford to give the local church a tithe. Thanks to trickle up economics, those days are long over. Now, it takes two people working two jobs each just to survive. People simply don’t have the luxury of giving 10% of their income to a church anymore. It’s no different than sneaking into the YMCA’s pool without paying for a membership. Eventually, somebody is going to notice and tell you that you need to support the church if you want to continue coming. Why subject yourself to that kind of humiliation?

    • Amelia on April 27, 2019 at 3:35 pm

      I remember going to a church where at the end of a lot of sermons, the pastor said, “Remember the poor.” I was only a teenager, but I really liked that. He was reminding people to not forget about the poor, and that they’re an important group of people for Christians to help and show compassion to. And poor can mean poor economically, poor physically, poor emotionally, poor mentally, poor socially, were poorly parented as children (this is a huge population. Just because you meet someone as an adult, don’t forget they had a childhood, and that could very well have been fraught with horror) etc. You have to find out how someone is poor, and comfort them. People need help.

      • Peter on April 27, 2019 at 3:38 pm

        So very true.

  44. Rick Owen on July 30, 2018 at 1:42 pm

    I would say all five reasons turned me away from church 8 years ago, at the age of 54, after attending regularly and actively contributing in a variety of ways since my teen years. Sincere love toward God and sacrificial love for one’s neighbor, which the grace of redemption is supposed to enable believers to practice, should be a daily habit. If you can find a group of likeminded believers who encourage and equip one another toward this — where the local church functions as a mutually-edifying ‘ekklessia’ (i.e., a Christian ‘congress’ of co-equal believer-priests pursuing kingdom truths, issues and projects; such as NTRF.org promotes), versus a stage show — then this can be very helpful. Substitutes for the ‘real thing’ are not very helpful — in fact, they can be detrimental — but one can still live according to and enjoy the fruitful benefits and blessings of loving God and one’s neighbor even when local churches are spiritually barren.

  45. Melissa on July 30, 2018 at 1:28 pm

    I agree with some of you article. Under 30s biggest problem is they grew up socializing on electronics and most wont answer a phone, they need to be texted. They have very little face to face skills so it’s no surprise they don’t do well in church socialization. Though the main point of meeting at church is to worship God, receive God’s forgiveness of sin, gain strength to obey Him in a sinful world, and comfort in times of sorrow.
    I don’t disagree with some people may be confused by sermons but that is not likely the case for people who were raised in the church. Babies in Christ are going to need a Bible study class to learn the basics but even at that many churches give weekly bulletins to follow along and fill in the blanks. But its also important that people understand you need a relationship with God and He will tell you in various ways what He wants you to know. Sometimes He speaks in an audible voice, sometimes through music, sometimes through people, once he spoke through a donkey!. As a person grows in God you rely more on God. It’s a learning process. All of us started at day 1 at one point and had to go from there.
    I agree many non believers feel judged but that’s what is supposed to happen not by people but by the Spirit of God. If a pastor is speaking on adultery, a person in sexual sin will probably be convicted but it is the Holy Spirit doing the convicting so the person can confess, repent of their sin, and be saved. The Bible details how to handle sin in the church. The elders, deacons, are to confront that person in private. Those people do have to discern, not judge, that a person is living in sin, say a husband cheating on his wife, in order to hold them accountable: the 2nd purpose of church. When you love people you don’t turn your head when they are injuring themselves, you intervene.
    Non churched people don’t understand that church people are different only by one decision: they have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. They are not sinless, they struggle with the flesh (sin) every moment of everyday. When convicted of sin by the Holy Spirit they repent. Christian’s do not claim to be perfect but knows the Perfect One.
    I agree there are self righteous church goers and ones who are there for social purposes but there are many more there broken and on their knees before God. It’s like the gym. You have the already fit muscular people that intimidate the full sized out of shape. If you are there to get in shape and feel better about yourself you ignore any negative comments or stares and get on with getting healthier. Same in church: if you are there to know God and learn to live in Him you can ignore any people that get in the way.
    It’s about you and God, period.

  46. anna sisay on July 25, 2018 at 7:27 am

    This is Great message and needs very serious attention. since the God loves his redeemed souls. he anointed pastors to lead through until his coming. as Jesus Christ speak to peter If you love me keep my sheep. that does not mean responsibility of Only few pastors in the church. it is responsibility of all believers in the church. in our church we are planning to do survey on the factors that forces believers not to come to church. this will be a hint for this survey. thank you for message God bless you Dear pastor.

  47. DidNot Leavea Name on July 23, 2018 at 12:04 am

    It is helpful when churches honor people’s time. If the service is 1hr…stick to 45min to an hour. Quicker on the transitions betweenssongs, readings, prayer. Otherwise, the service seems out of control. Often people have activities right after the service. Respect people’s time.

    • Peter Lagasse on July 23, 2018 at 1:39 am

      I thought we had come to worship God and that God’s time came before our time. He’s the King and we should be honored that He even wants to meet us

      • G on August 3, 2018 at 5:35 pm

        Peter, I think you may be improperly equating sitting through a long church service with giving God time. In fact, it can be that churchy mentality that becomes the real turnoff. Over the decades I’ve sat through many church services and come out with the sense of wasting valuable time, feeling like the service was more about the pastor and his programs than about time with God. On the other hand, I’ve had some of my best times with God apart from church services. Most of our church services are nothing like New Testament gatherings of Christians.

        • Peter on April 27, 2019 at 3:49 pm

          I apparently was very blessed with a variety of pastors that were a blessing along with the church fsmily. I am not saying everything was perfect. Where there are human beings, problems are bound to happen.
          When we ever we had to move we always found a wonderful church family where we spent time worshipping God.
          I guessed I have been blessed for nearly six decades in my life from age 5 to today.

      • Rick Owen on August 4, 2018 at 10:50 am

        Acts 2:42 — the beginning of Jesus pouring out his Spirit to build his church as he had previously promised in Matt. 16:18 — highlights four essentials for New Testament churches which the rest of the New Testament repeatedly affirms (highlighted in my article linked below). Most churches today are not doing these things as the core activities of their gatherings week-in and week-out. To one degree or another, other activities, including what many call ‘worshiping God,’ have been substituted.

        Worship (i.e., recognizing and making known God’s worth) and true religion encompass an attitude, posture and life of daily devotion to God and one’s neighbor in practical ways — not a ‘stage show,’ rituals or manmade liturgies for an hour or two performed by paid professionals in front of unpaid spectators. James wrote, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world” (James 1:27).

        Christ’s “ekklesia” (call-out assembly) believers and disciples is likened to a spiritual body with many members and a variety of spiritual gifts meant to be used (1 Cor. 12:7-27). A body is designed to be active; it’s members need exercise, practice and engagement to be healthy and to bear good fruit. A few professionalized parts should not eclipse or supplant the rest of the body when the church is gathered as a church to function as a ‘congressional’ or ‘town-hall’ gathering (ekklesia) of co-equal, mutually-edifying believer-priests (1 Pet. 2:4-5,9; 4:10).


  48. Sheila on July 21, 2018 at 2:35 am

    I too left church participation and Sunday Service attendance due to lack of genuine community. No one cared enough to find out why I stopped coming. I just got a letter from the leadership asking me to sign a covenant for membership that included attendance. I was furious and heart broken. They took the pains to check with me if I was staying or going but nothing else. It felt like they were just cleaning up the membership list and someone said “Hey I haven’t seen her here in a long time.” This highlights what is wrong with today’s church. It is not real. People cannot be real. It’s not okay to be hurting or damaged in any way. Sermons are either too ethereal, intellectual or basic and don’t help with application in the person’s life. God can’t be found because the people in the church aren’t being the hands and feet of Jesus. The barriers? a pastor may want to make changes but the board may hold him back. So nothing changes. The church may have no focus or direction that leads them to change. And the average church goer/ consumer votes with their feet…which can destroy a church, especially a small one.

    • Peter. on July 21, 2018 at 7:45 am

      I pastor a small church in Maine. As I read your story my heart was breaking. I love my congregation and they love my wife and I. As with any church we do have people leave but we immediately reach out to them to see what we can do to help.
      Usually they have already made up their minds. I still contact them to let them know we are thinking of them.
      Of course If they start going to another church I won’t do that but bless them in their new place of worshi.
      For me when someone leaves with out any reason given it hurts just as when our 25 year old son died. I realize we can’t be all things to all people.
      I guess the greatest concern I have with people today is when some people come to the church to see what it can offer them instead of coming to worship God as their primary purpose.
      My family when I was a child taught me through their actions we went to church to offer our thanks to our Lord and savior. And offer our abilities to serve the church.
      The church as with any family would have their problems but we went through those times and grew stronger.
      I am thankful for parents and those at the church that taught me it’s not what the church can do for me but what I can do for God.
      As a pastor now I do reach out to the needs who come and aim to teach we are a family with our warts and all that will fail at times but we desire to have a place where people can come to worship God and to love one another at the place we are and praying we will all grow to become more like Jesus.
      I pray you will find a church family that all love God and will in turn love you.

      • Rochelle on July 21, 2018 at 11:30 am

        Thank you pastor for being authentic and having a heart for God and God’s people. May God continue to keep and bless you, your family, church family and ministry. Thank you also for that word of encouragement to the writer.

      • Rodger Niemeier on July 23, 2018 at 12:31 am

        I think there is just a big disconnect – where than we pastors tend to realize – between us and our “lay people”. The “professionalism” of ministry (John Piper: Brothers, We Are Not Professionals), borrowed from the world categorizing pastorate as another ‘job’, profession, has promoted a distancing between “clergy” and congregants. Both leadership AND congregants have bought into this perception. It is a cultural influence that seems to parallel the professor and his/her class of students, and the pulpit is the professor’s podium of the sanctuary classroom.
        This certainly doesn’t mean the pastor fills an important role of leadership, teaching, and overseeing the flock; but we’ve taken it to mean that we as leaders should be aloof from our church members, like medical doctors with their patients (but who does rejoice when they find a medical doctor who is more personable and easy to relate to!?).
        As to members leaving our fellowship, it should be a rare occurrence when someone leaves and surprises us by it! If the shepherd knows his/her flock and has interpersonal relationships with those called to minister to, he/she will know to a good extent what’s on the hearts and minds of their “sheep”. “Visitation” used to be considered as essential a part of real “pastoring” – and not just when someone was in the hospital or died – and so pastoring to the surviving family. When I was a youngster (I’m 66 now), I remember the pastor coming by at times just to visit and pray with our family. To my parents, “Hub” (short for Hubert) was not just their pastor, but a friend – and you could see it in how they greeted and talked with each other after a Sunday service. But even Hub eventually ceased his rounds – which was sad.

        How do you minister effectively to those you don’t really know – and know what’s on their hearts and minds, and the things they are grappling with in their day-to-day lives?

        • Rodger Niemeier on July 23, 2018 at 12:43 am

          Forgive me for too many mistakes in my post (that will teach me to do this late evening!). I couldn’t find a means provided to delete or correct posts, so please accept my revision here:

          I think there is just a big disconnect – more than we pastors tend to realize – between us and our “lay people”. The “professionalism” of ministry (John Piper: Brothers, We Are Not Professionals) borrows from the world the categorization of pastoral ministry as another ‘job’, profession, promoting a distancing between “clergy” and congregants. Both leadership AND congregants have bought into this perception. It is a cultural influence that seems to parallel the professor and his/her class of students, and the pulpit is the professor’s podium of the sanctuary classroom.

          This certainly doesn’t mean the pastoral role of leadership, teaching, and overseeing the flock isn’t important and biblical; but we’ve taken it to mean that we as leaders should be aloof from our church members, like medical doctors tend to be with their patients (but who doesn’t rejoice when they find a medical doctor who is more personable and easy to relate to!?).

          As to members leaving our fellowship, it should be a rare occurrence when someone leaves UNEXPECTANTLY! If the shepherd knows his/her flock and has interpersonal relationships with them, he/she will know to a good extent what’s on the hearts and minds of their “sheep” – and any intent of moving on. “Visitation” used to be considered as essential a part of real “pastoring” as preaching – and not just visiting when someone was hospitalized or deceased (visiting the family). When I was a youngster (I’m 66 now), I remember the pastor coming by at times just to visit, ask us how we were truly doing, and pray with us. To my parents, “Hub” (short for Hubert) was not just their pastor, but a friend – and you could see it in how they greeted and talked with each other after a Sunday service. But even Hub eventually ceased his rounds – which was sad.

          How do you minister effectively to those you don’t really know, and truly know what’s on their hearts and minds, and the things they are grappling with in their day-to-day lives?

          The short answer is: you don’t!

          • Peter Lagasse on July 23, 2018 at 1:33 am

            I too grew up in a time when pastors and the those in the congregation were much closer and visitation was just a normal activity of the pastor. Also those that had been in the church longer than we had would often drop in and talk about the Lord and pray for each other’s needs.
            In my first pastorate in the 1980’s visiting people in the church during the week was a common practice along with spending time with those in the hospital or nursing home.
            In my present pastorate I am often not told If someone is entering the hospital. If I do and offer to come sit with those in the waiting room during a surgery of their love one they never take me up on the offer.
            I spend time with the people as I serve the food during the Bean Suppers or work along beside on our work days at the church.
            Visitation has been become difficult when most parents work and they are not up to an evening visit..
            I try to spend as much time as possible after the morning service talking to the people.

            Then as one writer shared we pastors must be mindful of the people’s time. So we pastors seem to consider what the people want more than what God wants. Growing up we usually did stick to a time frame but we did understand that God was the one in control of the service and at times the service might run longer. We were not upset if it happened because we had come to worship the King of Kings and He was the ultimate one to determine when the “meeting” was done not we His subjects.

      • G on August 3, 2018 at 5:50 pm

        Again, I truly think the problem is in the church-centered mentality, even in the attitude of “What can I do for the church?” Church leaders should be equipping the saints for service OUT FROM THE CHURCH, not bringing people in to get churched. (Eph. 4) I wish our congregations would do an about-face from attending to the pastor and worship team and turn around and face the world, going out from the church and into the culture to transform it for Christ. (And we are badly losing the battle for the culture, with the ungodly culture affecting the church more than the church the culture) But people are too busy going to church services, listening to speakers, and attending men’s breakfasts. Even good things reach the point of diminishing returns. There comes a point where a Christian’s maturity is in DOING the work of the ministry, and he doesn’t need a pastor leaning over his shoulder to do this. Our churches have become like a strange family where the children never really grow up. Instead of leaving their parents, they marry and bring their spouse into the parent’s home and raise their children under the grand patriarch (the pastor). Paul admonished in Hebrews that at the time they ought to be teachers they still have need for someone to teach them. Where is the maturity? Why the perpetual pastoral bottle-feed? I once asked a pastor who his very favorite speaker was, then asked him if he would like to listen to this person (his very favorite!) 40 times a year, year after year for several decades. Yet that is precisely what is going on in most of our churches. No wonder people become disinterested!

        • Gail Drisdelle on May 13, 2019 at 5:40 pm

          I get this & see it all around me.

      • Billy Pope on December 28, 2018 at 12:59 pm

        I’ve been in church for over 40 years read what you wrote as well as what the young lady wrote you were responding to and though this is just a observation you both are right and wrong and possibly me as well anyway the church is for worshiping the Lord true but it’s also for disciplining the unchurched that takes time and the love of God which in my humble opinion is the main problem in the church no time or love

    • Rochelle on July 21, 2018 at 11:27 am

      This is an unfortunate truth. Although, I still am attending church, I am just going through the motions. I have been attending a friend of mine and her husband’s church as a support for them. It is going on two years and I am still the only member with the exception of their family. The church as a whole is lacking authenticity and transparency. I am more,so getting fed by ministers who are not sugar-coating messages and not always preaching blessings but the word of God and daily practicality.

  49. Bless on May 24, 2018 at 10:52 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.


  50. Cameron on May 8, 2018 at 11:57 pm

    I quit church about a year ago. I even worked in the TV ministry at my church for years. Church, I’ve found, are full of cliques that do not want me (single and not a professional-type) in their lives. I know people in the TV ministry got together outside of church. They frequently talked about how they all knew each other, talked on the phone, etc., etc. But, not once did they ever invite me in.

    Do I miss church? Nope.

    And, even though I worked in a department at the church, not one single person ever called me to ask how I was doing or why I quit. Not one. I was totally invisible. I worked there, paid tithes, donated, etc. It was not good enough I guess.

    I’ve found this to be pretty much the case at many churches. If you are not their coveted church goer, you are never invited in to the cliques. What is coveted? Married, professional, kids, or just simply professional if single. Note: Baptist are the worst at it I found, and the single women toss themselves at a professional man like whores do in downtown. Baptist also are the biggest hypocrites (yes, I am a hypocrite,too!) of the lot. Pentecostals think the world is out to get them (and God is just waiting for your to screw up so he can punish you).

    Pastors so often talk in another language like everyone totally gets what they are saying. Few explain anything. Preachers have their “power” scriptures ready to toss out whenever there is a lull in their carefully crafted presentation. Pentecostals are definitely the best at riling up the crowd with power scriptures and anecedotes of how God is magic if you figure out the steps. I often joke, “Read Joel Osteen’s new book: 12 Steps to a Blessing” since that is all this guy ever talks about. And, then there are the pastors who spew the “SOW your seed, son! And, God will give you the lotto numbers!” LOL

    A lady above said, God loves you, you get saved and you can do no wrong in his eyes even if you do nothing. I WISH I WOULD’VE HEARD THIS 25 YEARS AGO!!!!!! She’s absolutely right. You get saved and you are God’s special creature now. I actually created a tract and am going to pass it out to people. I just leave one here and there. Plant some seeds. Let Jesus do all the work. It’s his job to save not mine.

    I’m sure there are some awesome people in churches all over. But, I think they are far and few between. Unfortunately, I didn’t meet many of them.

    And, by the way, for the guy way above that had the experience with Dave. I had them with guys just like Dave. I agree: F U, Dave. Enjoy your clique, um, country club, um, church.

    God loves the church. But, more and more, I think he’s invited to very few of them. I remember this story about this guy sitting outside the church on the steps telling God, “they kicked me out and won’t let me in.” God said to the man, “Don’t worry, they don’t let me in either.”

    You know what the problem is? Church has become about the money. That’s why they covet the professional man (or woman) with a family. They see dollar signs and not people. Hey, gotta finance those cathedrals with something.

    But, you know what? God can do more with a nickel given with a pure heart than a million dollars given with a bad one.

    • Christopher Lochner on May 20, 2018 at 2:00 pm

      Church is definitely a moneymaker. The “richest’ parish in the Archdiocese of Baltimore (Catholic) had a slide show “sermon” a number of years ago. And I am not kidding, while Fr. White said, “…and Jesus died for you…” {a slide of a cross appears} “…so that you may do this.” {a slide of a collection basket appears} . I walked out and waited around to talk to other churchgoers. “Isn’t that terrible?” being my question. “Not at all” was the response. Pay to pray and be part of the hive mentality. In reality, while the words in service may have value, there is very little implementation other than for fund raising purposes and ritualistic theatrics. Having been involved with and worked for a different Catholic parish, I can tell you, from my observations, that so very many do not truly believe what they say. Scripture knew of this as evidenced in Matthew 15:8 – “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” In modern times people are not as easily duped by the false piety of religious leaders. And don’t get me started on the amount of theft involved, known to the priests, but acceptable since they liked the thief who was on the staff! The Office of the Bishop claimed this to be a parish matter and not of their concern. If people really knew what went on in the parish centers they would leave in droves!

      • D. A. Taylor on May 20, 2018 at 6:16 pm

        It’s really no different in Protestant churches — except they use the Big Hammer of the tithing lie. Just like in Jesus’ day, the Christian Religion is not much more than a ploy to inflate egos and keep people employed.

    • Patt Hardaway on May 21, 2018 at 3:30 pm

      I am sorry you were not loved enough in the church. That is it’s main function. If you lived in Memphis, TN we would show you a different experience, Christ’s way. watercc.org

      • Cameron on July 4, 2019 at 4:25 pm

        It’s actually been good outside the church. I grew outside it by leaps and bounds. I’m an observer and saw a lot of things. I’m sure God opened my eyes to some things. I finally figured how God speaks to us, and I understand the flesh to a point,

        I live by 5 things.
        1) Acts 16:31. Salvation is a gift. Repent, ask Jesus into your heart, you’re in the club. Nothing can ever take it from you.
        2) God’s Grace is Sufficient. I do have a filthy mouth at times and beat myself up for years over little sins trying to be perfect. I finally told God, “your grace is sufficient, right? We gonna find out. I ain’t worrying about sin anymore, period. Don’t like it, kick me out.” He didn’t.
        3) Peace I give you, peace I leave you. If you don’t have peace, see #2 because you are tying to live under the law not grace.
        4) Love God and love others as Jesus commanded.
        5) Pray and tell God everything. Mad at him? Let him have it. I have cussed God out, yelled at him, told him wonderful things, etc., etc. Tell God everything. Hold nothing back. He doesn’t get mad. He just listens. After you get everything off your chest, listen for 10 minutes. The Holy Spirit will pop things into your head. That’s one way he talks to you. Fear is of the devil. God is kind, he’s sweet and he’s loving.

        The biggest thing God did for me was accept me for who I am. I was raped when I was 3.5 years old and went from male to female. One night, after I had lost all hope, God called me Rachel in a dream. I now love myself, don’t hate my body even though I’m male on the outside. I wouldn’t transition unless I was rich, and probably not then. I wasn’t born a women in a man’s body. My rape killed the little boy I was and the female took over. I also suffered a childhood filled with emotional abuse further cementing my feminine nature. Ever since that night, things have changed. I actually believe God loves me.

        • Rodger Niemeier on July 4, 2019 at 4:47 pm

          Unconditional love is the unique characteristic of our Father’s love for us. I like the truths of the Gospel expressed in this expression: “God loved us so much, He accepted us just the way we were; but He loves us so much, He won’t leave us as we are”. I used to have a bumper sticker years ago, when I was young in the Lord, it said: “Give your life to Christ: He can do more with it than you can.” All our problems stem from trying to define life, even life in Christ, by our own understandings and beliefs. We really can’t have all our heavenly Father wants to give us UNTIL we are willing to quit telling Him how our life has to be according to our wants and desires, simply because we cannot do better than God can with our lives. He actually knows what He is doing! He’s God! We’re not.

          I understand the traumatic, horrible rape that happened to you and, as you shared, how it has greatly affected you. The great thing is that Jesus, the Healer of the Brokenhearted, knows how to address the deep effects of trauma and how it has damaged our emotions and our thinking. Our Father doesn’t make mistakes in how He makes us, and He is more than able to “heal” that which has deeply wounded us so He can then bring us into all He intends for us to be – in Christ. Church is important when you understand what “church” is, which Jesus framed that word Himself and defined it when He told Peter, after expressing his faith that Jesus is the Son of God, that upon that kind of faith in Him He was going to build His Church. Not an “institutional” Church, but a Living Church composed of those who are simply “in Christ” – born again at the very center of their being, their spirit, and one with His Spirit, Jesus Christ, and the Father. But that new life is a process, as it is quite obvious that Christians, those truly “in Christ”, are no where near perfect over night, or even over a lifetime! Being “born again” (note the word “birth”) is just a beginning of an amazing process of the Lord helping us realize how things have hurt us, changed us, affected us in unhealthy and negative ways, and being able in Him to put those things off (Eph 4:22-24) while also putting on new, healthy, traits that bring true happiness, fulfillment, and a sense of being safe and secure in Him.

          I’m the first to admit, as a Christian minister of some 44 years, that there are indeed churches that are really off track and not the loving community, reflecting the character of Jesus, they should be! That’s because again, no one is perfected in Christ over night and everyone is “in process” – that’s not an excuse, but explanation of why Christians can still exhibit unhealthy, negative, even hurtful behaviors. But this is exactly why we need the Church, the fellowship of believers – because our Father seems to love to minister to each other, through each other: iron sharpens iron, which is going to involve sparks! But true change comes about in His presence in the community of those in the same boat, needing to change. We don’t learn how to love by withdrawing, and we don’t grow emotionally, spiritually and mentally without community either. Maybe it’s time for some “new” churches to form, that aren’t stuck in limiting traditions, but are truly led by the Lord of grace and truth – where everyone accepts each other just as they are, but the love of Christ flowing through them will not leave each other as they are. : )

          • Cameron on July 4, 2019 at 10:02 pm

            Mr. Rodger,

            Good thoughts.

            I’m broken-hearted by the fact I never found my other in life and missed out on children, which honestly I am not sure I wanted–probably couldn’t handle. But, I was one screwed up individual with Bipolar I and GAD due to my abuse and rape. I’ve gotten over the rape. When Jesus said he came to heal the broken-hearted, honestly, I told him, “when are you getting around to me? Right before I die or something?” I pretty much told Jesus what I thought of him. When I talk to God, it’s real. I’m female inside so I’m moody. I figure, he ain’t God if he can’t handle it. I didn’t get saved in church. God came to me in my house, in bed.

            Honestly, I think he did the healing when he called me Rachel. I had a new lease on life and a deep respect and love for God over that. I actually found I like the idea of a relationship, but few people are up to the challenge in life. Americans have become so narcissistic (focused on self) and focused on money so much I simply gave up wasting my time on it. Most women I know think I’m gay, which I’m not. I was sensitive from the beginning then the rape and emotional abuse made me girly as can be.

            A lot of the people calling themselves transgender are childhood rape victims. I’ve known a bunch. I think the actual transgender person is far and few between, though. I think quite a few do it for the wrong reasons and some shrinks that rubber stamp anyone wanting to is going to answer for that one day. Parents claiming their 5 year old is trans is ridiculous. That’s child abuse in my eyes. I didn’t know I was until my 20s. But, looking back I saw it in me from my rape forward in many, many ways.

            I have heard the loving church baloney so many times. When put to the test, they all failed spectacularly. I was turned away by a pastor once and I was suicidal.

            I hope your church is that way, loving, kind and inclusive. If it is, awesome.

            Churches today want a certain type among them: the middle class or professional, and a family is close behind. I saw it in the Pentecostal, Baptist (they make it an idol), the Assemblies of God and the Catholic Church. If you are single or poor, they won’t associate with you outside of church. Churches offering community is a joke in America. I’m sure a few do, but it is far and few between.

            If you have a mental illness, they really want nothing to do with you. You’re inferior, substandard and just sinning. LOL I’ve heard it all.

            Marriage is an idol in most churches. Baptists are so hard for marriage it is sickening.

            God told me once only 20% of the people in a church are actual Christians. The rest are playing, dabblers or pharisees I guess.

            Actually, I think home churches, 4-5 believers gathering, is a great idea. I think so much money is wasted on buildings churches don’t need, staff they don’t need, etc., etc. American churches have become businesses. They are big, corporate and unfeeling. It’s why small groups sprung up in them. They knew they were doing a lousy job so they put in small groups to try and fix it. The only problem is those small groups became country clubs where only a certain type of person is wanted (see above), and everyone else is excluded.

            In other words, churches have become exclusive instead of inclusive. They also look like productions. It’s a program. I don’t think God fits into a neat and prepackaged program like so many churches offer.

            I’d like to meet a few other people and develop relationships with them, study and actually get to know them. I honestly think churches over a 100 members is probably something that shouldn’t happen often.

            The early church was small, met in people’s homes and did not need cathedrals, and they thrived.

            Honestly, do you see the American Church thriving? Membership is declining among most denominations. The growth is at churches that are independent. I think that is great. Some are meeting people at their needs.

            Maybe churches need to send pastors and leadership to Asia, South America and Africa to see what they are doing. They are thriving I’ve read. Miracles happen all the time there. God is moving in a big way. People are getting saved, healed, delivered and changed.

            Honestly, do you see that often in the American Church? No, you really don’t.

    • M.O.G Ricky T on June 23, 2018 at 6:12 pm

      Before I was save I told the lord that I was tired of my meaningless life and If I wasn’t afraid to go to hell I would kill myself. He saved me and eventually called me into ministry. The church that I was sent out from, the people were so evil and full cliques; I was so happy to leave.

      I use to have my own church dealing with people here in the U.S.A, and other countries, my heart has always been pure about the Lord since I got saved. I was teaching with revelation and what the church is doing today, God pulled me out through illness sort of like Job. I lost my health, job, and family; and couldn’t understand why God would do such a thing. I didn’t accept any pay they offered me because I worked, I later found out that all of the churches are doing basically the same thing.

      They have kicked God out of what they call His own house and turned it into a den of thieves. He didn’t want me doing those things in His name, so He pulled me out of the institutionalized church into the Kingdom way of doing things. I go where He sends me into the streets, people homes, or wherever He wants me to be, I give the simplicity of the gospel. The church has fallen in love with immorality, money and whatever evil thing it can get them.

      Jesus told us not store up treasures upon the earth, where rust and moth destroy, but lay up your treasures in heavenly vessels. We are in the final time if ever before, and we need to teach the people to look up and get focused on the Lord. The gospel is the most important message that we have in the earth so lets go where He sends us with the Holy Spirit as our Guide, God will take care of the rest.

      If Jesus were here He would be to wore out from overturning the money changers table to do anything else!

    • Rochelle on July 4, 2018 at 9:21 pm

      I hate that you had to go through what you went through by way of the church. I pray that you don’t give up on God because of the foolishness of men and women who call themselves children of God but are far removed in their actions. I pray that God will send some real friends your way who has God’ heart.

    • Christopher on April 15, 2019 at 6:13 pm

      hi Cameron,
      i came across your response, and its a genuine response. i am sorry your bad experience with the church. YES, not all physical church is CHRIST centered. But there are some real good church and pastors out there carrying out the job of spreading the good news. My local church is one of them.

      As Christians, can’t we all see through the differences for the love of Jesus? We are to carry each other’s burden as the lord has taught. We need to gently point out other’s faults and correct them gently. If that doesn’t work, the scripture still tell us to love them. JESUS IS ALWAYS GENTLE. i agree we only need Jesus ‘s approval – period.

      Remember, JESUS is the CHURCH. He is not limited to a physical building, or institution. Stay true the scriptures and seek Him with all your heart. The Holy Spirit is everywhere and anywhere. I totally agree with you to live out the relationship you have with Jesus by watering or planting some seeds in our every day life. Getting saved or not is up to Jesus.

      Whatever ways you seek HIM, as long as your love for HIM grows more and more everyday, then continue on. If not, then seek the Holy Spirit for guidance why you are not happy in your physical church. Don’t forget you, yourself has the HOLY Spirit living in you, so you are the church as well. You have access to the spiritual church inside of you.
      Isn’t that is the reason Christ came into the world to live in us so we can access HIM anytime and anywhere.


  51. 2 REAL Reasons People Don’t Go to Church on February 21, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    […] with pain or church with interfering with your pleasure, you probably won’t go. Those are the real reasons people don’t go to church, but they still shouldn’t be what keeps you out. Here’s […]

  52. Dave on February 18, 2018 at 8:51 pm

    The author of this page reveals the real problem, when he writes, “At Connexus, where I serve …”


    I’ll willing to bet that he is paid a salary … right? Now if we were talking about the apostle Paul, who refused to accept money for preaching, then this author might indeed be a “servant.” But instead. he is a “hireling” (Jesus’ word), and the Lord said the hireling does not care about the sheep.

    And this is one of the main reasons why churches are failing. Jesus prohibited paid preachers: period, end of story. But of course, the hireling will never admit that he/she is disobeying the Lord.

  53. Brian Masinick on February 4, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    I am so sad that controversy, name calling, and even foul language appears in a discussion of why people leave a church.

    All of us, whether pastors, lay leaders, church members, or people wondering why a church can’t meet their needs – or others, who wonder why churches have been in a long state of decline, have plenty in common, in spite of the obvious conflicts in the words expressed throughout this article thread.

    In the local church where I attend, there was a recent conflict within a committee which was formed in order to nominate potential candidates for church board office. There was even a disagreement within the committee that nearly escalated out of control. Fortunately all of the people love their church, and all of them were of a common mind when it came to nominating people from all ages and groups, and they mended a growing quarrel about how to review the nominations.

    As I thought about the “quarrel”, loving each of the people involved in it, I realized that the answer to such things is the same thing as someone else noted and shared within this conversation: Jesus overcame many things during his earthly life and ministry, and so did his closest followers by loving those around them and people as a whole.

    I appreciate the comments about socialization, laziness, and other stereotypes. As the author of one note realizes, whether we actually are lazy, bored, confused, scared or not (or add your own adjective) it’s important for the vital church to embrace everyone in love.

    I also love those in ministry who are transparent, and openly speak about their own issues, problems, and limitations. I’ve always found leaders who speak in this manner to be much more “real” to me and others. I always know that I’m a sinner and a needy person, but it’s comforting when we can all relate to one another, realizing we all need to be loved, accepted, appreciated, and valued, whether we’re a leader or someone who avoids the crowd or anything that would draw any attention at all.

    I long for people and places that are kind, loving, and open to everyone. Places where I feel like I am being leered at – whether sitting in a seat or standing in front singing, speaking, or sharing in any way, can be extremely uncomfortable.

    Friends, I’m not a pastor, but from time to time I have been a leader. I have been appreciated at times and scorned at others. It’s easy to notice it, especially when you’re in the front. But as someone else noted, it can be just as uncomfortable, probably much more so, when you are a quiet, reserved individual and you just want to quietly observe and worship, not become part of a stage play or a show.

    I thought the article written brought some interesting insights, but I was equally alerted by the responses across the spectrum. All I can say and do in response is to plead for all of us to model the life of Jesus Christ – He did not strike back and He did not withhold His love. Even the leaders and those seeking His life were included in His prayers. Can’t we do the same for one another? I’m doing my best to love each person). Let’s consider Christ; I’m sure we’ll find that we all come up short (I do, so do others. Therefore, let’s put on the mind of Christ as the epistles often remind us, let’s become true messengers of love and peace.

    • Christopher on April 15, 2019 at 5:52 pm

      hi Brian,

      Very thoughtful response and sharing many of my feelings. Can’t we all see through the differences for the love of Jesus? let’s just work it out, peacefully. We are to carry each other’s burden as the lord has taught. We need to gently point out other’s faults and correct them gently. Remember, JESUS is the CHURCH. He is not limited to a physical building, or institution. Stay true the scriptures and seek Him with all your heart. The Holy Spirit is everywhere and anywhere.

      Whatever ways you seek HIM, as long as your love for HIM grows more and more everyday, then continue on. If not, then seek the Holy Spirit for guidance why you are not happy in your physical church. Don’t forget you, yourself has the HOLY Spirit living in you, so you are the church as well. You have access to the spiritual church inside of you.
      Isn’t that is the reason Christ came into the world to live in us so we can access HIM anytime and anywhere.


    • Rodger Niemeier on April 15, 2019 at 6:29 pm

      Thank you, Brian, for what you have said. The problem with “church” is that it is made up of people! Like me – like you – like those posting here – like those behind the pulpit, sitting in the seats, Sunday School teachers, those who keep the church facility clean, etc. Like Charlie Brown once said in those Charles Schultz comic strips (“Peanuts”): “I love mankind; it’s people I can’t stand.” It seems too many Christians can think the same way: “I love the Church; it’s the people in the church I can’t stand!” But then…you remember that you are there, too! Or, were.

      You, Brian, have brought up a great reminder: the Church of Jesus Christ consists of those who have come to Christ, who are in Christ, BUT are still “works in progress” in Christ. The Church is not as perfect as we might want it to be, that’s because WE are the Church! Imperfect people, still growing in God’s grace. And since no one “has arrived”, as Paul said of himself, then why are we surprised that Christians have “issues”! So do I. So do “you” (in other words, all of us: even those writing these complaints about “The Church”). It’s certainly not that we should bury our heads in the sand and ignore a church fellowship’s obvious problems; but to just stay away to avoid the drama (in other words, so you don’t have to deal with it or be bothered by it) doesn’t help either! What we really need is much what you so well said, Brian: from the leadership “down” (don’t mean that as a derogatory term of some scale of importance) – and it likely starts with leadership – a promotion of humility, honesty…..and openness. Self-disclosing, being really painfully truthful about our own imperfections, struggles we’re still struggling with, the needs we know we yet have for knowing how to truly develop healthy relationships (in our marriages, parenting, family life, church bodylife, workplace, etc.). The Church is supposed to be a place where the Holy Spirit has open channels to minister to each other, through each other: it’s how the Christ within us teaches us and builds into us His unique quality of Love – as in, love one another as I have loved you.

      And that starts with accepting each other unconditionally, even as we would wish to be accepted; after all, we are all in the same boat! Unsaintly Saints – works in progress: “born again” IS a beginning, not a finished product. We are new creations in Christ Jesus, according to Paul, but we are also learning more and more how to “put off the old man” (our old sinful self ways of believing/thinking/behaving) while putting on the “new man created in Christ Jesus” – Christ-like character qualities. We ought to see ourselves as “member of one another”, even as we are ” members of Christ” – so we DO need each other (even those with faults, which would include ourselves) – for it is our Father’s plan, the “church”, to be a place where we enter into each other’s life, as all being “in Christ”, in order for the Spirit to work in each other, through each other. “As iron sharpens iron”, describing the activity of fellowship and interactions of believers, sparks are bound to fly! But….that’s okay. It’s part of how the Lord works in us! When we separate ourselves and isolate our self from the Body of Christ gathered, we cut off God’s main means of working in us to mold us more and more into the image of His Son. Paul stressed this over and over, and it’s why he so emphasized our need to be “in fellowship” with a body of believers. Our Father has purposely chosen to work this way! Frankly, to run from that, to hide out from the Body of Christ, to cease to fellowship – is to refuse the Father’s appointed way to grow in His grace and truth. There are NO LONE RANGERS in the Body of Christ!

      Let’s face it: we are often too easy to run. Some of us are “runners” by nature, or by habit: we don’t like those people, that place, – off we go! It’s certainly easier, indeed! But do we lose something important for healthy growth in our relationship with Christ and others when we so easily opt for convenience. This is how the world is: smorgasbord – choose what you like, that which pleases you, leave the rest. We easily avoid commitment and unpleasantness; but that isn’t the way of Bodylife in the Church of Jesus Christ. There will be unpleasantness; there will be times of discomfort, unpleasantness, disagreement, etc. That is part of being human! Even in Christ. But hey! There’s another church just around the corner; we can easily pick up and go, no commitments, no loyalty – after all, there are a smorgasbord of churches to choose from! It’s America! It’s how we are.

      But don’t we respond to a higher calling?

  54. Yanni on January 24, 2018 at 9:34 am

    Lots of hypocrisy going on in many church’s.
    Jesus warned us about the hypocrisy in His church.
    Jesus was a homeless and poor man.When you take communion on Sunday you are in communion with the homeless Jesus.
    Then on Monday you pass by the homeless man on Monday and marginalizing and oppress that homeless man.
    That man Jesus on Sunday is the same homeless man on Monday. As Christian’s we should love each other how Jesus loves each one of us every day.
    Proverbs 14:31
    The hyprocite behavior of many church parishioners is shameful and blasterme towards the Holy Spirit.
    Glory to God!

    • Yanni on January 24, 2018 at 9:45 am

      Nailed it!

    • Sheila Dalton on February 7, 2018 at 9:18 pm

      You are correct. I feel the same way. It was very difficult for me to be part of the food pantry at my church because the top people left to run the program and ” believed” to be the holy ones of the church, all talked about those who came for help.
      The hypocrisy runs all along the top of the church. Why are the people answering the phones judging the callers. And then why when I needed proof I went to the church did they tell me that because I don’t donate in envelopes with my name on it they can’t help me, even though they knew me from church. It’s just too much. Being part of a church shouldn’t be so difficult. Trying to help others shouldn’t put you on the path to be judged.
      I find God in me when I help a homeless person on the street, when I show my children how to help others in need without judgement and even long walks through nature. Life’s better when you eliminate the stress that comes from trying to”fit in” in a judgey’ church.

      • The church on March 18, 2018 at 3:19 pm

        Going to hell. Don’t want to be around believer s cause it convicts you and not them. We understand . Hiding won’t protect you from God’s judgement who really counts not people

        • D. A. Taylor on June 9, 2018 at 5:27 pm

          God’s judgment? Haven’t you read these Scriptures?

          John 5:22: For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son (John 5:22).

          Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man (John 8:15 — KJV).

      • The church on March 18, 2018 at 3:21 pm

        Sounds like my church but I love the Lord so I’m going to keep going inspite of the weeds, I’m the wheat

  55. […] 5 Reasons People Have Stopped Attending Your Church (Especially Millennials) […]

  56. William on December 17, 2017 at 1:58 am

    We spent years at a Methodist Church in Coon Rapids Minnesota. Every Sunday I would say hello to Dave. That’s his real name. Dave. He was in the choir, played Santa every year, and so much more. Dave never so much as did a double take. When I say hello to people, they know it because I mean it.

    I had the good fortune of basically cornering Dave in the grocery checkout line one day. Dave was stuck. No one else was talking to him and he was now sandwiched between me and the 3 people ahead of him. Perfect.

    “Hello, Dave!”, I said. Well, Dave couldn’t hide or play deaf and blind today. I’ve never seen a person act so awkward and phony-and uncomfortable- in my life. I actually felt bad for him as he feigned a kind hello and asked if he knew me. You tell me, Dave. When I told him I saw him every Sunday for numerous years at church I thought his head would fall off. It was disgusting. But it wasn’t just Dave. It was a fossilized, familial, generational clique of the passive -aggressive. It was the band members, youth ministers, and virtually every other member of church doers and “leaders”. A virtual mirror image of high school hallway psychology. If I had to name it, I would call it pious bullying, and it was commonplace.

    It was sad and sickening. The church slowly lost its luster and didn’t feel like a haven. We did meet wonderful people, and many of them left, as well. We were the legitimate congregation. We are still in touch with friends we made there. I own my opinion, but so many others have echoed similar sentiment.

    I love God. But, f**k you Dave. Enjoy your church.

    • Peter Lagasse on December 17, 2017 at 2:46 pm

      When we love God, we are also to love people says God’s Word. No matter who they are. Your last sentence does not show that in my opinion as I read the following verses.

      John 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
      John 13:35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.”
      Romans 12:10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
      Ephesians 4:2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
      1 John 3:23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.
      1 John 4:7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
      1 John 4:11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

      • Anonymous on January 10, 2018 at 8:40 pm

        Well thank you Peter, for clearly illustrating point #3 of why people leave the church! This man faithfully attended a church for years, trying to make connections with Dave and other members of the church, members that would seemingly be easier to make a connection with, only to be ignored and “piously bullied.” Instead of sympathizing with how hard it must have been to feel rejected by your own congregation for several years… all you could do was tell him he was wrong and spout off bible verses?! No wonder people are leaving the church when they are judged for sharing their legitimate feelings! If you want to keep people around, you need to actually LISTEN and seek to understand, Peter, before condemning them.

        • Peter Lagasse on January 10, 2018 at 9:21 pm

          I am amazed that I am condemned for quoting scripture while the other person was telling, Dave, “F**k you Dave. I do not condone Dave’s behavior. Or anyone else in that church that may have done the same, However, I will not be ashamed for telling a person to love those who hate you instead of saying, “F**k you”. Jesus quoted scripture all the time so he must also belong in the same group as I. Not listening and, therefore, not understanding. And I am in NO WAY placing myself with Jesus, .
          I may understand the writer much better then you think. You see, I was a pastor of a church for six years. Everything was going great and then I got sick and had to take a month leave off. A person who I had confided in, whom I considered a best friend, and this person was also a board member as well, decided that I could not be a good pastor, that I must be living in some secret sin etc. They called other churches and pastors to get their opinion about me.
          In six months both due to my lingering illness but also because they were those in the congregation did not see me fit as a pastor, I respectively resigned and remained as their pastor until they found another,
          I felt totally betrayed but this person and the few other who had agreed with this person. My health was not the best, I lost my job, my wife had to resign from hers also as we also had to sell our home.
          I could have allowed my anger turn into bitterness and become someone that should never be allowed behind a pulpit again. However, God began to remind me of the scriptures I quoted earlier and months later when this person called me I was able to forgive them through the love of God. It could have been much easier to tell the person when they called, F**k you but God showed me I had to forgive and still love them no matter what they had done,
          I, therefore, have felt rejection, humiliation, and so much more. However, I had to do it God’s way and not my way and I do not, therefore, apologize for using God’s Word to the person who was hurting.
          I have shared my legitimate feelings. Are you actually LISTENING to me ? I hope so, I really hope so.

          • Me on January 22, 2018 at 12:53 am

            Church sucks…the end…

          • Peter J Lagasse on January 22, 2018 at 9:35 am

            Sorry that church is so bad for you. For me I thank God for the church I attend. After losing our son in October 2016 age 25 it has been God and the church family that has been our strength and encouragement.

          • Paulo on January 27, 2018 at 4:25 pm

            great way to reply Peter!
            love your enemies 🙂

          • Sheila on July 21, 2018 at 2:52 am

            Peter, I read your comment regarding scriptures. I think sharing your story with the person who was clearly hurt and angry at Dave might have been more effective than simply writing a list of scriptures that point out how that person’s behaviours are not scriptural. I believe that is what ANONYMOUS was trying to get across to you. Your second comment seems to say that you think that what you did was okay because it was scriptures. I do think that you are missing the point. You may have experienced something similar and good for you that you were able to overcome it. But exhorting a person with scriptures may not be the first thing to do. As Stephen Covey says – seek first to understand.

        • Sheila Dalton on February 7, 2018 at 9:26 pm

          You are correct. I feel the same way. It was very difficult for me to be part of the food pantry at my church because the top people left to run the program and ” believed” to be the holy ones of the church, all talked about those who came for help.
          The hypocrisy runs all along the top of the church. Why are the people answering the phones judging the callers. And then why when I needed proof I went to the church did they tell me that because I don’t donate in envelopes with my name on it they can’t help me, even though they knew me from church. It’s just too much. Being part of a church shouldn’t be so difficult. Trying to help others shouldn’t put you on the path to be judged.
          I find God in me when I help a homeless person on the street, when I show my children how to help others in need without judgement and even long walks through nature. Life’s better when you eliminate the stress that comes from trying to”fit in” in a judgey’ church.

          And now here is my very clear reason
          I would rather spend my time around more accepting loving people and I have not ever once found those people in a church.
          People in a church believe they are better than anyone who isn’t in their Church.
          They will spout out every reason in the world including quotes from a Bible to explain why they are better.
          Sorry he who loves doesn’t have to prove it.
          Love is an action

    • Michael on March 11, 2018 at 12:52 pm

      Hi William, I guess that is the new, but not necessarily imoroved way of saying “forget” you Dave… LOL In all seriousness, as we all know, shaking the dust off our feet was modelled in the Bible when persons did not receive the Good News of Jesus Christ. If you are a believer, hence Jesus lives in you, and Dave did not receive you and the Good News you bring (repeatedly), then it is the same as him denying Christ. If you aren’t a truster in Jesus, still Dave denies Christ (“did unto the least of these… You did unto Me.”). Bottom line: Dave is to be pitied, because he is evidently merely a religious person! :/ Pray for Dave, that he may see and know Jesus as his Lord and Savior. There is another possible explanation which Dave could suffer from some sort of behavior issue like Autism (that’s where understanding someone’s background and discernment comes in). Either way, pray for Dave and love Dave, even if it has to be from a distance. I’m sorry to hear you had such a frustrating experience with that church.
      I hope you find a good fellowship to meet so you can be blessed and be a blessing to others! Take care and God Bless! 🙂

    • The church on March 18, 2018 at 3:28 pm

      Hahahaha, Dave Winn’s and he shouldn’t have but one bad Apple ruins the bunch. I had the same incident to happen to me at pfi in Detroit by pastor’s high end help and it’s very discouraging but I’m putting on my breast plate , my sword, and badge of honor to the Lord it really pisses off the Dave’s of the church who will eventually be in hell where they belong

      • Peter. on March 18, 2018 at 6:41 pm

        I thought you Christians are suppose to love everyone. If I remember in Sunday School there is a place in the Bible that you are suppose to even love your enemies. When I hear someone say that a certain person belongs in hell, I don’t see any love shown there.
        But maybe it is not true for everyone. Maybe you Christians can hate other people.

        • DA Taylor on March 18, 2018 at 9:38 pm

          One may love their enemies and want the best for them. But this does not demand that you spend time with them and allow yourself to be abused.

          • Brian Masinick on March 18, 2018 at 10:46 pm

            What is the most important thing?

            We can find the answer in the Bible, both the Old and New Testament. Jesus Christ gives the answer in Matthew 22:36-40. Jesus was being questioned, but He had the answer: love God with all of your being and love one another.

            It’s consistent with the Golden Rule.

            Look, the best one of us has failed in this. We’ve been unkind, thoughtless, greedy, you name it. Does that mean that we are hopeless? Not at all. God loves each of us in spite of our failures. God made us and God is able to redeem anyone willing to allow God to perfectly accomplish what each of us is unable to do ourselves – perfect love and complete forgiveness.

            I embrace and love what God is doing in me, definitely a broken vessel, yet a person who genuinely is forgiven, loves and forgives others as God has forgiven me.

            Let’s bring love forgiveness wherever we see broken faith, broken relationships and phony (fill in the blanks). When we fail, give the real work to God. All God wants is for us to love God and one another…

          • Peter on March 19, 2018 at 12:02 am

            I do not believe my main point was spending time or allowing oneself being abused by your enemies or hypocritical Christians. My main point was you Christians saying how certain people belong in hell. And if I remember the person was speaking about a hypocritical Christians belonging in hell.
            I thought all you Christians believed your Jesus taught you to love, pray etc for those that don’t treat you well. Not say they belong in hell.
            But with so many things changing in our world today maybe you Christians don’t believe that stuff anymore. Maybe you are all realizing your Bible isn’t the word of your God any more.

          • DA Taylor on March 19, 2018 at 12:24 am

            God does not accept anyone without repentance. And when we do wrong, He calls us out through the Scriptures. “But turning around and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind Me, Satan; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.” (Mark 8:33)

        • Sheila on July 21, 2018 at 3:00 am

          Wow, Peter, for a pastor you have some forceful words to share. Unfortunately these types of provocative statements just come across as arrogant, angry and finger pointing. When people are hurt, they retaliate – in words or deeds. Perhaps not everyone has your level of ability in this regard. But we need to connect with people in their hurt with healing words and not more condemnation. I would suggest that you find a better way to connect with people.

  57. Just Me on December 3, 2017 at 9:32 pm

    I do not go to church because I quite simply feel fulfilled without it, and the experience of church has not improved my life or the way I live it. I feel that I get the things church is supposed to provide (moral education, community, spirituality, charity) from other sources: friends and family, literature, personal meditation, volunteer work. I do not feel closer to god at church. It’s really just that simple.

    I think that this generation is more self-reliant. That isn’t a bad thing. There is kind of this underlying assumption in some of these posts that Sabbath breaking=moral deterioration. I just don’t see the connection between morality and church anymore. A lot of great people don’t go to church. I know some fantastic atheists, to be frank. I also know some horrible Christians. We’re at a place societal where we are starting to judge people by their actions, not by their religious affiliations. This is actually a good thing. Being a Christian that goes to church every Sunday no longer automatically equates to “Good” because ANYONE can be good. Church is not what makes one good.

    Speaking more personally again, I feel that the church has gotten too involved in politics and that has soured a lot of people i know (both liberals and conservatives alike). While it is totally understandable for one’s faith to shape their values, and their values their politics…special interest church groups speaking out explicitly on really controversial topics like abortion, gay marriage, etc. has pushed a lot of my friends away from the church. Recently my father-in-law almost walked out after the pastor condemned Trump. At a church sermon, these topics are not open dialogue. I think people today want more interaction. More dialogue. Not someone telliing them what to think or how to feel. As a result of these poor sermons, church has come to be stereotyped as old-fashioned, narrow-minded, and even bigoted. This goes back to #1 on the list, but it can be hard to find peace, hope, and moral guidance from an institution that has been close-minded and hypocritical.

    I know that not all churches are like this. And if you are a person that goes to church and comes away from the experience enlightened (my mother-in-law is a shining example of someone who’s faith has given her strength and compassion) then WONDERFUL. The experience SHOULD be uplifting. And when it is degrading, then of course people will abandon and seek out other avenues for moral education, community, and whatever else church has offered people in the past.

    • Peter Lagasse on December 3, 2017 at 10:20 pm

      As I read your comment some ideas came to mind. It won’t necessarily change a person’s view about church.
      1. There have been churches very involved with political issues for at least a thousand years. Some of this can be read when reading about the crusades, or Henry VIII had England leave the Catholic Church, or the many pastors that spoke about the American Revolution, and those who spoke before and during the Civil War and slavery.
      2. There has been people that have not been Christlike or hypocritical since the beginning of the church, Ananias and Sapphira was struck dead when then lied to Peter.
      3. There have always been issues that have caused people to leave the church over controversial issues. A whole gathering “walked out” on Jesus one day. And Christ was always upsetting some group or another.
      4. Controversial issues doesn’t mean the church does not speak about those issues. Jesus would have had to keep himself quiet most of the time if that was true. In fact, He was crucified for dealing with controversial issues.
      5. There has been people that have felt there was no need for church even when it started that’s why it says in Hebrews 10:24-25: 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
      When a person says to me I don’t need to meet together with you and those you worship with, I say, “Maybe I need you to attend for something I need to hear from you to spur me on.
      6. That is some of my comments for what they are worth.

    • Teabag on January 14, 2018 at 4:39 am

      Firstly I can see why it’s on the decline ashame. The reasons are various. its like this their are genuine reasons for it’s lack in popularity. The songs are in essence back in the day & people in todays society feel the wordy songs aren’t co herent. That makes me feel sad – changing of times & of society. You can’t turn the clock back when all things bright n beautiful sang. Firstly, faith it’s for all people. It says it’s all inclusive affirming reality is – my sincere experience I don’t feel it is. It’s the subject of minority communities I think all people would understand what I mean by this. I went to a Carol service & the church wouldn’t let me in. The Christian community.

      • Teabag on January 14, 2018 at 4:44 am

        I think it’s sad that people no longer attend I really do. As I say the people that keep the faith groups going are the people they look down their noses at thus being minority Community’s.

        • Teabag on January 14, 2018 at 4:46 am

          Many people though watch songs of praise.

          • Peter J Lagasse on January 14, 2018 at 1:59 pm

            I just returned from a church service. It was uplifting to me. First, though I am a shy person it’s nice to remember we humans are social creatures and when I get out of my comfort zone I gain some much needed social interaction. Second, the church people gently remind me I am not alone and others can empathize with the issues I am going through. Third, I can help others because I am there to encourage them. Fourth, the church sing a variety of styles of music and if I really read or listen to the song, I can receive something from those words. Fifth, hearing a sermon teaches me more about God through the people God said he gave to the church for our good. Finally, I came together with other people to worship God. We have been told to meet together in the Bible
            No church is perfect, but neither is any family perfect, and no person is perfect. Therefore, I can’t expect a perfect church and if it was perfect then once I entered the church it became no longer perfect.
            I thank God He set up the church as it is shown in the Bible. It has never been perfect but together I am learning to become more like Jesus and reach out to other people God tells us to do.
            Thank you Lord for the church service this morning and for all the different people that was there

    • FS on January 15, 2018 at 2:39 am

      Because of you I am glad I am going back to church. I have missed because of illness or things had to be done for house repairs. Fellowship is a challenge for me as I love church but dont care to get to know people. But that is my issue. But your post reminded me that church is a place of sanctuary. I think you are missing the point. I am glad the church doesn’t try to be all things to all people. It can be a place of everything that is important if you use your free will. I can almost break down your argument as the church needs to get with the times. But I bet if there were an imminent natural or man made disaster you would not hesitate to be in church. I thank God for you. Because he sent me here for a purpose and to get back to church. Thanks.

  58. Rev. Jean Smith on September 28, 2017 at 6:43 pm

    Best article I’ve read on the subject. Thanks so much.

    • Peter Lagasse on October 20, 2017 at 1:45 pm

      I understand what you have written but I also see where people don’t want to come to church because of the underlying desire to put themselves first before God. Other issues, activities, and even hobbies come before God. They thank God for what He did for them but they don’t want God’s will to encroach on what they want to do.
      Moral failures have been happening for centuries. Some Pastor’s sermons have been going over people’s heard for years while at the same time some very deep sermons were understood because the listener had been studying God”s Word over the week
      We do need to make sure we are being relevant for the people and make sure we are meeting their needs. Sadly some people want their desires met instead of their needs.

  59. Glenn Powell on July 10, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    The article was excellent. Lots to contemplate and apply.
    <<< You can register for free here.? for Preaching Rocket, but when you look at the video , the guy is selling me a 99.00 course for 79.00 , so I was disappointed. I thought this was for free, but it's a business. I can't imagine Jesus charging for wisdom, especially if the "Free" tag is used to get me in the door and then a guy is telling me what a deal he is giving me. Thank you again for the article

  60. Rad on July 9, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    Some reasons I think young people aren’t coming to church:
    1) they are taught atheism (evolution) in schools.
    This is the foremost reason
    Evolution is presented as fact.
    Under 30s just simply don’t believe in God so why would they bother attending a church?

    2) Access to information:
    Do a quick Google search for “Bible contradicts itself” and see how many pages pop up. Giving lists of hundreds of ways the Bible contradicts itself..Starting right at Genesis : God created man then animals yet he created animals first then man. 2 different chapters of Genesis two different account. So which is it?

    I’ve heard it argued that ” if the Bible is the word of God how come God doesn’t even know in which order he created man and animals?”

    Forget the “big philosophical questions”… Young people want to know how these contradictions come about and if you can’t give a SOLID answer… You’ve lost them right there. It doesn’t matter anything else you say because now – the Bible “doesn’t even know what it’s talking about from chapter to chapter”

    Add to this list, pages which give numbers of times (often with scriptures cited) of how many times the Bible talks about incest, rape, murder etc… And now they can easily present the Bible as some sort of “ancient middle eastern horror story”

    I think (well I know..Because I discuss this frequently with people and I’m quoting what they tell me) people have a hard time seeing Jesus message when the OT gets mixed into it.

    3) Love God? In an age of internet dating and social media people are accustomed to getting to know someone else through written description before experience. (Even myself at 38yo I met my husband (51 yo) thru mutual friends..On Facebook)

    Everyone knows that Jesus taught the first law is to Love God with you whole heart mind and strength
    The problem for people (not just young) is that they aren’t finding enough in the Bible that reads as a good “profile” for God.
    They see “the God of the Old testament as a God of war who’s killing children, sending plagues and generally just “not a very loving God” (see end of point 2)
    That doesn’t read like a very nice profile.
    Not only that but the Bible doesn’t give much Description of God … He’s usually depicted an an old man in the sky and “aside from causing plagues and death, he’s just resting”.

    Compare with eastern traditions which give full description of God’s appearance, his daily routine, his likes and dislikes (right down to what he likes to eat, what games he likes to play) and it’s easy to see why young people who are spiritually inquisitive and more inclined to look to the east in order to “get to know God”.
    You can’t love someone if you don’t know anything about them.
    And much less if they appear very negative (or at least if the internet is making a very strong case against them)

    All the other points in the article are very valid points also. But rely heavily on a presumption that young people who aren’t coming to church do believe in a Christain God.
    Absolutely I would state most young people are either atheists or believe in a different religions version of God.

    Perhaps the Christian churches need to refocus on how to present Christ , put more emphasis on Jesus 2 laws instead of OT teachings (“he came to put an end to the old law so why do churches still have billboards with the 10 commandments in the front yard?” – I’ve heard this one a hundred times)
    And find a way to present God as more personable.

    Thanks for sharing this article, it’s informative and I like the discussions it is generating.
    I’ll be sharing it.

  61. long time believer on July 2, 2017 at 9:10 am

    Important topic, but just touching on the tip of the iceberg. Now, most USA young adults do not have time for *any* social interaction (supposedly) but instead sit in front of their tablets, phones, computers and televisions for 10 hours a day, while being paid too little to survive…this doesn’t just affect church, but just about every social institution in the country is being affected…

    • Loretta Lee on September 4, 2017 at 9:22 pm

      Love the article and the posts. As a lifelong Christian, my husband and I tried several churches. At one, We went to eat with the pastor and his wife. She told me that church isnt about the social piece. This contradicts everything I was raised to believe in and what is in the Word. No social piece? That’s what it is all about!
      A second one we attended for over a year, we made multiple attempts to reach out. We went to a community group, but it didn’t feel like a community. A close neighbor committed suicide, and none of the six on the pastor team were available to talk or meet. As I have done my whole life, I had to go to my childhood pastor.
      The issue with churches as they aren’t reaching out and trying to gain souls. Churches have become country clubs and there is mo place for the lost sinner to go. There is no comfort to Christians in a warm community. Honestly, I have met nicer and more reliable people that aren’t in church. We have quit trying, but the Lord continues to bless us and direct our lives.

      • Matua on November 8, 2017 at 7:09 pm

        I agree with you. Went through a difficult period in my life last year and the only people that came to my paid were non-Christians. I no longer attend church, it’s the best thing that happened to me. I still believe in God but choose to walk my own way.

  62. Paula on June 25, 2017 at 11:39 am

    Loved your post. I’m an in-betweener. I go/went to a small church & am struggling to reconnect. We’ve been there for 17 years – through seminary and 5 births. Small churches burn out their volunteers trying to be church. The church has a thriving homeless and free clothing ministry. We sit side by side with scruffy homeless. If someone snores during church we smile and bless them. We wear our everyday clothes so anyone off the street feel a part of our church family.
    I brought in clothing for homeless quietly & faithfully for several years (multiplying our meager funds into bags of clothing, it was tiring but to be that close to God’s work there is a deep peace – it was all him. We were only faithful). When the church found out they asked if I would join the homeless leadership team and gave me a budget. That became managing 2 of the closets. And heading up the art group, curating art shows and community art outreach. My mom thought I’d have a nervous breakdown down. I managed to finish out that season & I stepped down from all but the kids closet – I like the customers & it’s something I can do with my kids. My stepping down blessed the church with others who stepped in with new ideas so it was the right decision.
    In all of my selfishness of this time period my middle son lost interest in the kids Sunday School, there are no kids his age for him to connect with. We’re not sure what happened but he exhibited just total dread of going down there, for a full year.
    I’m an independent thinker so I left split up our family and took the younger ones to a better church program for the school year, not fancy, but where kids can sing kids songs and learn a Bible lesson, that’s all I ask. The little church was loosing them because it’s overreaching and attenders/volunteers are burned out. I’ve come back for the summer but my heart is still gone. It’s not my church. It hasn’t been for a year.
    To make it worse during the year I was gone a dog attacked my youngest and there was no support just emptiness. I don’t hold that against them, or anyone, it’s a part of me they will never be able to understand. My anxiety and depression over his recovery was so high my doctor thought I’d commit suicide (3 months recovery – failure to get over a traumatic event).
    The church folks don’t know what to do with me I’ve been there so long I’m not a newbie they want to get involved and connected. I’m a burned out oldie who may continue to take my kids to a better church program. Im an odd ball.
    As Christians only get our kids when they’re young & I want my kids to know God – not the flashy, Churchy God or everything’s fine fake smile God, but enjoying fellowship with one another God of the Bible.
    Andy Stanley got in trouble for a comment about little churches and parents. He apologised but he wasn’t wrong. Sometimes sacrifice is needed for our kids to learn God & what real church community should feel like.
    I’m fine… My heart is just in-between. There was something completely freeing to go anonymously to a church and soak up beautiful music with no burn associated with it. A large part of me doesn’t want to dive back in to a volunteer burning church again. Not just yet

    • M-A Russell on July 7, 2017 at 12:14 pm

      Oh Paula, I am so very sorry for your son’s traumatic event and your own as he had treatment. I have nothing much to add except my prayers and virtual hugs to you. You are carefully treading right now it seems and I agree you need the relative anonymity of a larger congregation for at least this season. Family comes first and if your children are being nurtured at the larger church than that is where you should indeed be. Lots of love in Christ from a Sister in the Lord 💗💗💗

    • Annmarie Leon on August 12, 2017 at 8:09 pm

      Ive felt alone myself and left a church that my kids had nothing for them kids have to know that they have a valuable place in the church other wise we loose them when they are young adults.y ou are not alone Much Love your sister in Christ💖

  63. Kim on May 28, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    I still go to church but skip when needed. It can be very emotional since I’m going through infertility. Church is NOT setup for a person like me. I don’t fit into the community and most people there don’t understand me or what I’m going through. At best they’re ignorant, at worst malicious. Many people use prayer as a form of gossip. Church “Friendships” from my experience requires some sort of mission work verses actually getting together for enjoyment. Mission work being getting more people in the church, not actually helping people in need which I enjoy. The only exceptions are the baby showers I’m invited to….joy. people are insensitive in church (with a few exceptions).

    I never really found God at church with a few exceptions. I enjoy the music and worshipping God with it and I enjoy learning about God which often includes things i miss reading it myself. I actually had a near death experience and real God verses “church” God is completely different. Church God is very strict, harsh, etc. Real God is extremely loving, more than comprehension….like a father who loves his child no matter what you do. You could literally do nothing I life, die and God would welcome you with open arms. More than that it’s not even held against you. I think that’s a hard idea for people and especially christians to understand. God looks at us like we are complete, gods, his child, Jesus. You get the idea. Church doesn’t teach this concept.

    Speaking of judgemental…..my pastor once said he doesn’t believe it’s God when people dream of angels unless they’re asking for something since that’s how it is in the bible. Huh? Does God need anything from anyone? Needless to say I’ve never told my near death experience in church. I wonder who else keeps quiet. You would think church would be the place you would talk about it….. but it’s probably the same reaction you would get with atheists. Also God talks to us all at night. You can even teach yourself to lucid dream (wake up in the dream) and astral project (pull your spirit out of your body) like I do. I can’t talk about this ether with 1/2 not believing you and the other 1/2 telling you your going to hell. So not an open, accepting community at all.

  64. CP on February 5, 2017 at 2:07 pm

    Well, my experience has been strictly dealing with hypocrites. No offense to anyone reading this. But, I was invited by a man at work to attend his church and the invite was for the whole family, next thing I know he states “Well, you don’t have to really invite your husband do you?” I thought that was odd. He said the kids could come. Then a few weeks down the road the garbage started about how he “couldn’t stand his menopausal hag rag bag wife.” All the problems in their marriage, then what do I like to do after church? Next thing I know he’s wanting a full blown affair and sexual favors, now mind you he is involved with all the counseling, baptizing, community outreach, choir/band, extra activities the church does and acts like a little lost innocent sheep of a man to the whole general public and it’s all a farce. Come to find out he made it a habit of bothering women at work before me and after and bothering multiple single women also at church. The church was the New Age type and loud cranked up music, more setup like a bar scene and a perfect place for men to pick up women. Then for everyone to deny what the heck really goes on is a joke. The wife of this man turns the other cheek and enables the behavior as long as paychecks keep coming in and she ain’t left alone at her age. The whole experience was a joke. Then for them to claim everyone at their church is NEWLY baptized and at one with God and don’t act out and they don’t lie, drink, abuse porn, steal, covet, abuse $, is also a joke. I mean come on people, I know none of us are perfect, but give me a break. If these men are so dang miserable in their marriages get a DIVORCE or do something about it, don’t go ruining lives in the process.

  65. Ellen on September 4, 2016 at 7:18 am

    A lot of reasons flood through my mind as to why people would leave a church and don’t want to go to church. The biggest reason would be the hypocrisy. Just about every church that hears it responds with, “We are all hypocrites, we have room for one more.” Do churches not see that this a problem? Who wants to spend their time every Sunday with the same rehearsed lines every week only to see the people act in a different way? Whenever a problem is addressed, the response is usually, it isn’t our problem, it’s yours. I think another problem is people try to offer solutions to other people’s problems by digging up Bible passages as the reason. I have never found that to be helpful. Anytime I would try to say something, people would either cut me off and say that this isn’t the time, or just look away.

    I will be honest and say that my mother did not raise us as church goers We didn’t go to church that often. When a friend of mine invited me to come to her church, I asked my mom and she said that it was OK. Only after a few months, it was not OK. It wasn’t OK because my friend was always pushing me to attend her church and the activities. Whenever I would say no, her mother would get in my face and talk to me in belittling tone on why I have to go to church. Sadly, my mother allowed this, even after I tried to put my foot down. What could have been a good church turned out to be a church that represented all five reasons that Carey mentioned in the blog.

    When I went to church with my friend, they would always throw God’s name around, and use Satan as an excuse for being sinful, only to say that it’s no big deal because Jesus died for our sins, so we are saved.

    I haven’t had much positive experience with church community. I have always felt alienated whenever I went to a group function. These groups appear to be more exclusive and don’t want anyone new to come in. Another problem is the frequency of attending events or activities. If a person choose to go to an activity one a month vs. every week, they should be allowed to do that, not shut out because the church group is not always a top priority or a first interest. The reason why I feel this way is because even after going to church groups for a few months, I have never felt any kind of closeness with anyone. With a lot of groups, there is no contact or connection unless you attend every event or activity. There is no feel of family or love in these groups.

    When teaching about God, the tone should not sound vain. I have found that when people use the name of God in everyday issues or occurrences, their tones are more arrogant, as if they know more than the next person. We all need to remember that we do not have the all the answers. We might not have any of the answers.

    As far as having legitimate doubt, the churches have always judged and condemned people for having any doubts. One of the things that our Sunday school teacher would always do is ask all of us if we would die today, would we go to heaven or hell. The response always was, I will go to heaven because I believe in Jesus Christ, or Jesus Christ died for our sins. I will say something about the pastor that was at my friend’s church. When he came to our house to talk to my mom. He asked her if she were to die today or tomorrow, would she go to heaven or hell. And she answered, “God, I don’t really know.” The Pastor responded that he was glad that she felt that way because too many people are confident in their salvation just because of a profession of beliefs, yet never really having to work at it. I thought that it was profound to hear a pastor say that. He wasn’t at the pulpit when saying it, so I don’t know how he would answer the question if he were at the pulpit. Maybe if more pastors used profound statements, it would make people think more about their faith and their way of life.

    • Brenda lott on November 2, 2017 at 9:13 pm

      I feel the same way about people in the church some of them are very fake and if you are very attractive with a nice shape they think you are not save and also jealousy is high in the churches they have they clicks with each other and also try to whole you down if you have gift and talent and say they need you only to win what they call member to me there is know different than people that don’t go they become more of a buniess then doing what god say I remember I was homeless the church was not there for me but they say pay tithes and offering it was my own faith that kept me and god bless me I deeply believe god word but I don’t go to the building because god is with me everywhere I go and I am the temple of god I’m just sick and tired of fake phoney people who just want to be in your buniess and use the word as a weapon against and what I see is s bunch of control freaks who thinks they have god and talk nonsense over the pull pit I just do not go anymore I was marry to a fake pastor I’m just done god still provise s for me I have been in church all my life and find that the church don’t deal with everyday issue we are not in those day any more we need to touch people where they are and be able to show them the way through reality and let people be who they are we are all sinner saved by grace we need to speak to people in the times we live and point them to scripture s that identify with time for example god said that it would be rumors if war look at the terrorist that attacking new York and other place so I say until next time my friend you are not alone god is love and your everlasting king so let not your hearts be troubled

  66. Yaca Attwood on August 1, 2016 at 5:20 am

    You have got to be kidding.

    Churches DO NOT WANT people LIKE ME.

    – I am a Boomer widow, which makes me the carrier of a filovirus (eg: Marburg, Ebola); I’m not part of a Vibrant Young Married Couple With Children, which is what 99.5 of pastors and church leadership pursue.

    – I don’t “fit in” church cliques or “in-groups” – I am a black woman, a Database Administrator (Oracle on UNIX), I like astronomy, astrophysics, science fiction and my favorite NFL team is Whomever Is Playing The Dallas Cowboys….if I actually walked into a church and met someone who knew what a sonic screwdriver was and understood: ‘find . -name “*.log” -mtime +7 -exec rm -f {} ;” (on a UNIX system, this deletes all log files older than seven days) – I would be finding out how cute the local paramedics are, because I would be in complete shock.

    – Churches are not interested in people DISCUSSING, HASHING OUT AND WRESTLING with the Scriptures. Churches are not interested in people that aren’t “peachy-keen”, who dont want to sing praise choruses all day.

    I’d love a church that allowed TIME to be SILENT, to have LONG PERIODS where NO ONE SAID A SINGLE WORD, to simply be QUIET before God. I’d love a church that would have praise songs AND Mozart’s Requiem in D Minor……I’d love a church that has ALL KINDS OF PEOPLE, where there is something for OLDER, SINGLE PEOPLE (never married, divorced, widowed), and SINGLE PEOPLE are, mirable dictu, ACTUALLY VALUED

    Not likely.

    • deepblue9 on August 8, 2016 at 6:55 pm

      Very good :-). P.S. I know some of that unix!

      • G on August 4, 2018 at 4:43 pm

        And then there was the Ethiopian Unix in the Bible! 🙂

    • humbledbyobedience on November 2, 2016 at 12:35 pm

      This is the best response to an article like this (regarding church attendance) that I have ever read. It is spot on. And, while I don’t know anything about those computer program-y words and random characters that you’ve got typed there, I find the fact that you typed them there fantastically interesting and real, more real than anyone I’ve met in at least 2 decades of regular church-going (to standard American-ized churches). Furthermore, I… would… be… absolutely thrilled, perhaps beyond words, to find an assembly of Christians which resembled your last paragraph, Yaca Attwood. To be able to worship God in that way would be so good for my soul (which was nearly stripped from me by domestic violence… which was known about and ignored by my church leadership though I was a leader, and a member of that group.)

    • DidNot Leavea Name on July 22, 2018 at 6:29 pm

      Agreed. It doesn’t change. Most technical people gave up. This is my 7th church in 60 yrs. While husband and kids attended, I was ‘IN’. Privately invited to social activities.

      Show up solo, you’re ‘OUT’. Kids are grown, husband won’t attend. I sit in the pew with the other widows, singles etc (considered rejects). OK to attend the picnics, make hefty donations etc. But good bonding outside church or bible study etc.

      How to get involved? Should be limits on how committees, offices, projects for each member. The same 10-15 ‘INs’ take over. Not much opportunity to volunteer except for jobs no one wants. That’s OK! You do the job UNTIL an ‘IN’ “gets the anointing”…takes over. No one stops them…we’re just supposed to step aside and forgive.

      I’m afraid to face God’s question at judgement. “What did you do for me?” I prayed and did the unwanted work. The short answer? Not much since I attend church solo.

      My advice to pastors who wrestle with this (coming from a long line of pastors): Balance the workload so the same 10 people don’t get burned out. Block take-over activities that attempt to oust a current servant who is doing the job correctly.

  67. Amber on June 3, 2016 at 6:24 pm

    Okay, adding another thing–I wonder if Churches are experiencing an epidemic of bad manners? Another Church we visited we walked in, we were early, only the pastoral team and leadership volunteers were there, they were meeting in a gym. A teenager who looked like he had just rolled out of bed miserably shoved a bulletin in our hands, didn’t tell us where to go. So, we walked in, took a seat, all of their eyes were upon us. No one smiled. No one said hello. They went about their business of preparing for the service. I was watching the clock coz at that point I wanted to bolt so badly. Literally, it took over 15 minutes before anyone came to say hello to us, when clearly we were brand new. Again, in the Kids’ Department, no one introduced our kids to the other kids. I mean, would you treat visitors to your home like that? Would you treat colleagues at work like that? Kids in a school classroom? Where else can you find the worst manners but at Church? And when you complain, oh, the defensiveness. . .really, who cares about “Care Group”–why would you ever want to hang out with people like that? (let alone bring your “unChurched” friends and family, you’d feel so embarrassed to introduce them to that)

  68. Amber on June 3, 2016 at 6:18 pm

    Just want to reiterate something about small groups–I think small groups have made Churches lazy. Why would anyone want to join a small group if the Sunday morning is utter agony? The music may be fun, the message inspiring–but if your own congregation isn’t happy to be there, if they don’t want to get to know newcomers, why would anyone want to join a small group? At one Church we visited, we were invited to go to “Small Group”, yet, no joke, after the Sunday morning service every person in that Church bolted for the door, running for their cars like school was out for the summer. People with dead eyes shoved bulletins in our hands. Our kids weren’t introduced to the other kids in the lavish kids’ department. We can miss the basics: good manners, a smile, authenticity, honesty. Also, sometimes leadership in small groups is shockingly bad. I don’t know, I think we really, really need to re-examine the small group model. Perhaps it’s hurting the Church’s growth more than we think.

    • G on August 4, 2018 at 4:47 pm

      I favor going to small groups and skipping the main Sunday service, which I view as something to endure, something to sit through, and a thing to further the pastor’s agenda. Small groups are participatory and people can be real.

  69. nick hodge on November 1, 2015 at 5:43 pm

    Isn’t the Sabbath day outlined in the ten commandments? Isn’t the true Sabbath on Saturday? I’ve been wondering for a long time and the Vatican changed it to Sunday around 550 a.d. If we go on Sunday, aren’t we then following under Vatican law?

    • Peter Tefft on February 27, 2017 at 2:16 am

      No. Dig deeper and you will see that Sunday was significant when Jesus came and made the Lord’s day not the Sabbath. You must look a little deeper to find the truth about anything. God Bless You to find the truths you desire.

  70. grace on July 25, 2015 at 11:38 am

    I have a question. My parents decided to start a home ministry almost 7 years ago. I have read most of your posts and as I do agree why churches don’t grow… I don’t understand why our ministry doesn’t. We do hold services in my parents home, Wednesday’s and Sunday’s. We hold events in parks, at the beach, etc. The teachings that are taught are thorough… True, and filled with the Holy Spirit. Really the intent of our ministry is to teach others the word of God, and not just teach but instill and live it. I live in an area where we have about 3 power churches. Filled with lights and awesome buildings, and some are great and powerful churches. Then there are those churches that are huge but then a lot of the congregation are spiritually dead. I guess what I don’t understand is that if we’re doing what we know we are being lead to do… Why hasn’t our ministry grown? I guess I struggle with the idea that a big church is the normal and a small church is not really a good thing, because supposedly a small church that doesn’t grow is not healthy. But I don’t know if I can say we are not healthy, I really do believe we are. Should I accept that this is what God has for our ministry right now and that we need to be patient? Or is there something else we should be doing?

    • Carey Nieuwhof on July 27, 2015 at 11:32 am

      Grace…I love your question and I love that you are passionate about your parents’ church. That’s awesome.

      I think you’ll understand that it’s hard for me to guess from the outside. But a few thoughts.

      What’s your 1 year vision of where you’re going, and do you have a plan to get there? A house church is great, but if people can’t see past the 12-20 people in the living room, the drive to create something bigger will be almost impossible to grasp.

      I’ve never started a house church, but I did lead one with 6 people that could have been in a house. My vision from day one was that this was never about us, but the community. And we grew.

      Of course if you want to stay a house church that’s great too, it’s just that will limit your size.

      So I would cast a big vision and then lay out steps on how to get there. But that’s me. Hope this helps.

    • Sheila on July 21, 2018 at 3:23 am

      Grace, it is always God’s will that the Church grows corporately. However, not every church group does. House churches are great but as pointed out by Carey, space does limit you. A model that might work for your parents’ church is a group of several “house churches”. It is more of a small group model in some ways. Each house has a leader and these leaders work together. Often once a month, all of the house church participants may get together to celebrate and worship. The challenge will be when participants want things that can only be achieved through a more structure church (i.e. children’s church, youth group). While these structures seem wise, there isn’t a lot of evidence to support these structures as successful. This would be a time to consider a family church model where parents and kids are taught together so that parents can be leaders for their kids and reinforce teachings at home. This is a more effective model for raising christian kids. I would encourage you and your parents’ to develop a plan and take action. What you are doing is very worthwhile! and needed!

    • G on August 4, 2018 at 4:52 pm

      Might you consider a different pattern of growth? If there are, say, 20 people involved in this home ministry, why not split up into three groups of 6 or 7 people meeting in three different homes, with perhaps your parents or other leaders floating between them? This gives new people the opportunity to lead, teach, and show hospitality. Then as the new groups reach 12-15 people, divide again and continue in this pattern of growth, with a few threads connecting the various groups.

  71. Rockerfeller on January 19, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    This is a very interesting post. Thanks for linking to the study.

    “People go to church looking for God but are having difficulty finding him.
    This one hurts, but in an age where perception is reality, you can’t ignore this criticism.”

    Whose fault is it that one can’t find God in our churches, the people who come looking or leadership? It is not a perception, it IS clearly the reality in a lot of churches though certainly not all churches. If people can not find God in our fellowships, WE, not them are the problem. Any solution to this must start with what it is we are doing and offering and work out from there.

    “It’s amazing to me that people come to church seeking God only to not understand anything they’ve heard.”

    This assumes that anything worth learning is actually being communicated.

    I know that sounds harsh, but I have seen it over and over and over again. Pastors speaking and not doing any exegesis, teaching out of or even reading the Bible. If a message isn’t based and thoroughly saturated with God’s word, then it is just one man’s opinion. Just because a pastor gives his opinion for 20-30 minutes on a topic of his choice does NOT mean he/she is saying anything worth understanding.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on January 19, 2015 at 3:33 pm

      Whenever there’s a problem, it’s the leader’s responsibility. 🙂

      • Nimblewill on November 30, 2015 at 10:29 am

        Christ in me is the hope of Glory, the manifestation of God, not Christ at Church.

        • Carey Nieuwhof on November 30, 2015 at 11:14 am

          Yes, that’s partially true. But the scripture says the church is Christ’s. He created it, not us.

          • Hondo Stone on June 11, 2016 at 9:05 am

            Carey, the “church” that God created is His people whom are “Living Stones” built up a spiritual house not made with hands!
            When His “church” ( the true born again believers ) are all come to the faith of salvation in Christ alone, then the end will come!
            We are living in that very time!
            Praise God!
            Come Lord Jesus!

  72. Lisa on January 18, 2015 at 8:18 am

    A very good article indeed! I left the church three years ago because of abuse by leadership. It wasn’t the first time I had endured it, but it was so blatant that I was embarrassed and hurt.
    For me to even comment on an article on a ministry website is something that even surprises me, but I could feel the spirit in which this article was written in and its one of love, not judgement or finger-pointing. To be honest, I didn’t think that existed anymore. For 15 years I endured a very legalistic, harsh, abusive church environment. Make no mistakes about it, I was part of it, probably the Saul of the legalism and harshness. I know how messed up I was and I don’t ever forget that. But God graciously opened up my eyes. Am I still hurt? yes? Do I question my faith daily? Sure! But, maybe its because I have seen to much, or studied the bible for to many years to completely walk away. who knows?
    Thank you for the article, nice to read something that admits there are somethings that need to be worked on by us all!
    Lisa Ranieri
    Alexandria VA

    • Carey Nieuwhof on January 18, 2015 at 7:22 pm

      Lisa…thanks for sharing your story…and for leaving a comment. That’s a huge step.

      I am so sorry for the environment you were in…it sounds oppressive.

      There are some things we all need to work on, and thankfully, I know many church leaders who are. I hope and pray you find a church community which is everything it was designed by God to be. Don’t give up!

  73. lynn on January 14, 2015 at 2:46 am

    Hello. Everyone. ….I. See and read. All your. Comments. And. I. Agree ….church. Is. Not. About. God any. More. ….it. The. Bishop. The preacher. The. Deacons. The ushers. And. That. Clique. In. The church. That. Drives people. Who. Wants. Needs. To. Be. Feed. Spiritually. …….now. Has. Anyone. Heard. Of. Spiritually. Drained. That’s. What. Churches. Are doing. To. People. Whom. Really. Wanna work. For god and serve his will in. His holy. House. …god. Has the first. Middle. And last. Word. ……look. In. Scripture. Johnah. …..he. Didn’t. Wanna take orders. From. God nor hear. From. God. ……and he got. On a boat. To try and flee. From. God. And when the fish did what god allowed. To happen. To. Jonah …..he prayed and when he was. Delivers from what god allowed to happen. …he. Become and. Obeyed. God. ……he went. Into. The city. That god was going. To. Destroy. And he preach. ….to. The city. Like a double edged sword …….he feared god with all he tried to run from gods will. For him. ……..people. In. These. Churches. Are. Sick. They. Are and have not. Submitted. Themselves. Fully. To. God. …they still in. The world .and loving. Worldey. Things. ……they. Are spirituly. Sick. If. They had reacieved god. Then. His house. Would not. Be divided ……its not. God who divides. His house ….its the devil and the love of Worldly. Things …..my. God …and yes. Satin. Sits. In. The churches and he knows all their weakness ..and. He knows how to devide. them. ………until. Churches. Stand. Of. One body. in. Christ. ..the foolisheness is never ganna stop. And churches are becoming. The devils. Playground. ….why. Distractions…. He knows. …and. As. A. Person. Of god when I go to church. I .sit. In. The back. Why. I’m. Not. There for distraction. I’m. There to be spirituality. Fed …amen. ….and preachers. Bishops. And all whom.Are concercrated . ….are acting. Up. Having. Babies. Aids sleeping. Amongst. Each other …god is not. A god. Of. Confussion. But. …the work. Of. The devil. …and he enjoys. It. ……spiritual. Warefare …churches. Have gots. To. Come together. And have spiritual warefare. Everyday of the week even when things are good …..its not. The church. That is built. Thats. Bad. ….it. The evil. Wickedness deciet. Rebellious hate sexual. Evil. Deeds. That. Dwell. In. It. God. …bless. And don’t. Give up. Beloved. …verily verily. I. Say. To. You. Jesus is the truth. And the light. Amen. …be. Faithfull

    • Drood on February 22, 2015 at 8:37 am

      What are you even trying to say?

    • Jim on March 13, 2015 at 10:54 pm

      Your “smart device” is adding all those periods because you’re hitting the space bar twice between words. Remember, one space between words, and two spaces to end the sentence. Or. You. Will. Get. This.

  74. latebloomer on November 16, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    I’m tired of the cliches. People who don’t go to church aren’t bad people. We need people who aren’t afraid to take time to listen rather than pull out the stock Christian cliche answers. Also I think we need not fear being ourselves and being real. You know what I find funny strange is that non Christians seem to be more honest than Christians.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on November 17, 2014 at 9:14 am

      Thanks so much for this late bloomer. I want to be one of those Christian who’s listening. And I agree, sometimes non-Christians are more honest than Christians. Let’s cut through the hype and authentically follow Christ.

  75. Jimmy on September 29, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    I have too say, I really appreciate the openness of this conversation, it voices some honest opinions and insight on just a few essential reasons why many people do not attend church. Although there can be so many reasons why church is not the most attractive venue to attend, it remains to be my deepest prayer that the facility or the people do not meet every need or the expectation of every individual. I continuously pray that Jesus himself exceeds the needs and expectations of any & every believer who calls apon the name of the Lord.

  76. Bob on August 22, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    I go to church but struggle with the current trend of finding this to be more of a drop-in, drop-out for an hour or two on Sun. mornings. I have even met with the minister and expressed frustration at the lack of Christian relationships or community beyond going through the motions here on Sun. mornings. There seems to be no real caring for one another as the N.T. Christians did, no sense of beyond the walls on Sun. mornings. This is a small congregation with a lot of older people. I have no doubt it will die as a church in the not too distant future. I found a mega church to be even more distant in their lack of community, lack of real Christian relationships, and was more entertainment than anything else (in reality). Just frustrated with it all, with organized religion now. I have a deep faith in God but not much faith in current trends in churches overall.

    • Hondo Stone on June 11, 2016 at 9:16 am

      The churches are apostate now just as the Bible tells us that there would be this great “falling away” in the very end of time.

      Stay the course and trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not unto your own understanding, in all your way acknowledge Him and He will direct your path!

      We art to worship Him 7/24

      After spending many years in the church, involved with committees, teaching Sunday school ( which was a real blessing ) I came out of the church 10 years ago ( for a number of legitimate reasons, and have never regretted it because just as I know the Lord brought me to that church, He also brought me out of it.

      I spend my Sundays passing out gospel tracts that I had printed up and know this to be my part in what time the Lord has given me till He comes, for the great day of the Lord is very near.

      If you’d like to read a copy of it, just drop me an email and I will send it to you.

      Peace Brother!

  77. […] the church, I feel I know enough to say that these reasons are certainly more legitimate than “They’re not finding community.” Churches, I’m going to tell you what so many other blog posts won’t. If you want to […]

  78. Ron on July 6, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    Your article says:I taught through the same 5 principles recently here. It then opens the iTunes list but I don’t know which sermons you are referring to. Can you help me with the sermon series title. Thanks so much!

    • Carey Nieuwhof on July 12, 2014 at 7:53 am

      Hey Ron…my bad. It’s the Pivot Series. Hope that helps!

  79. Nathaniel Hudson on June 16, 2014 at 9:58 am

    The reason why I don’t go to church anymore is simple: I never found God in church. I have a Christian community of friends that I talk with concerning my spiritual identity. However, church has always pushed me away from God. And a lot of this is not due to any of the five reasons you listed.

    One reason is that you go to church and listen to one man’s interpretation of God, the Bible, and spirituality. I don’t need that man’s interpretation. I am well more than capable to read the Bible and make my own interpretations of what it means. I would rather spend my time building my relationship with God by simply doing things myself and asking controversial, theological questions regarding the Bible. “What does this verse mean?” “Does this verse really have much relevance to today’s society?” etc. That’s a huge reason. I prefer making my own opinion, rather than sit idly and listen to someone else’s.

    My second major reason is that with my experience in the church, asking questions is a sacrilegious act. In my view, the Bible is a finite representation of an infinite idea. Based on that alone, the Bible can’t fully elaborate on the being that is God. It’s impossible. So, I hate how the church acts as if they know everything in the Bible and know God’s reason for saying something, or better yet, what verses we should pay attention to. When, in reality, they have no idea just as much as I do. I find the church hypocritical simply because they pretend to be something that they know they can’t. They are no the know-it-all source of biblical wisdom that they claim to be. And, again, they are afraid to ask questions (at least in my experience). Asking questions is how you strengthen your faith, and they discourage that.

    These are some of my reasons. But, some people are just not churchgoers. I understand the importance of church in people’s lives. I know people whose lives have been changed insurmountably, for the better, upon going to church. I know others who have been hurt by the church. Churches need to realize that not even Jesus Christ attended church regularly and not judge people for simply not finding it appealing to go to church. I have a relationship with God, and it is not because of church.

  80. Billiewilliesillie on June 1, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    Reasons why I don’t want to go to church anymore. Lots of people are very fake, very hard to have fellowship with anybody as everybody cant wait to leave after services is over. People and clergy dont have the time and don’t want to talk with you. No love, and sermons that you have heard over and over. Little talk about spiritual warfare and the deeper things of the faith.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on June 3, 2014 at 5:43 am

      So sorry you’ve had this experience. I hope and pray you’ll have the courage to try some other faith communities. I promise you they are not all like this. Not at all!

      • Elaine on November 10, 2014 at 2:50 pm

        I have attended a church for 22 years, and it seems as though the culture of the church has changed. I awoke one Sunday morning anticipating to go to church;
        However, the Ebola outbreak hit the United States pretty hard in Dallas. We have had
        Sporadic outbreaks in certain cities. I having a problem going back to church. I am
        Spirit filled and have the fruits of the Spirit. I don’t have the spirit of fear, but I feel as though the culture of the church has changed and I know longer feel like going there
        anymore. What is the Spirit of the Lord saying to me.

        • G on August 5, 2018 at 2:11 pm

          Elaine, I think that church as we know it is the problem and has to die. The church as we know it is like the house built on the sand. We need a deconstruction process before we can be the church. Imagine being in the Catholic church before the Protestant reformation. You’re going to mass, saying your rosary, doing everything they tell you to do, yet it doesn’t feel right. You try to draw near to God through these things, but the more you practice them the more confused you become. I believe the protestant church needs reform also, to the point that on the other end of these reforms we will not recognize it anymore. Our churches today are a collection of disjointed factions, with people congregating around a set of doctrines rather than by location. So when a person disagrees with a particular church, he leaves and takes his nonconforming influence with him (And the leaders are quite happy for him to leave because they don’t want the uncomfortable process of integrating that person’s ideas or of having to either change or publicly negate that person’s ideas.) As time goes by, the church them becomes a caricature of Christianity. So we get extreme faith churches, holiness churches, and so on, with each church becoming an exaggeration of some set of doctrines. The other issue is that our churches are legally non-profit corporations and are therefore entities of the state with the state as its head. They therefore have church boards in order to satisfy the government’s non-profit status, instead of having a biblical church government. They own land and buildings. Some own stocks and equities. If a pastor quits or is removed, the organization must continue on because corporations operate in perpetuity until the board votes to shut them down. All these things work to weaken and compromise the church, and to re-frame the church from being a spiritual community of believers under the headship and government of Christ, into a corporate entity of the state, rendering our churches powerless.
          I don’t know what the church should look like in its final form, but I think the way we will get there is for each person to follow the Lord. He may lead us into and out of church situations, lead us to speak or refrain from speaking, move us to confront or on the other extreme refuse to grace a congregation with our presence so as not to put our seal of approval on it by the fact of our being there. Follow Christ. Again, He may lead you into or out of fellowship, so be willing to do both.

      • Colly on June 7, 2018 at 7:55 pm

        You know your wrong.. most churches are like this!!

  81. […] And another one.  […]

  82. Mark on April 17, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    I am glad you are tackling questions. Dr. Patrick Mead is another minister who answers questions online from people who have no one else to ask. It is tragic that so many questions can’t be answered without bitterness or just the same old answers.

    The one I would like to add to your list is the lack of pastoral care. I do not begrudge the elderly pastoral care especially with end of life issues. However, it seems that they and the sick are the only people who get any. There are plenty who aren’t sure who they can talk to when they really need to. Too often the only time that younger people get to be around or talk to real clergy is when their parent or grandparent dies, and they will likely be asked if they are attending church regularly, which leads them to think that attendance is all that matters. Even then the “next of kin” is the only person who gets the concern.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on June 3, 2014 at 5:44 am

      Mark…a little late to the comment here but we do care for our church through groups. It’s fantastic. We have 400 adults who gather in groups of 8-12 people each week and hundreds of kids who do the same. It allows us to be a larger church with great pastoral care.

  83. JTapp on April 13, 2014 at 8:30 am

    I think I agree with #4 but would propose a different antidote. Arguably
    the most important thing a pastor can do is teach his congregation to
    read the Bible for themselves. And there should be an expectation and
    encouragement in the church to do so. If a person isn’t “learning about
    God” from their church, then perhaps it’s because the pastor isn’t
    adequately doing this.

    • RCN on June 12, 2018 at 12:16 am

      So glad you added this, JTapp. Having been in ministry (odd ones, actually – not your typical “church”) in pastoral roles much of the time, it was a revelation to me to realize this: the greatest thing I could do is to (using a familiar Chinese proverb): teach (my congregants) to fish, not just feed them fish every Sunday morning! Pastors should indeed have that aim! It doesn’t mean the Lord doesn’t yet use us to give biblically sound guidance in understanding God’s truths and life principles, but we should help believers learn how to “discover” them, rightly interpret and apply them to their daily life situations. “Preachers” cannot cover everything! I don’t think we’re supposed to. Rather, we’re to model and teach how to “walk in the Spirit”, “abide in Christ”. And there is a little pastoral temptation to this, too: ministers can fall into the trap of feeling like “his people” (her) NEED him/her to rightly understand God and His ways; that they really can’t successfully follow Christ without him/her and his/her leading. That’s when a pastor is beginning down a bad road of self-aggrandizement, and will surely no longer have the Lord’s blessing in his/her leadership.

  84. What Keeps You Up at Night? | Stehr Steps on April 11, 2014 at 12:06 am

    […] Carey Niuwhof’s post entitled, 5 Reasons People Have Stopped Attending Your Church (Especially Millennials) he reacts to some research recently released from the Barna Group on declining church attendance. […]

  85. Reginald Gabel on April 9, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    A very sad statement in your article… “if we loved like Christ… they would line up at the door”. You are guilty of your own words, making statement about people, or attitudes that are correct. Jesus loved the people and most walked away or stood in line to approve of Him being crucified. Yes we need to reach the younger generation… but the younger generation has to really want a relationship and not just knowledge. We can say the time is different, we are brighter, smarter and on and on. But Christ is the same, and church is to worship and praise Him. So many come in the front down expecting to have their own needs meet, to hear their kind of music, their kind of sermon, their kind of class and teaching without think about who church is all about. Yes there needs to be change, but instead of pointing the finger, complaining, how about joining in, start by worshiping and praising God, falling on your knees and ask, “God, what is it that you want me to do?” In Isaiah’s words… “Here am I, use me”. I remember a sermon title from my wife’s grandfather that was dated 1942, “Where are the Youth? if we don’t change they will be gone in 20 years” 72 years ago, wow… it is not about us, it is about God.

  86. Mark Weaver on April 5, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    I’ve always felt that the world is filled with great non-profs. And millineials, like myself, gravitate very quickly to the mission behind these non-profs: TWLOHA, TOMS, Warby Parker, NOH8.

    Regardless of what the the organization is FOR, the people who see their mission and passion are quicky to allign themselves with it…and put their money, time, facebook statuses, clothing, etc, to it.

    I feel many people are fleeing the church because they sense a lack of mission/passion within the church, which should be the most missional.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on April 6, 2014 at 8:32 pm

      So true. Millennials in particular resonate with larger causes. I totally agree with you diagnosis Mark. Thanks!

    • Youth Culture Report on April 7, 2014 at 11:12 am

      Mark I do see a lot of millineials putting their faith into action through non-prof groups. I would love to see this as a missional focus out of the church, but the good news is they are still part of the body of christ

      • Mark Weaver on April 8, 2014 at 9:52 am

        I really feel the church has two incredible options: create strong partnerships with the groups that exist or create missional communities that have a desire to make a specific impact like influential non-profs

    • Mark on April 17, 2014 at 6:23 pm

      Yes and Habitat for Humanity and soup kitchens welcome them. A lot of churches only want to serve certain people and then don’t want new participants and so they run off the people who want to volunteer.

  87. […] 5 Reasons People Have Stopped Attending Your Church (Especially Millennials) by Carey Nieuwhof […]

  88. Lawrence W. Wilson on April 3, 2014 at 6:50 am

    These are dead on, but there’s one to add. Some people leave not because church is done poorly but because it’s done well; they simply don’t want what the church is. People abandoning the faith may be a minority of “leavers,” but it is a growing one.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on April 3, 2014 at 1:31 pm

      Actually that’s very good point. People do walk away from Jesus…then and now.

  89. Gary Davis on April 2, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    What if we simplified this?

    Be a Church based on the Truth of God found in His Holy scriptures. If a person is seeking Truth (which by the way is the only way to find life), they will not only find it, but experience it as well and join that Fellowship. If a person is looking for something other than Truth, they will be disappointed and most likely not join that Fellowship.

    It’s always been about the Truth of God’s Word – After all, it is ‘Living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.’ [ Hebrews 4.12 ]

    • Carey Nieuwhof on April 3, 2014 at 1:32 pm

      Gary…appreciate your heart for the Word of God. I share your commitment to biblical authority. That is assumed in this post. Without it, nothing matters. Ditto with prayer and other core essentials of the Christian faith.

  90. Brent Dumler on April 2, 2014 at 11:58 am

    OK, I absolutely love this post. All 5 points are dead on, but a little voice inside of me screamed “Preach it, Carey” when you said ‘Just because many churches are like that doesn’t mean yours has to be.’ Too many churches have simply given in to the idea that church/life/ministry is messy and will always struggle with these issues…so why try to change it? God’s Church is the most powerful and influential institution on Earth. Church leaders/pastors need to recognize this, tap into it, and BE THE CHANGE in their churches. My prayer is that every church leader/pastor would be more excited and passionate about God’s Church today than ever.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on April 3, 2014 at 1:32 pm

      Thanks Brent. Me too!

      • Katie on April 27, 2014 at 2:23 am

        Hi! I’ve read similar assessments. I don’t think these reasons are all that accurate. I will speak from my own experiences here but social anxiety played a big part in me staying out of church. And I do believe there are millions of Americans who suffer from social anxiety and panic disorders.
        How about all the PTSD vets out there? Is church comfortable? Probably not.
        I’ve also noticed when I do go a lot of people sit way in the back. This tells me they are not comfortable in front.
        The social butterfly personality can’t fathom people who don’t want to mix and don’t want attention and don’t want to shake hands ( the worse for me) and don’t want to talk about themselves.
        Also, I never go to the movies (can’t stand it) and I don’t join clubs because people make me very nervous.
        I love to pray silently and that can be hard to do in a large church.
        Also if you are raised in a certain Christian doctrine and you go to another church that can be stressful to hear a different doctrine.

        • Carey Nieuwhof on April 27, 2014 at 5:19 am

          Katy. I’m sorry to hear that you struggle with that. For sure that would be a barrier to church and so much else. I’m sure that’s a percentage of the people who don’t attend but likely the other factors also weigh in. — Sent from Mailbox

          • katie on April 27, 2014 at 4:14 pm

            Thanks Cary for your kindly reply.
            I heard the priest say at mass the other day that we had to fight
            against laziness as the reason for not going to church.
            He said he too had to fight his own inner laziness.

            I think this is probably a common misbelief among the clergy. The belief is that people do not go to church frequently because they are lazy. I think this is a stereotype and a great misconception. Actually, people are being overstimulated more now than ever in our “modern” world of social demands and requirements.
            The adult life has a faster, louder, more demanding pace than ever before.

            The demands of social media to keep up with tweets, blogs, Facebook, emails and the like is very draining and time consuming. Work requires many jobs that demand ” customer service skills” as we are not a production economy like we were.
            Our kids have soccer, tutoring, piano, dance, scouts and they too are getting socially burned out. Us parents are paying and taking them to all of this and adults too are getting socially burned out! How could we not?
            When you are over stimulated as an adult, and you get one day off on Sunday, do you really have the nerves or energy or desire to socialize at church with more people? I always tell my husband that church would be great if there weren’t any people there.

            So the church’s response to falling attendance is they need to “reach out” and be more social! I think this is a misdiagnoses to the real problem. I think if church became more about being a relaxing quiet community through prayer this would be helpful; with less socializing and more praying & smiling!

            I look at the high attendance to baseball and football games and I recognize how comforting it is to be at a ball game. Nobody is demanding you to walk up and down the park isles and shake hands with Everybody! Nobody is asked how much you will be giving this week. Nobody at a ball game wants to know if you will be coming to the next ball game! Nobody is angry because of donations. Nobody even knows your name and yet people like to get together and view a ball game TOGETHER! This is human behavior that the “social butterfly’s” will never understand. Never…because they are not “in charge”.
            You can relax at a ballgame more than most churches because the church has become too social and energy draining.

            And that is why I truly feel most people are avoiding church. It is way too social and demanding. And if you have any PTSD most church members are just too upsetting to your nervous systems.

          • katie on May 5, 2014 at 8:16 pm

            Just to add a note to anyone who might be interested.
            The NIMH ( National Institute of Mental Health) says Americans with anxiety disorders are about 40 million people.
            To educate yourself about this disease go here:



        • RCN on June 12, 2018 at 12:38 am

          Katie, I greatly appreciate your post. My wife is a domestic violence advocate and has educated me, who didn’t go through abuse like she did for the first 30 years of her life, about the widespread problem – and it’s devastating effects. I’ve been in ministry among Native People for 44 years – and it was a huge revelation to me, focusing on the widespread alcoholism issue that many are quick to point at, that it was actually an underlying, first-cause issue that was causing it: abuse (both domestic violence, and everything from verbal/emotional to physical/sexual abuse/trauma). When Native women are at a nearly 1 out of 2 as victims of abuse (and men/boys not far behind), this is a huge issue – and the church and most ministers haven’t a clue how to effective help and minister to folks carrying such pain-from-the-past. But it’s not just a Native American issue: as American society has drifted from God (knowing a close personal relationship with God through Christ), included those identifying themselves as Christians, the inevitable consequences come – and by whatever form, emotional pain from various forms of mistreatment and rejection deeply wounds the soul. Jesus Christ is the “Healer of the Brokenhearted”, as one of His titles and attributes: but the church and church leaders have not done well in understanding and appropriating that into themselves and their ministries, for it is the crying need today. Therefore – even as you read all these very honest posts from those hurt by the church – people in need, in pain, come to church and the church seems impervious to their real needs! I know, as a minister, for many years I did not understand this; and now understanding it, this has changed the way we understand “church” and what “it” should be and should be doing! People won’t come to something that doesn’t “speak” to their real, felt unmet needs – where they are hurting. Why would they!? People came to Jesus, responded to Him, not because He could sing good, give a great polished sermon, provide an exciting program, make you part of the elite (nothing elite about Him and His crowd or disciples) – they came because they experienced Him, His empathy, His compassion, His mercy, and His wisdom – and it met them right where they were hurting (remember: these folks were under Roman oppression, persecuted, poverty-stricken, disease ridden, and even felt spiritually lost and wondered why God was letting this happen). Jesus brought REAL ministry that hit them right where they were hurting: and that’s what’s lacking today in too many churches and ministers. I’m still working on this (or, rather, He is working on me) myself. People need to experience the real, living resurrected Jesus in His life-giving, life-changing grace to meet the questions, concerns and needs that are going unmet.
          Us ministers, church leaders: we need to humble ourselves before Him and ask Him to show us where we need to change so that He CAN bring His Message and life-changing grace and power. We need to be truly one with Him and His agenda!

        • Sheila on July 21, 2018 at 3:38 am

          And people who are dealing with grief, loss, hurt, depression and much more. I don’t want a fake handshake and some spare germs at the door either. I don’t want to turn around and greet someone I don’t know just because it’s tradition and the guy up front tells me to do it. It’s not real. So I just sit there. I want to be real with other real people and learn how to be more like Jesus. And FYI, I used to knit at church to keep myself focused on listening to the talk because the note page was not helpful for learning or thinking. I endured a lot of “looks” but it helped me to focus.

          Like some other folks have mentioned, I too, don’t fit into the “target population” of the church. Until recently, I was single, never married, middle aged, no kids, career WOMAN. There was nothing for me to participate in, few other career women in the church, no evening groups for women (daytime only). I was only permitted to get involved once I became a member. Even then I was the wrong gender and thus given a project for providing meals to people in the church who were sick or needy. Not for people outside the church – because after all, we don’t know people outside the church. The bottom line is that the church creates lots of barriers for people to come.

          • Hilary E on June 19, 2019 at 9:25 pm

            Sister, your comment hit HOME for me. I feel exactly the same way. I just left my church after 3 years of trying. I am a widowed woman in my late 40s, and I was the constant “spare wheel” annoyance to all the happy couples, and there was literally no place for me. I am an artist, and that made things a thousand times worse. I did everything from in home Bible studies to serving on the Board— and I was still treated like an alien. After three years, I only had two women friends, and the Pastor and his wife didn’t even know the names of my children, including my adult son who attended their church (and there was only 65 official members). I don’t need to go to church and pay to feel even worse than before I got there— like I was the most unimportant person on the planet— everyone giving me sideways glances and phony, plastic greetings. I can just watch church on TV and then have brunch after with my unchurched friends who are actually kind to me,

          • Bill Smith on June 25, 2021 at 4:17 am

            Hilary (below, no reply option was available),

            At least you had 2 friends. Trying being an older divorced man (a decade or more past you). We only exist to be work slaves or get blamed for all the problems.

            Making connections, especially for those who struggle doing that, is almost impossible.

            Some of this is because church is a time-limited event for most who attend, and they like that. Getting into those groups, even after smaller Bible studies, is downright impossible.

            Many will tell you to just “try harder” like someone who dunks a basketball will tell you to “just do it” even though both are almost impossible for those like me.

            Coming is not the biggest problem. Not building communities of people is the problem!

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