Why Attending Church No Longer Makes Sense

attend church

The trend is practically universal: fewer people are attending church every year.

You might have even asked the question yourself. Why bother?

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

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a huge fan of the church. But I get why more and more people have simply stopped attending. Let me explain.

In the fall of 2015, I transitioned out of the lead pastor role at our church and into a Founding and Teaching Pastor role (Here’s a piece on why and how I did it). I still carry about 30 Sundays a year of teaching and work on some senior level projects, but that leaves me much freer than I’ve ever been on a Sunday morning. Sure, sometimes I host the service or have other roles, but more often than I’ve ever experienced before, I’m free on a Sunday. Which means I’m often an attender. So I feel what the culture is feeling more than ever before.

And on those Sundays when I have no official role, I’m plagued with the question “Why go to church?”

After all, our church streams our services live online. I could literally watch live on any device I own anywhere. Plus we share the services on demand, so I could watch or listen any time during the week via our website or catch the message for free via podcast.

If your church doesn’t have a great online experience, no worries, about a million others do. You can access almost any church you want, anywhere, anytime. Free.

Which brings us back to the question: Why attend church?

Increasingly, I’m convinced there’s no point to merely attending. You drive all the way in to connect with three or four songs, hear the message and then head home. All of that you could almost do by yourself in a much more convenient way.

Slip on Spotify and grab the message via podcast or on demand and boom, you’re covered.

Drowning in Options

I wonder if in large measure that’s why the era of attending church is dying. Think about it.

Generations ago, the church was a social and cultural hub as well as a missional hub. In addition to faith reasons, people loved going to church because it was one of a handful of options available in a community as well as the main way (other than personal devotions) you connect with God.

We now live in a culture that’s drowning in options and has 24/7 access to anything Christian.

In fact, I can think of only two compelling reasons to go to church anymore.

You Don’t Attend Church. You Are the Church.

The main reason I gather with the church is because I am the church.

You don’t attend church. You are the church.

Merely attending church doesn’t make you much of a church because sitting in a back row consuming church doesn’t make you very good at being the church.

I think being the church has something to do with living your life for Christ, demonstrating God’s love by serving others and sharing your faith with people. That’s very different than consuming church in a back row, which you can just as easily do on your back deck.

The reason you would go to church today is that you’ve moved from being a consumer to being a contributor. You don’t just go to be served, you go to serve. There’s something deeply scriptural about that.

And before you think that you can do whatever you need to do as a Christian in the world without other Christians or without the church, here are a couple of reasons I would disagree.

First, gathering together was Jesus’ idea, not ours. I outline that (and much more) here.

Second, listen to what this young mom had to say about her experience when she started skipping church because of the demands of parenting. Fascinating.

You are the church. Remember that. And the church is at it’s best when we engage in the mission God has given us.

An Experience For the Sake of Those Not Yet in The Room

The second compelling reason to attend a Sunday morning gathering is that you’re bringing a friend with you or because you yourself are exploring Christianity.

I love being part of a church that is constantly designing experiences with those who are not yet in the room in mind.

One of the most exciting things about many growing churches today is they’ve become great at hosting experiences that unchurched people can access and ultimately love to attend. That’s what our church does well, and I love both bringing friends into it for the first time and being there to connect with other people that bring their friends.

Spiritual maturity, after all, isn’t about how much you know. It’s about how much you love. And love that doesn’t flow out into the lives of other people isn’t love.

A Dividing Line

So that’s it. Two good reasons to keep attending church.

First, you are the church, which means you’re engaged in the mission in some meaningful way.

And second, you’re creating space where everybody (regardless of their background) can hear and experience the news of Christ’s love for them.

But that also means we live in an age where attending church for attendance’s sake is dying. Fast.

And maybe that’s what we see happening around us. People who aren’t engaged in the mission are leaving the mission.

And while that’s sad, you can’t build the future of the church on passionless, disengaged people. Nor can you build it on consumers.

The future will be built on Christians who want to serve, share and engage the mission of the local church.

Stop Pandering to the Consumers

As a church leader, what do you do in the midst of this?

Well first, stop pandering to the consumers—those who merely attend and won’t engage. Too many leaders spend their time trying to please people who complain much and contribute little.

They have enough options. And you will never be able to please everyone. So stop trying.

As my friend Reggie Joiner says, focus on who you want to reach, not who you want to keep.

Raise The Level of Engagement

Second, focus on engaging people in the mission of the church. Nothing is more exciting. Nothing will change the world more powerfully than the love of Christ shared with a world that so desperately needs it.

Here are 5 reasons engagement is the new church attendance.

And if you want to raise engagement, here are 7 ways to get people more engaged in the mission of your church, so they make the move from merely attending church to being the church.

Keep Unchurched People Front and Center

Third, make sure your church is optimally positioned to accomplish its mission: reaching unchurched people with the love and hope of Christ.

That means everything you do needs to work in a way unchurched people can access. The best churches assume that every Sunday is someone’s first Sunday. We even have that saying mounted on a giant logo on the wall.

One good way to check whether your church is ready to reach the unchurched is to see if teenagers love your church services. Not your alternative service. Your main-open-the-doors-wide service.

If teenagers hate your church service, so will unchurched people.

Not sure if your church is truly positioned to reach unchurched people? These 9 signs will tell you.

Final Thoughts

Maybe it’s not a bad thing in the end that the era of attending church is dying.

Please hear me, we need more churches. We need more, healthy churches. And we need churches that are doing a fantastic job at reaching people.

What we don’t need more of is churches where people merely attend and never engage.

Got any thoughts on what’s happening?

Scroll down and leave a comment.

Why Attending Church No Longer Makes Sense


  1. T. D. on January 17, 2022 at 10:53 pm

    I still attend church. There can be a lot of drama in churches today. Some people who have been going there all their lives sometimes think they “own” the church and can be overbearing. Also, many people won’t volunteer and are just spectators. Additionally, people are often too busy to get close to other people and become close to them in church. Also, people can be judgmental if you don’t believe the Earth is 7,000 years old. People want to make church and ideas cultish sometimes and I don’t care for that.

  2. Sheila on January 14, 2022 at 7:17 pm

    I stopped attending church many years ago. I am well aware that I am “the church” and we are the church together. However, we have to remember that the church is a group of sinners saved by grace. So we are not going to automatically love gathering in an intimate manner. In fact, that is what makes people disinterested in attending services. I am not interested in attending services because I leave feeling like I am invisible to my so-called church family. For the first 7 years, I served, became a member, tried to make a difference, joined small groups and met – flaky immature christians completely out of touch with their faith and the real world, and totally obsessed with living a lifestyle that was not focused on God. I found the conversation wholly unedifying, impersonal and unloving. I got sick of the lack of intimacy and no desire to be known and to know. So after 7 years of trying and meeting no one, making no friends and being held back because I was a woman, I gave up. The worst part was that I felt that trying any other church was pointless because they were all the same. Nothing new, same kind of people, church disorganization and more. So even now, I have a hard time going back. Now the worst part of the story is that for 7 years prior to this, I was an active member of a church plant where I had multiple roles, friends etc. and when this church closed, the people I thought were my friends fell away. This is the antithesis of what church should be. So honestly how can a pastor help people become connected if they don’t want more connections, don’t want to be transparent, intimate or serve. So what is the problem? The Holy Spirit does not have a hold of most Christians and they are not being transformed. So I wonder why no churches are called “Transformation Church”….LOL. Just no innovation or inspiration. Just the same thing over and over.

  3. Valentina Montella on January 12, 2022 at 8:25 pm

    I believe we are living in times when people say they believe but do not praise their God nor have the word in their heart. There is a reason why men and women of faith have been raised ! I believe God has raised certain individuals to teach the word. We are what we see, what we hear, and what we do .
    In household today, there may be one strong believer! It was not meant to be this way.
    Im the Old Testament one lamb was slain and the whole family was saved . Not just one. It’s a household of Faith that is favored that produces power within us for healings and deliverence. I am not ashamed to share CHRIST and to tell you , I love listening to people who may be on a higher level spiritually then I am. These people have greater insights and blessings to be shared. Their wisdom is needed and to be heard. I pray that not going to church isn’t a cop out . However, we need also each of us to bring something with us at church when we go. Each of us if filled in the Faith in Christ has a great portion of love and strength to be seen. In our actions and in our love towards Christ.
    When 2 or more are gathered in Jesus name there He will be in their mists. Today like I said , in a family there may be zero believers or just one. When there is just one strong believer it is not an easy ride. It’s Benificial to be with other strong believers who share the same faith in Christ as you. There are some amazing churches out there , BUT YOU TOO MUST BRING YOUR NEEDED PORTION AND HAVE THE JOY OF THE LORD WITHIN YOU. For the JOY OF THE LORD IS UOUR STRENGTH!🙏❤️

  4. Zola on January 11, 2022 at 1:59 pm

    1 Corinthians 3:16
    Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple (Church) and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?

    1 John 2:26 – 27
    26 I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. 27 As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.

    If I could find a Man-made Building call Church like Acts 2 – I wouldn’t hesitate to be apart of it.

    Acts 2:42 – 47
    The Fellowship of the Believers

    42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 
    43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

    • Bob Thomas on January 12, 2022 at 8:32 pm

      Referring to 1 John 2:27
      One thing that HE has taught me.
      Love does no harm to a neighbor!

      Pope Francis says that getting a vaccination is loving yourself and your neighbor.

      Injecting potential poison into ones arm is not loving the body attached to that arm.

      We will soon see if Gods representative on earth is as infallible as advertised.

      Bad advice kills. God is love. John 17:15 Jesus
      Said …
      “My prayer is that not that you take them out
      Of the world but that you protect them from the evil one”.
      Love doesn’t send people to the grave.

      Be careful who you listen to for your spiritual health.

    • Sheila on January 14, 2022 at 7:23 pm

      And now the church has a garage sale and uses the proceeds to buy a better sound system. And over 50% of the church doesn’t join a small group and only 20% tithe and 20% serve.

  5. Don Davies on December 19, 2021 at 1:31 am

    I truly pray for those leaving the church. I have to say that listening to Preaching and sermons of Pastors and preachers have really saved me and has given me so much strength! Thanks to our Black Pastor Keion Henderson, https://www.keionhenderson.com/about-us/ I have survived the isolation brought about by the pandemic and also saved me from depression!

  6. John on November 7, 2021 at 5:49 pm

    Interesting article. As a non-believer, I am concerned with the effort to reach the unchurched. Is the author referring to proselytizing?

    • Daniold on November 9, 2021 at 9:59 pm

      If you mean by “proselytizing” that people are attempting by loving unchurched people to bring them into their church, yes.

  7. Dennis Gannon on November 5, 2021 at 4:53 am

    Most churches are fake or very weak. The Reformation only STARTED to fix the corrupt RC church. Most so called Protestants are really just neo-Catholics. They are pagan polytheists, sabbath breakers, sexists. They don’t expose the evil of the lying mainstream media and the terrorist State acts. According to John 3:3 they have not been born again, they cannot see the Kingdom of God, they think it is in the future (Premills). They support satanists (Israel). When God makes a Christian, they leave the fake church. Most of the fake churches are mostly fire insurance man made Christians, John 1:13.

    • Sinoe on December 1, 2021 at 6:56 pm

      Gods word says to put others above yourself with humility kindness, grace ,mercy and gratitude.Its easy to love those who love us.But we are call to love the unlovable and extend grace to those who are bitter and angry.This is not possible without God.

    • Mark on December 12, 2021 at 10:37 am

      I find when I uses a lot of ‘they’ statements in my comment, that I am in a wrong place of judgement and comparison. I am no more a Christian than the next; Christ has not forgiven me because I am less fake. ‘They’ are not less loved by Christ than me.

  8. Ann C Shaffer on October 26, 2021 at 12:18 pm

    The only reason to go to church is to listen to a sermon or have fellowship with other believers. I can hear much better sermons online and never met a person much less a group who is interested in a daily walk with God. I don’t attend church although I go on occasion. I hear a lot of sermons on the internet or TV and have a daily walk with God. I have one good friend who also has a daily walk with God and we share our walks and what God is doing in our lives and our reliance on the Holy Spirit. I doubt I’ve ever heard a sermon on relying on the Holy Spirit in a local church. If i could share what God is doing in my life with others walking the walk, I’d attend church. Never happened.

    • Dave on October 26, 2021 at 12:49 pm

      Really love your reply. I became a Christian as a young adult, and rarely if ever heard messages about the Holy Spirit. If the Holy Spirit is God living with us as our counselor and guide, He seems like a pretty important person to learn about and to get to know. It’s really special that you have a good friend who is like-minded to walk with. That sounds like a really special “church.” Cheers.

    • Mike Symons on October 26, 2021 at 10:55 pm

      According to the Bible I read, where 2 or more are gathered is sufficient enough for fellowship. Fellowship is supposed to be where everyone is a participant, not where just one person talks and everyone else has to have permission to participate. In the early church, people just participated in like manner that non believers gather to a cocktail party. When non believers gather at a party, no one worries about how they fit in or what to do and not do, in other words it’s not tightly structured. Churches today are tightly structured. What you and your friend are doing is more like the early baby church.

    • Daniold on November 9, 2021 at 10:11 pm

      How many churches have you visited? How many have you committed to for a few months? How hard did you try to find true believers at those churches? I don’t disagree with your decision to stay home, but you paint a much bleaker picture then what is really there. Also there are other things that God wants going on in your life, such as serving people, encouraging others in their faith. There is a lot of spiritual power in true corporate worship, however I have not seen it in decades. For my “fix” on corporate worship I have started placing myself in the “crowd of witnesses” and “the church of the firstborn” that it talks about in Hebrews 12.

      • Sinoe on December 1, 2021 at 6:57 pm

        Gods word says to put others above yourself with humility kindness, grace ,mercy and gratitude.Its easy to love those who love us.But we are call to love the unlovable and extend grace to those who are bitter and angry.This is not possible without God.

    • Aaron on November 14, 2021 at 5:00 am

      Yes ma’am it says in the good book where 2 or 3 are gathered or come together there God will be found. The church isn’t made of brick and wood. The church is the believers in Christ Jesus. Just know I feel what your saying but don’t let others words or the holier than though looks bring you down. Do your best t.o share your life and church is not for every body. God bless and keep you 🙏.

      • Bob Thomas on November 14, 2021 at 10:06 am

        REV 18:4 says, “ I heard another voice from heaven say: Come out of her my people, so you will not share in her sins,
        So that you will not receive any of her plagues; for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes.”

        Where do you suppose HE wants his people to come out of? Could it be organized religion ? That HE simply wants us to be in a relationship with HIM?
        No longer co- dependent on a pastor or priest? Ask the Holy Spirit to make His truth known to you personally.

        • MUSCLEINABMW on December 20, 2021 at 7:06 pm

          You are wrong on this buddy…….read the previous chapter and beyond verse 4.

          • Bib Thomas on December 20, 2021 at 10:30 pm

            John 6:45
            1 John 2:27
            ISA 2:22 / Psalm 116:11 … pastors are men too.

        • David on December 28, 2021 at 12:26 am

          Awesome reply
          In my opinion you have the revelation of God

          • Bob Thomas on December 28, 2021 at 9:35 am

            If you can acknowledge & own
            John 14:20 and know we are also His disciples … then John 14:26 & John 16:14 become our daily pipeline to get downloads directly “for us individually” … at the time HE wants to make things known to us individually.
            Corporate teaching is fine … but like the media and government, there is a strong tendency to make us simply
            “Useful idiots” where the Lord created us to glorify the name of Jesus , not their buildings name.
            Google “ Gospel of John 2003 movie”. 3 hours long acted out word for word from book of John.
            Chapter 14 starts at 2:00 hour mark.
            Watch it as though you are there as on of the twelve. John 17:20 tells us we are as they were … beloved by Him. We are not currently in a medical battle, nor a political battle, but a spiritual one. Evil is attempting to deceive in all three realms. May God bless you.

          • Richard W. on December 28, 2021 at 10:52 am

            Mr. Bob Thomas is exactly correct. We are in a spiritual war within our own country and no man will save us. Only God through Jesus Christ can save us. God bless us all.

    • Dorothy on November 14, 2021 at 8:17 am

      Why cannot you share your experience with the church?

    • cheryl fitch on December 6, 2021 at 4:56 pm

      I Taught Catechism for 17 yrs, I loved it, made a board game and my students wanted to play the board game each class. We didn’t just focus on the NT because knowing the OT is important to understanding what transpired to get us to Jesus’ appearance. But around my 16th year teaching I started noticing discrepancies between what God said and what the Church said. At that time I researched more and more and decided I wanted to follow from the Bible. I follow the Hebrew Holy days, laws/instructions, set apart days and not the churches. Yes I am Catholic, But refer to myself as a messianic Hebrew and no longer practice celebrating pagan Holidays. Plus the Bible warns us of what will happen to those whose teach wrong information to his precious little ones, children. I still believe that Jesus WAS the Messiah. Funny how people thought I automatically stopped believing in Jesus as our Saviour who rose from the dead and his promise of our resurrection after death. So basically I don’t attend church anymore but I still follow the Bible teachings and Jesus’ to the best of my ability and try to be a good person and help others. That’s my story.

    • Matt L. on December 10, 2021 at 1:44 pm

      HI Anne, have you considered corporate worship? Many people do seem to go to church for the sermon and the fellowship, but the act of corporate worship seems pretty significant to me. There is also something to the sacramental life of the church (i.e. baptism and communion). For now, these areas are pretty underdeveloped in the online church space. Online church is a great opportunity, especially in quarantine or times when the church cannot be together geographically. But there is something special about the Church (and here I mean God’s people) gathering together to worship. In fact, the greek word for church “εκκλεσια” (ekklesia) is better translated as “gathering. It’s hard to gather alone. But, if you can gather with your family or friends at home (or elsewhere) and worship God together then go for it. For many, an in-person experience is more conducive to corporate worship.

      Still, my main point here is that if attending church is no different than attending a TED talk, then I agree with you. Skip it, stay home, and find some other way to worship the Lord. On the other hand, whether online or in-person, if you can truly worship together, then worship as often as possible. Grace, peace, and strength to you all.

      • Danold on December 11, 2021 at 1:45 am

        Thank you Matt for the thoughtful response. Thank you for the refreshing respectful attitude and may it be contagious and caught by many.

  9. William McAngus on October 17, 2021 at 11:43 am

    The venue matters. No early Christian was welcome in the sinagogues of the land and true believers aren’t welcome in the American form of religion, as scriptural as the nice little speeches may seem. True meetings in scripture were always done in the home where everyone participated freely and only Christ was Rabbi. Where everything is shared and for free. Don’t get sucked into American religion, do life with Jesus the scriptural way, in the home and for free.

    • William Candelaria on November 23, 2021 at 11:22 am

      The reason why christians weren’t welcomed in the sinagoga is because they were part of the Jewish worship culture and they didn’t accept christianity in any way shape or form.
      Christians were not commanded to build temples as they do today. Most of the work in a church today is “building related”; ministry related and not complying with Jesus command. The building is not the most important thing, seeking out the sinners is the true mission of the Church regardless of the building….. as the true Church of Christ we can gather anywhere, at any time and day and worship Him and teach His Word….. God bless y’all.

      • Bob Thomas on November 24, 2021 at 7:13 am

        Amen. The work of the church is not writing endless books and selling the Word of God for profit. 2 COR 2:17 makes this very clear. “ Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit” NIV.
        The establish church and its leaders will stand in judgement. Money or God?

        • cheryl fitch on December 6, 2021 at 5:00 pm

          I agree with you.

        • Melanie Lynch-Evans on December 31, 2021 at 8:15 am

          I see Hager selling books but the profit goes back into the Body of Christ. Smart move in an evil world.

  10. Daniold on October 17, 2021 at 10:51 am

    Each of us has a small amount of discretionary time after sleeping, eating, laundry, working a job, paying bills, maintaining cars, homes, etc. There are things that God wants going on in our lives such as: worshipping God, loving other people, serving God, Bible study, prayer & meditation, encouraging each other. And this does not even get into the topic of what is the ministry that God has called me personally into. I believe that God has called me to evangelism, and VERY few churches have a place for that. Traditionally the church has been the best place to be to maximize these various things happening in our limited discretionary time. We have to ask ourselves this, “Does going to church overall hinder or help these things take place in our lives?” I have yet to find a church that is adequate for me to say “YES, this church is adequate; this church is a good idea.” For almost every church I have attended I would say that it is simply not a good idea to use up my discretionary time on. For the small amount of churches I found adequate to attend in the past — they were only 1 or 2 dimensional leaving me with a lot of other stuff in my life undone with limited discretionary time.

  11. Diana on October 15, 2021 at 6:37 am

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

    • Daniold on October 17, 2021 at 11:02 am

      Howdy Diana!
      You said: “If you’re looking for a new church, Check out this site Know God’s purpose in your life. He surely has a plan for everyone!”
      I believe that mega-churches have many advantages over smaller churches including that they are much more likely to have people like me who can most effectively encourage each other. The problem is that my most pressing need has always been for community — and I have never found it in a mega-church. You mostly can’t even find the same people you talked to before to build relationship with. Their answer to that is to find a small group tp participate in; but I have found that there are MANY ways to screw up small groups and leave them pointless or inadequate.

  12. Jeanett Rodriguez on October 9, 2021 at 11:55 pm

    So it’s been about two years that my family and I have been going to this church literally two minutes from my house. Everything was good at first for the first year and a half but, then things started to go downhill when the co pastors wife wanted to change peoples minds and opinions about voting. She wanted us to obligately vote for whom she wanted us to. Then when I told her and proved to her that my views and opinions about politics differ very much she started learning and backing off on preaching about politics so much in her sermons. As per the article on engaging in the church was something I was showing much interest in and spoke to the pastors about hopefully bringing in a baby changing table and installing it in the woman’s bathroom at the main entrance and I was willing to pay for it but, she shot down that idea. Then since there were only 4 youths in the church which were her two and my two. I had suggested for them to start up a youth ministry then the pastor wife said no to that to. Mind you, they started out as youth pastors about 10 years ago in South America and they ministered to over 1500 youths. They are constantly bragging about that then why not start one where they are at now? There are perfectly capable people to help bring it alive. So the pastors daughter goes to a different church because their are more youths and she has voiced her feelings about it. She says that of course she loves her parents and her parents church but, she would rather be at the other church. I feel it’s sad. They have no nursery and no baby changing table . Then a visiting pastor came in and told my pastor to tell me to sit in the back to “avoid distractions” . I wanted to know what she meant by that but no response. Btw, I just had a baby and by that time the baby was about 5 months. So that gave me the understanding that if you are a pastor you must also respect your church and not agree with what a visiting preacher tells you in terms that they have a baby and the baby is crying and he can’t concentrate then that tells me he has no business being a preacher. Because there are going to be distractions. And like I gad mentioned , there is no nursery or no baby changing table. I literally had to change my babies diaper on the floor many times. Also, what concerned me is that the church only consists of about 15 people when it was including us now it just became smaller. Then before we had left another lady at the church asked for prayer for her hands because of arthritis and prayer for her husband and when she went to the front and brother walked up behind her and began to pray so I felt it in my heart to pray for her as well so I walked up to her and began to pray in a low pitched voice. As God as my witness the pastor actually said to me that he didn’t ask me to pray for her. I’m praying for her in a low voice so since he is the pastor then he can pray for her obviously in a higher tone of voice. I felt like that was so wrong and disrespectful that I decided that was the last straw and I said enough is enough and I left. Then a few days later coincidentally I got a Facebook message from a church organization from the county asking my opinion why people are leaving the churches so I put in my opinion on that. The question was not just to me it was to many people. I was the only one to say a few reasons and it’s was based on my experiences. The co pastor saw my post and showed it to the pastor and called it a bashing towards the church. When the visiting preacher was there Che said he was going to pray for me because according to him I was possessed because I was crying of joy and happiness. I saw the preacher give a word to my son and praying for him and that was something I was praying about for my kids and I felt like the lord was answering my prayer and that was why I was crying. He got it the wrong way and I called him out and said no I’m not it her was the preacher that night so he called the shots. I said no I refuse to accept that and I rebuked what he thought about me and I proved him wrong. Apparently I had to give in and make the guy feel good about himself and respect my pastors and lower my standards for their church to look good and stand out . I said NO NO NO! That was just the end of my attending that church. So it’s things like that that make people not attend a church . When you know certain things are not going accordingly to Gods word then it’s time to leave. I totally and completely pray for them but they need to understand why their church is not filled. My son had come to the pastors wife and voiced ideas to try and bring more youth but that idea was shot down as well. So how does a “church” help a church to grow if they keep saying no to anything any one says and you are trying to be caring about the growth of the church?

    • Mike Symons on October 26, 2021 at 11:35 pm

      Point blank, that church is run by means of control and not guidance. There is a huge difference between pastoring and control

    • T. D. on January 17, 2022 at 11:03 pm

      That is one seriously messed up church.

  13. Barbara Stephan on October 6, 2021 at 6:05 pm

    So spiritually immature teenagers (mostly) are the judge and gauge of how and what should be taught in a worship service? God does not adapt to culture, rather culture should adapt to God and His Word. A lot of older adult Christians don’t even know how to discern fluff from substance when it comes to The Word.

    • Mike Symons on October 9, 2021 at 11:08 pm

      The primary reason why I stopped attending church is this: every church has their own interpretations of scripture and makes those interpretations equal to doctrine wittingly or unwittingly and then forces people to believe it. WHATEVER happened to sola scriptura where the scripture itself is the boss and interpretations are treated as interpretations and not equal to doctrine itself. There is too much opinion made into doctrine and not enough just the doctrine. It doesn’t bother me that others have their interpretations. It does bother me that others tell you “you will believe this way or you ain’t one of us” Even if they’re right, it doesn’t matter. Just the idea that it’s forced is what bothers me. I don’t mean actual force. I’m talkin verbal only type of force. Another reason: Many people in church believe that since you go to our church, that means I own you. They believe they can tell you what to believe, what books to read, what books not to read, what meetings you will go to and if we want to, we can drop in on you at your house anytime we want whether you have anything going on or not. I like what Carey said “you are the church” but you know something? Try actually putting that into PRACTICE!!!! They’ll have you out the door in a New York minute

      • Michael L Shafer on October 16, 2021 at 12:39 pm

        Church is the House Of God! This has been this way for years. Any Catholic knows that we Celebrate the Lord Through Our Priest and Follow The Pope. We DO NOT have “Changing Tables” Nor Have They EVER Been Needed For Hundreds of Years! Do NOT Try And Change Our Values Because You Are LAZY! Yes, Keep Your Crying Child In The Back And Under Control. The Majority Wants To Hear The Priest, NOT CRYING. HAVE RESPECT!!
        Thank You.
        Michael L Shafer
        GOD BLESS.

        • Mike Symons on October 16, 2021 at 9:36 pm

          I might be too lazy to go to church (which I don’t congratulate myself on) but, I’m not too lazy to READ. I do a lot of reading. I do not disrespect the church. I just don’t buy into much of the man made, man thought up doctrines that are made equal to Scripture. You are correct on this point. I shouldn’t make that an excuse for staying out of church. I just like more Scripture in church and less man doctrine. If I do decide to go back to church and I happen to be sitting next to you, will I be safe?(just kidding) I look at church basically the same way that a patriotic American looks at our government. Just because we don’t always agree with our government doesn’t mean we don’t love our country. Just because I love the scriptures more than every word of what comes of church doesn’t mean I’m less of a Christian. You are correct Mike. Staying out of church is not the answer. I love your enthusiasm. Love Mike

        • cheryl fitch on December 6, 2021 at 5:08 pm

          And many of us are questioning the present Pope, changing Gods words, accepting what was considered sin before. Saying it’s ok now. Gods word does not change for the times, but are for eternity. Something is just NOT right with this Pope. Sad to say, but that’s how I and man Catholics feel. I’ll stick with the Bible and Gods/Jesus’ word and not this Popes.

        • Mike on January 16, 2022 at 10:03 am

          You are of those whom Jesus called a brood of vipers. Has your priest and pope not even told you that Jesus is the only way to God and not through them? The body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit not a building .Yeah Jesus sent all the crying dirty diaper babies away so His preaching would be disturbed. If you want respect for priest maybe you should learn some respect for your fellow believer.

      • Daniold on October 17, 2021 at 10:41 am

        You said: “Whatever happened to the 5 solas of the reformation? Many Protestant Christians don’t even know that they even exist. -Scripture alone. -Christ alone – grace alone -faith alone -God alone is glorified. With these 5, Protestant Churches don’t need to break off into a thousand separate pieces, adding more doctrine to the point where Scripture itself gets pushed aside in order to make more room for things that people make up. I think that Protestantism really needs to get back to the basic 5 solas and stop adding, adding, adding more and more and more STUFF. Sincerely, Mike”
        Your response leaves me asking a few questions. Assume that each of the following is an open ended question.
        1) Did the protestants have an order of priorities for these 5 solas? If you start with number 1 then you nullify the whole concept; if our authority is that our spiritual authority comes from scripture alone then it does not come from the 5 solas.
        2) Even if we do agree to the 5 solas, then people who start with scripture would have to figure out for themselves how too apply the other 4 solas, no? yes? I am not sure how I feel about the other 4 solas, primarily because I DO believe in Sola Scriptura. I do not buy into the theology of “Free Grace” . And the “Free Grace” theology is gigantic in American theology making these churches worthless for encouraging each other to contend for the faith (see Hebrews 10 and foresake not the gathering, followed by the warning in Hebrews 10, Hebrews 11 showing us what our lives should look like and Hebrews 12 with more instruction and warning. This is what the author of Hebrews was writing about when he told us to assemble together.)
        3) Yes, the 5 solas seems like a simple way to summarize the problem.
        4) Each of us has a small amount of discretionary time after sleeping, eating, laundry, working a job, paying bills, maintaining cars, homes, etc. There are things that God wants going on in our lives such as: worshipping God, loving other people, serving God, Bible study, prayer & meditation, encouraging each other. And this does not even get into the topic of what is the ministry that God has called me personally into. I believe that God has called me to evangelism, and VERY few churches have a place for that. Traditionally the church has been the best place to be to maximize these various things happening in our limited discretionary time. We have to ask ourselves this, “Does going to church overall hinder or help these things take place in our lives?” I have yet to find a church that is adequate for me to say “YES, church is a good idea.”

        • Mike Symons on October 17, 2021 at 8:06 pm

          You do bring up some very good points Daniold. I do agree with you in regard to Hebrews 10. I really should come out of isolation. If you don’t mind a little humor, I am assembling with you right now. In regard to the 5 solas, it’s a matter of going beyond word semantics. It can be said like this. Without Christ there is no scripture. Without scripture there is no knowledge of Christ etc… The 5 solas is a basic summary. That’s all it is. To me, a basic summary is better than thousands of “we believe etc…” I see it as scriptural. 1 Corinthians 14:40 I disagree with you on the grace issue. To me, Romans 6:23 makes clear that Salvation is free. Next thing is my opinion. There are 2 forms of faith. One form is salvation faith. The faith we act on in receiving the free gift of salvation. The other form is the Christian walk faith after salvation. The Christian walk faith is where the work comes in. We don’t work to become saved but, after we are saved, then it’s time to go to work. I do agree with you that many may have differences of opinion on the 5 solas however, the 5 solas would be an excellent foundation for putting an end to much Protestant quagmire. Thank you for spending time with me Daniold. Sincerely, Mike

          • Mike Symons on October 17, 2021 at 11:05 pm

            Not trying to be too wordy. Just wanted to say one more thing about the 5 and why I think we (the Protestant churches) need to get back to it. They are already well known of by many for centuries. If we are to go back to the roots of something, I see it best to stick with things already well known instead of creating something new that no one’s ever heard of.

      • Kamisese ⁰ Senico on November 2, 2021 at 4:19 pm

        Exactly- church doctrines separate believers- it’s religion
        Jesus never brought a religion
        He brought a Kingdom
        A Kingdom that once ruled earth with Adam until Adam committed treason
        Jesus brought back what Adam lost
        Adam didn’t lose a religion- He lost a Kingdom he was suppose to establish on Earth
        Christianity is a religion – it’s got so many different doctrines – each denomination say they are true and other are false
        Christianity religion has killed more people than any other religion – that’s fact Christianity like to avoid
        Until the churches preach the gospel- the good news of the Kingdom of God
        Christian churches will be ineffective
        Church has become big businesses and people are starting to see it

        • MUSCLEINABMW on December 20, 2021 at 7:23 pm


  14. DivineOne on October 3, 2021 at 11:14 am

    Why do Christians talk so much? I couldn’t be part of a religion that has so many restrictions and exceptions. So many lost people not actually happy. I had to scroll forever to get to the bottom from all the Christian diarrhea

    • Barbara Stephan on October 6, 2021 at 6:16 pm

      God’s concern is not just saving you from the consequences of sin eternally but here on earth. Yes different church have different interpretations on what is or is not acceptable activity. If becoming more Christ like and loving God’s Word is only a burden for you I suspect you may have the wrong focus. The lines are drawn to protect not make us unhappy. There is a saying that says “There are two types of religion-one of man’kind’s works-the other is the religion of Divine Accomplishment (Christ’s redemption of our sins through His death and resurrection. Our good works are to be a result of salvation, not the means of salvation. being drawn to sin is always going to be a struggle for us.

    • Michael L Shafer on October 16, 2021 at 12:54 pm

      You Are The Unhappy One. You Do Not Know Everybody! The Folks I Know Work Hard, Donate to The Welfare Recipients, Live a Structured Life, And ARE VERY HAPPY! So Sad. You Do Not Believe in the birth of JESUS so You Don’t Celebrate Christmas? Take Christmas Pay or the Day Off? You Don’t Celebrate Easter? JESUS coming Alive After Being Murdered? YOU ARE THE ONE THAT IS SAD AND SPITS OUT S**T! Let’s see the next time you or your family Needs Help. Interesting, when Non Believers say “PLEASE GOD,” when they are Hurt or Hurting! If you don’t Want GOD, WE Don’t Want You! But, DO NOT INSULT US BECAUSE YOU, ARE A NON BELIEVER.You Are The Loser In Life, Not US!
      Thank You.
      Michael L Shafer
      I Love JESUS. I Am A Real American.

      • Mike Symons on October 16, 2021 at 8:56 pm

        Heeey. Ease up Michael. Even if you are correct, the scriptures do teach us to be kind and patient even with those we don’t agree with or even like. I love your enthusiasm. Nothing wrong with that however picking someone up (symbolically of course) by the front shirt and shoving them up against the wall and telling them “shape up or ship out” is NOT THE ANSWER. Put the sword back in your sheath Peter. Love the other Mike

      • Ralph Correa on November 26, 2021 at 9:09 pm

        Michael L. Shafer ~ You are SOOOOO deceived!! So much vile bitterness — No kindness in your words at all, and you’re directing your words toward non-believers?? Wow…. Absolutely UN-CHRISTLIKE — You’re Pharisaical verbiage is utterly disgusting = GO and LEARN SOMETHING from Micah 6:8 and 1st Corinthians 13:1-5 and REPENT

  15. Gilles on September 18, 2021 at 1:08 pm

    This article thinks that Sunday is the day that the Bible teaches should be the day to gather for church worship or as some would call the Lord’s day. Sunday is never called the Lord’s day in the scriptures for it is the 7th day say that is the Lord’s day. The worship day was and will always be on the 7th day from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday. The days we use on our calendar are not mentioned in the Bible. 1st;2nd;3rd;4th;5th; preparation day; Sabbath is what is mentioned in the Bible. Sunday literally being the 1st day of the week maybe the day Jesus rose from the grave, but that event doesn’t make the day Holy before God. It’s an event yes, a special event indeed, an important event that gives believers hope that there is a real living Savior up in Heaven as their High Priest who is their advocate before the Father. But the day that even Jesus called the Lord’s day is the 7th day what we may call Saturday. Satan always counters God’s word with something else and that is what he has done over time and that is to think to change times a laws of God. It is the Roman Catholic system that satan has used in seducing people to think that sunday is now the new day of worship, but that is a very big mistake that will lead many to eternal death. The Law of God is unchanging and it was given to man, to mankind, to humanity from the beginning. That is why God gave Adam and Eve the law verbally for reading and writing did not exists yet, but eventually God gave the written word to believers, but this Law was not only for the Hebrew for it was given to Adam and Eve in a perfect world and after the fall because of sin and the condition that human had deteriorated to the point that they were more and more disobeying God and so call saw the need to deliver the believers out of bondage and to re establish the law to the people who had forgotten, especially the Sabbath law that points to who God is and also make sure to write the word Remember so that this and the next generations would not forget or forsake this Holy Law, but they still forgot and forsook it because they went after strange gods. This continued till Jesus came. When Jesus was on earth, the people already understood when and what the Sabbath was, even after spending 3 years with Jesus and after Jesus left, they knew that the Sabbath was still the Lord’s day. Never once did Jesus or the disciples declare any changes in the Sabbath Law. Some quote bible passages to make a point, but fail to understand what they are quoting. An example of this is found in Colossians 2:16, but fail to realize that the sabbaths mentioned in that verse refers to the sabbaths of the ceremonial laws that were part of the sacrificial system that pointed to Jesus as the Savior, but the Sabbath of the 10 Commandments points to Jesus as God and Creator of Heaven and Earth and everything else that is good, for God did not create satan or demons or sin. The Catholic system admits themselves that you can search the scripture from Genesis to Revelation and not once is the worship of sunday sacredness mentioned or made especially not in the New Testament. God Himself would make it very clear in any changes if He would have deemed something needed to be changed, but God being perfect and whatever comes out of the mouth of God is perfect and God wrote a perfect Law for all to keep. This is such an easy topic yet satan as deceived the world to believe something else. It is the transgression of the Law of God that got us all in trouble in the first place. God is calling a people to repent and be cleansed from transgression so that they may be ready for His second coming which is very soon. Prophecy is almost all fulfilled and the three angels messages are being preached. Google the Three Angels Messages and understand what is at stake.

    • Bob Thomas on September 19, 2021 at 8:12 am

      In John 16:30 the disciples realize that Jesus does not need their affirmation. Look at politics and poll numbers, look at speeches that glorify accomplishments and look at pastors that measure their mark by how many books they sell. AFFIRMATION SEEKERS. Like you said Giles … the Catholic Church and many others have created a system of codependency. The Truth is that Jesus is our High Priest and His love for us is not based on us and what we do. Just as when my daughter asked me, Why do you love me?
      It’s not what she does , but who she is … she came from me. God (Jesus has created an chosen us) John 15:19
      Our worship isn’t measured by any attendance measurements in a building called a church.
      It is measured by our obedience ( John 14:21)
      To our Lord and creator. Go Direct to God,
      No middleman (Nicolaitans / REV 2:6) needed. People are not attending church
      Buildings as much because their God is setting them free by enabling them to see the truth found in 1 John 2:27 … that He is our teacher and we do not need another. We (corporately) are just lazy and would rather have a sugar coated sermon than read it for ourselves.
      We (corporately) are just stupid and would rather be lied to by the media networks.
      “Good luck”

  16. Adam on August 26, 2021 at 10:05 am

    I am a born-again Christian. I have pastored a couple of small churches. I have a degree in Biblical Studies from a well-known Bible college. I am very spiritual and love God’s presence and an emotional worship. I love the corporate worship very well and the corporate anointing. I am a balanced mature believer and love being around people. However I havent found a church that I fit in or am fully accepted in. At this point in life I go to fellowship and serve. But I dont get to do that. No one at any church I go to wants to be around me outside of the Sunday service or be my friend. I have tried for years at many churches and it just doesnt happen. I have also tried to serve at churches for years. They sometimes say they know I have a calling and they plan to have me serve in some way in some kind of ministry bu they just keep dragging it out and making excuses as to why they wont let me yet. They lie to me and give me the run around all the time. I would be happy just handing out the bulletin but they wont even let me do that. Churches just will not let me serve in any way. So being that I cant serve or make friends with anyone I dont have a reason to go to church. And I think a lot of other people are in the same boat. Most churches are just social cliques and an elite club. If they dont like you enough they wont let you be part of their elite circle and they dont fully accept you. its kind of like highschool. And then there is all the crazy stuff coming from church leaders. Stuff that is just nonesense. It is no wonder people dont go to church anymore. All most churches want is someone to sit there, shut up, give tithes and worship the church leadership. that is all they care about. They dont make people feel included or part of anything bigger. Total waste of timing going.

    • Richard on August 26, 2021 at 4:49 pm

      I’m very sorry about your plight. I can say unequivocally our church has never treated people like that though.

    • Charlene on September 27, 2021 at 6:49 pm

      I have been a member of my current church for 3 years. Outside of church not a single soul has called me with the exception of the pastors wife. They just left the church in July this year to do another ministry. Because of Covid and a serious health issue I’m unable to attend in person, so it’s online for me right now. To this day, not a single soul from the church has reached out to ask if I’m okay. Not one. I’m the daughter of a pastor and when I was growing up all we did was visit shut INS, nursing homes, hospitals and door to door visiting to share the Gospel. There’s none of that much anymore and nobody calls anybody anymore. It’s a distressing dilemma. My question today is:. Where is the church? Forget about the concerts and events. Forget about the socializing and cliques and clubs. Where is the church? I realize I am the church and even though I’m unable to get out right now and be in crowds and gatherings, I know what my responsibility is and I share the Gospel with my neighbors regularly. Where is the church for those who are unable to attend? A member 3 years in a church, people have my number, and not a single soul has called me.

      • Frederik on September 27, 2021 at 10:27 pm

        I understand. completly.

      • Bib Thomas on September 28, 2021 at 10:39 am

        Mary poured oil on Jesus feet. She did what she could. Not a group effort but alone, aware and lead by the Holy Spirit.
        Go and do likewise.

      • Elizabeth on October 15, 2021 at 9:26 am

        Have you reached out to others? God has put you in a unique position of having the time to reach out. I do agree that we as a church are not reaching out as much as we can but we all have to take a look at ourselves and ask God what He wants us to do. Maybe God would have you reach out to a mother of little kids who works full time and has a husband who gives her little support in all areas of her life. Maybe God would have you reach out to another shut in by phone or mail. Until we realize that we as the church are all here to serve, not to be served, Gods ultimate mission will not be in full motion. We need to stop looking at our own needs and look to what we can do for others. It truly is better to give than receive and that is not just monitarily that is in every area of life. My church did not reach out to me when my husband died but a few close friends were there. When my daughter died at 8 years old, people from my small group reached out to me but after a couple months everyone has to get back to there own responsibilities. When my dad died 4 months after my husband, my boss didn’t even let my co-workers know and there was no help from the church and little from my friends. But I reach out to others now in their grief and loss. God has a place and purpose for each of us. We need to turn to Him and have Him help us figure it out and we need to realize that everyone here is human and we all make mistakes and drop the ball. We all need to really look in the mirror a lot more in the light of Gods promises. He will never leave us or forsake us.

  17. Thomas M Goff on July 22, 2021 at 2:20 pm

    With all The tools we have in today’s Society for understanding Scripture . Do we really need to go to Church?
    No and yes..
    No ! We don’t need corporate worship as we have known it to become. One day, Corporate Attendance will be outlawed. We don’t need Sermons explained As we have Scripture and so, so many Commentaries ,
    Most of Us can read, write and think.and We have The Holy Spirit living inside us to explain how scripture applies to us, so to that view No
    But then Yes, if you Attend Church to listen to The Preacher or Music
    Maybe you are going for The wrong Reason.
    Yes We need The Church As The Heart needs cells, If there were no cells there would be no Heart.
    We individually are cells to The Body of The Church, We need each other, We are The Church just as the cells make up the heart.
    We don’t really need a Preacher or a Teacher or to be entertained as in our corporate worship services today, as one day they will be outlawed, But We really need to uplift and be uplifted. Furthermore, we really need to edify and be edified. Nothing will ever replace that need to serve, Faith only grows from our serving others, and God hears the prayers of His faithful.
    Our Need to be together with others just like Cells of The body, as Free Radicals can be very damaging to the body so can free radicals can be damaging to The Body of Christ. We are totally dependent in our spiritual health to be able to worship in unity as The Heart so beats, so should we.

    • Bob Thomas on July 22, 2021 at 4:25 pm

      As liberals attempt to erase American history their bigger picture goal is to erase the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. You won’t hear that in a 501-c3 church building !
      If the preachers don’t instill John 16:8-11 with the flock, why attend a building? Without the acknowledgment of His Holy Spirit people will
      Look to the preacher as a visible alternative which I’ve seen as intentional on the part of several mega pastors. Once the sheep know
      Who resides inside (John 14:20) and may be defined as a radical by the left … and that’s a great thing! Go and make … not go and build were the instructions. Paul was a free evangelical radical. There are so may differing opinions in the body of Christ that the only folks that this 60 year old Christian has energy to be United with is my believing immediate family and the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

      • Andrew Conner on August 18, 2021 at 2:28 pm

        That’s sad

    • Greg on September 18, 2021 at 11:51 pm

      Apostle prophet pastor teacher evangelist are gifts given to the church by the Lord according to Ephesians 4. They are for the purpose of bringing the body of Christ to full maturity. So yes we need them.

      • Mary Lamb on September 21, 2021 at 7:17 pm

        We forget that every person in the body of Christ was gifted by God to minister to each other, not just those in the offices you mentioned. At every gathering, people contributed, not just the pastor. Church service now is a joke. One man does the talking while every other member of the body of Christ does nothing. The reason why the church is dying is because we assume that the pastor/teacher is the only gift God gave to the church for her growth. But in 1 Corinthians we read that every member contributes his or her gifts for mutual edification. If you ask most Christians what their spiritual gifts are, they’ll have no clue. The gift of “helps” is the default but erroneous stamping for 99% of Christians. So it’s not just the pastor who does his gifting. Every member exercises their gifts for the whole body or it doesn’t grow. We’re not growing and we’re dying because we assume that the Body of Christ is one member–the pastor–and the rest of us are not needed.

  18. MG on July 10, 2021 at 11:43 pm

    Carey Nieuwhof, sorry to say but the reason why you are so free on Sundays is because you are not into the great commission. Evangelizing, going on outreaches and have cell meetings in people’s homes to save more souls in these end times would have made you the busiest person. Look at the number of people going to hell and you will see the huge amount of work not being done. Online services are not enough because you know too well people are too busy on Facebook and pornography to spare time. Anagkazo the Greek word to compel people from Luke 14:23 should guide you. Your message here is opposite of this scripture. Repent and come back to True Christianity.

    • Daniold on October 16, 2021 at 10:18 pm

      I do not believe that the take-away from his essay was don’t go to church. Rather it is if we have the right attitude then it will make more sense.

    • Daniold on October 16, 2021 at 10:20 pm

      You make very good points about how we should be spending our time.

  19. Jack Comer on June 30, 2021 at 8:55 pm

    People don’t attend church because they are not taught the truth. Their ears are tickled by motivational speeches or political ones.
    They hardly are encourafged to open a Bible. Basically the churches have faield to teach the truth. They have failed the people.
    Though many attend church, it’s has very little affect on their life. One study showed that of the most influential institutions in people’s lives, church was rated number 18. Whose fault is that?

    • Daniold on October 16, 2021 at 10:25 pm

      People should be taught by both explicit teaching and by example that the Bible is our spiritual authority; or other words every thing that is taught from the pulpit should be supported well with Bible passages backing up what they are teaching. Every pastor should understand that though they may be teaching truth, that the hearer, if not checking out if it agrees with scripture is then going to listen to another speaker. And if that other speaker is more charismatic and appealing to listen to, they will be convinced by unbiblical messages. The only way to get truth into peoples souls is to show them that your teaching comes straight from the Bible.

    • Mike Symons on October 16, 2021 at 11:18 pm

      Whatever happened to the 5 solas of the reformation? Many Protestant Christians don’t even know that they even exist. -Scripture alone. -Christ alone – grace alone -faith alone -God alone is glorified. With these 5, Protestant Churches don’t need to break off into a thousand separate pieces, adding more doctrine to the point where Scripture itself gets pushed aside in order to make more room for things that people make up. I think that Protestantism really needs to get back to the basic 5 solas and stop adding, adding, adding more and more and more STUFF. Sincerely, Mike

  20. Richard on June 14, 2021 at 12:47 pm

    Well if I went to a church that accepted all the non-Biblical beliefs like so many churches do today it would be a waste of time. Yes churches have ALWAYS been about accepting anyone and the new code words they use is “we accept all people” for LBGTQ and others. That doesn’t mean that churches accept or condone this practice like any other sin. Jesus was more compassionate than any other, but He also told those He healed to go and sin no more. A sin is a sin and He tells us without repentance of our sins we will not be forgiven. No one is perfect but the Bible is very clear on what is a sin and an abomination to God. The local Churches are doing anything to put people in pews and not preaching the basic foundation of the Christian church. There is also lots of “prosperity gospel” being preached by pastors wearing $1000 tennis shoes and the like. God does promise riches, but not necessarily money. Jesus was misunderstood when He talked about His kingdom. That Kingdom is not of this world. Going to church nowadays is confusing to non-believers so they just don’t go unless the preacher tells them what they want to hear. Church is NEVER been about that. The preacher should talk about what sin is and how to overcome sins not condone sins. He should convict us and tell about the blood of Jesus redeeming sinners from their sins. And The Bible should be taught not compromised.

    • K.j on June 19, 2021 at 4:15 pm

      Your why we needed Jesus …. why so concerned about other people . Try staying in your lane and just worry about you .

    • Christopher Pineau on June 19, 2021 at 10:25 pm

      On the one hand, you make some valid points about things like “prosperity gospel”. On the other? Why does it always come down to hating on LGBT people? The notion of sin is established, but really, using that notion as an excuse to be hateful just because gay relationships don’t produce children–and yes, this is why I think church goers are down on LGBT people–is contrary to Scripture telling us to love our neighbor. Have you conveniently forgotten that we’re all sinners, here, yourself included? Remember Luke 6:41 and what it says about the mote in your neighbor’s eye as opposed to the beam in yours. It’s not your, my, or anybody’s job to judge anybody. Just because you go to church every Sunday doesn’t give you the right to act as though you’re better than the rest of us, may I politely remind you, sir. In fact, I’ll go as far as to mention that IMO? It’s often those who preach the loudest who are often the most lacking in tolerance, compassion, and understanding of our shared condition as sinners. I couldn’t care less who someone shares a bed with; if they’re a good person, that matters to me more than how much or well they know the Bible.

      • Frederik Norberg on June 20, 2021 at 8:22 am

        Yes. This.

      • RBW on June 20, 2021 at 9:48 am

        Never “hated on them”. If I consistently committed adultery or was a habitual liar and the Church told me it was ok that would be just as shameful. Or if I was a abortion doctor taking lives and the Church accepted it and told me God says it’s fine, then it’d be shameful. There are absolutes in the Gospel and in the end God will judge each us on our actions of the heart. And how we believed in His Word and lived our lives. Men can change what we believe is acceptable, but God never changes and I worship a PERFECT GOD not one who makes mistakes like the LBGTQ community says with transgender people.

      • MG on July 10, 2021 at 11:35 pm

        Stop using ‘judge not’ and hate gospel as an excuse to disobey God. You don’t care who shares a bed with because you don’t care about who goes to hell. No one is good only God. Know God deeply and stop relying on some few verses you have decided to accept in the Bible.

        • Christopher Pineau on July 11, 2021 at 8:31 am

          Assuming you’re serious, and not a troll (which I guess you can find anywhere)? I feel sorry for you that you have to come onto this site and display the kind of mentality that turned me away from Him back in the 80s. That being the hateful and excessively judgmental attitude the Religious Right had back in those days. If that’s how I’m supposed to be–in your eyes anyway–hateful and looking down on all those who are not walking with Him and calling it “being concerned about who goes to hell or not,” then I pity you. Going to leave it at that and go back to walking my own route with Him now.

          If you *are* a troll? I feel even more pity for you, because your life can’t possibly be so empty that you get a thrill off of coming onto any given Web site and stirring things up just to get a rise out of people and give yourself a moment of excitement. That is all.

          • Kamisese ⁰ Senico on November 2, 2021 at 4:41 pm


    • Frederik Norberg on June 20, 2021 at 8:24 am


    • Bob Thomad on June 20, 2021 at 9:00 am

      The underground small home churches in China can teach us in USA a lesson.
      Faith is a gift from God. Prosperity isn’t required while persecution seems ever present.
      It may be the larger the “church” in numbers of people … the farther it gets from God and the closer it get to the world and Satan.

      • Charlene on September 27, 2021 at 6:59 pm

        I agree with you, My brother is a missionary to Myanmar. He started a Bible college there. There’s so much persecution of believers. He had to come back to the US. The persecuted believers know what it is to be a church together and in prayer and battle together.

    • Diamante on June 21, 2021 at 12:37 am

      Hello Richard, Jesus’s prime example is to serve. There’s no me in being a server, the main reason we are a fallen world and needing Jesus as our Lord and Savior. That’s the only way we can obey His true example in picking up your cross and walking with it the selfless way not the me way!!! I am guilty of this and until we realize and accept this will we see progress..

  21. Brian Keith Sabin on June 1, 2021 at 12:20 am

    The Church as you call it has made you weird….thats a good enough reason to not go to churches anymore, theyre just weirdos

  22. Ryan on May 13, 2021 at 8:53 pm

    I stopped going to church in 2010 for being burnt out when opportunity knocked having to move for a new job.

    10 years later, I ran into Mormon missionaries. So I invited them in and just loved their coming over for lessons. I went to the LDS church, so I could have their missionaries come over. I enjoyed their visits more than church. I was having church at home with them. Experimentally speaking, church at home does work and is more engaging. I didn’t get into this whole Joseph Smith story thing. The pre-existence, 3 heavens, the temple and priesthood stuff, well, I just kind of ignored it. They certainly got the whole Christian living thing down and everyone takes turns giving talks. At the church level, no one is paid so everyone participates. They won’t baptize me for my lack of faith in Joseph Smith and their book of Mormon. I can’t participate and they don’t even ask for a tithe. I can’t see myself going much longer. I cut off the missionary visits (here after a year and a half) which is the only value-added thing with this church. I’m just not connecting with the other members. There is nothing wrong with anyone there. I’m just not into the religion. I have no desire to go back to a regular church. God just wanted me back so he got me to a church where I couldn’t get sucked in and trapped in never ending church duties. It’s been interesting though.

  23. Bob on May 12, 2021 at 9:45 am

    If church were what it claims to be, Christians should definitely be in church! But church, as practiced now, is merely an institution devoted to self-perpetuation and to assuring its middle-class, nuclear-family membership that it is doing the right thing. Churches may talk about “radical hospitality” and similar rather asinine terms; but you could find no institution more hostile, more dismissive, of persons and groups that do not fit into its cultural presuppositions. I doubt that Jesus Christ, a single homeless man dependent on a motley group of lower-class followers for support, would find a home in today’s church. Greetings at the front door will be obviously forced; no one is going to ask him for his visitor contact information; no one will talk to him at the coffee hour!

    • Dave on May 12, 2021 at 10:58 am

      This is so beautifully said. I’ve found very few examples of people living for Jesus rather than perpetuating middle-class institutions. Wish I didn’t have to move away from the areas where those churches existed for work.

    • Christopher Pineau on May 12, 2021 at 11:23 am

      Notoriously anti-religion though the man was, the late great Lemmy Kilimister said it well in this verse:

      “And religion, like the monster that it is
      Keeps telling you to turn the other cheek
      God is on your side, but I don’t think that you’re on his,
      If Jesus showed up now he’d be in jail by next week”
      –“Brave New World”

      That’s one of the reasons why he’s my (earthly) hero to this day, 5.5 years after his passing; he was a down to earth and ferociously intelligent sort who called BS when he saw and heard it. I think he and Jesus might have had some interesting chats, had they ever met, actually, and I don’t mean that in a bad way. Point being that I think you’re right in that the Church is about everything but being a good person, these days, it would appear. A good little do bee, absolutely, but not so much a good person who tries to walk with Christ as best they can. I’m the last one who will insist he’s any good at that, because there’s still a lot of work to be done on my end, believe you me. But when I see church goers, these days, I can’t think of a better way to put it than I still see a horde of faceless drones as I do for any other group. They’re down with the party line, sure, but are they really trying for a better life through Him? I realize how judgmental that sounds, but I couldn’t think of a better way to say it offhand.

    • Ron Haafke on June 8, 2021 at 7:08 pm

      Which church? Catholic, Baptist, Presbyterian, universalist Unitarian,Pentecostal? Do we pick a church that fits our own doctrine? If we don’t know what doctrine is then how do we chose? Or….do we go to church to be social like going to the American Leigion. It also seems the chirch goes in the direction of the pastor. get a new Pastor go a different direction or plan. Now with COVID Most churches closed or had a online sermon, I don’t know if the Church in Rome meeting in the catacombs would agree. By the way the Church in America will never be persecuted. you have to take a stand to be persecuted. I believe the church in the U.S is nothing like the early church,it has turned into a self serving entity. Jesus said many times motive matters, so why do church do what they do and why to people go?.
      I would like to end this by saying I love Christ. I have surrendered my life and made him Lord but I believe the Church in the U.S is lost and corrupt. I think every church in the U.S. in in the first chapter of Revelation. Maybe we should go back to basics and stop spending billions on buildings,

    • Lisa on August 13, 2021 at 10:07 am

      Well said Bob!

  24. Nancy on May 6, 2021 at 11:23 pm


    I never had a honest walk with God until God called me out of the church…. I heard clearly his voice telling me to come out of her she is unclean and to warn others… that was in the spring go 2012 and I am forever grateful he did!!!!

    • Robert Carter on May 7, 2021 at 7:00 pm

      Hi Nancy, I am a pastor and so should say all I can to tell people not to stop going to church, but I too was told to get out. He gave similar reasons. What shocked me at the time was when He said that witchcraft was rife in the church and when I did more research, it seems correct. The signs are in essence nothing but manipulation, domination and control. Most people now seem to be church goers rather than being the church and taking Jesus with them everywhere. My ministry actually flourished when I left my denomination and changed direction. It will be interesting to see how things unfold.
      I agree with Carey’s comments also.

  25. cannuck210 on May 2, 2021 at 3:20 pm

    Excellent and timely article Carey.

    Barna Research supports your assumptions. https://www.barna.com/research-type/articles/
    I suspect that there are distinct groups (typologies) who with the best will in the world do not fit well into a structured Church environment. I certainly am one.

    My experiences have not been successful with such organizations. In avoiding the major churches e.g the RC in which I was brought up, my search has been less than successful. I completely agree with your comment that a person should ‘be the church’ and try to contribute…..but this is not at all as easy as it sounds.

    My experience with the Anglican church has been less than successful. As a former senior officer of a multi-national corp and lecturer on post-grad studies I had hoped that I might have been able to contribute in a small way – and yes I do mean small. Definitely not intruding in any way.

    But the reaction was a very clear ‘get lost’. On a ‘silly’ note I would have been happy to clean the church – yep vacuum etc.

    But it is what it is and I watch with sadness as attendance and finances decline.

    Maybe small home churches are the future answer.?

    I hope that future Barna’s research asks the question ‘if those who no longer attend a formal church are happy?. I know that I am and my walk with our Lord continues.

    God Bless

  26. Dave on April 15, 2021 at 9:58 pm

    Best churches I have ever been a part of had no paid staff. You heard that right … even the preachers were not paid and everyone had outside jobs. You know what happens? Everyone steps up and uses their gifts to serve others in the church and the community. In the Bible, it seems that only the missionaries had a right to payment for their work (not local elders or pastors), and even Paul being a missionary tried to support himself. You would be amazed how free people are to serve and worship when they are working together rather than supporting salaries … and how free the teaching pastors are knowing that they are not expected to do everything.

    • Mark on April 22, 2021 at 1:45 pm

      I have been to Christian churches from California to Colorado. And all I have ever really found was judgement and holier than thou comments from people and pastors of the church, it seems to me Christians know enough of the bible to spout what they think every one else should be doing except the fact we are not to judge ant to pull the log out of our eye before we point out the splinters in others. And maybe I am judging but what makes a person that walked in the church 1 minute befor me think I am less blessed and must know less than they do about GOD, I dont just learn about Jesus christ or gods wishes at church I read I look at the world every where you look you can see gods good grace unless you are to busy looking for failings in your neighbors.

      • Christopher Pineau on April 22, 2021 at 8:45 pm

        There you go! Like that one guy who was trolling as violently as he was not too long ago, maybe? Calling us names, passing scalding judgment on us, and in general being a jerk? I’ll admit to not being as good at what you mention in your script as I’d like to be–the judging aspect–but I admit it and am working on it more and more over time. This, other than the woke virus overtaking churches in a big bad way, is the biggest reason I don’t go to church myself; that sense of judgment you get from the members who somehow think themselves able and allowed to pass harsh judgment on others without looking at themselves at all before, during, and/or after. No thank you.

    • Robert Carter on April 26, 2021 at 2:21 am

      I would like to reply to basically everyone who commented. Generally speaking, I like what has been said. I am a pastor! Oops! Did I lose anyone? I’ve been in ministry now for more than 50 years and shut down my last church and became one of those “independent” lone wolves those pastors warn us about, because they cannot control them.
      I closed the church because the Lord told me to do that.I grew up in a mainline historic church, but never knew God. When I met the Lord, it was like the way Paul met Him and I started attending a large denomination, planted (I hate that word) many churches and held other pastors in their ministries.
      The denomination failed miserably and is fully of manipulation, domination and control, which is witchcraft. It is money hungry and concentrates more on worship that is more like “nightclub entertainment” with modern technology.
      Everything they do and most of the others like them that I know of follow the mega church concepts. The senior pastor rules!
      There may be good programs, but the Lord’s sheep are not really being fed properly. They are told to find their ministry gift and move into it, but when anyone tries, are shut down.
      Many great comments say that we are the church and this is absolutely correct.
      We are supposed to be the boy of Christ and do the same things Jesus did, but He rarely went into a “church”. Most times he was out there where the people are. Unless I am mistaken He had little time for the organisation.
      Someone mentioned the churches in revelation. In Revelation 3:20, it seems that He was not inside the church but outside and knocking on the door seeking admission.
      One thing that I really dislike now about church is how it has become a social club.
      Dave mentioned money. I will probably start a discussion on this, but the tithe is not about money at all, but we are “robbing God” if we don’t give. According to The Law, the tithe is not money but food (that could be turned into money) to provide for widows, orphans Levites and “strangers”. Is is not to construct buildings, or to finance a man in a lavish lifestyle.
      I now teach just as Jesus did and reach into almost 30 nations around the world and have reached more than 820,000 people… for the Lord… without church…via the Internet and email. My new site is nearing completion and I aim to reach 1 million by the end of the year.
      I encourage everyone to enter into a deep and personal intimacy of relationship with God at any time and in any place and to learn truth for themselves. I also tell people to always check the veracity of what anyone tells them, no matter who they are. Acts 17:11 is an example.
      Yes, I miss meetings in buildings, but the world is now my church and my own relationship with the Lord is better than ever.
      We are supposed to “go ye” and do the same things Jesus did, but something changed along the way.
      Perhaps the corona virus could be something to turn us back to the original pattern?
      For what is it worth.

      • Christopher Pineau on April 26, 2021 at 8:43 am

        Precisely. I get exactly what you mean, here. It’s people getting too caught up in the words to seek the Word. It’s people allowing glitz and idolatry to blind them and widen the gap between them and Him. It’s a social club where those in the “cool kids” get to judge those who aren’t, just like many of us see and endure in high school. It’s them allowing their pastor to become the middle man between them and Him. I don’t want any of those things, and my distrust of humans by and large leads me to want them even less. I’d rather have a personal connection and relationship with Him on my own terms, by those standards, which is to say none of those things getting in the way.

        It’s not letting humans mislead you by telling you what to think as opposed to sincerely trying to help out–being a pastor is frequently a position of absolute power by human standards, and we all know what is said about absolute power. Pastors are not immune to corruption, and since you cited megachurches, the image of the Osteens always comes to mind for me. I can’t help but wonder just how much Joel Osteen needs that lavish lifestyle to be able to do his job? I’m not saying he needs to do the sackcloth and ashes thing, of course. But just how much is that man worth, and does he really need all the trappings? I’d rather seek my own relationship with Him as opposed to letting someone else tell me how to do it (and hey, you need to throw X percent of your salary at us, while you’re at it…).

        • Robert Carter on April 26, 2021 at 8:30 pm

          Thank you Christopher. I live in Australia and have often visited the US. I once considered applying for dual citizenship, opening a church on both countries, traveling between the two. I’ve seen both extremes of the prosperity doctrines. Most times the messages are lopsided and either talk about “suffering for Jesus”, “getting rich” or living in “victory”. Whilst there is an element of truth in them, the personal relationship aspect with God is missed. When I was studying for my doctorate, the Lord told me to stop it and allow Him to do the teaching, just as He said the Holy Spirit would do in John. Unfortunately, the “intellectual”and “purely academic” approach alone that is good and necessary, often focuses so much on exegesis, hermeneutics, homiletics and so on that the students are so preoccupied with those matters, they do not seem to be “hands-on” as Jesus was. He chided the religious leaders who could tell if a comma or a semi-colon should be in a certain place but never really knew God.
          Much of the church has become like that. This might start a reaction, but it is true. All one needs to to is look around.
          The Lord is not in many churches. He is in “His Church”. We are the temples of the Holy Spirit and members of the Body of Christ world wide.
          If God did not “send” the corona-virus, it is showing us how fragile we are and how dependent we became in “doing church” and what saddens me is seeing how many other pastors do not seem to be able to cope and keep wanting to do the same things the same way every time.
          It is like the time Moses led the people in the wilderness and encountered toe poisonous snakes. God told him to make that brass serpent that the people gazed on is they were bitten. It worked…then…for that moment and they moved on. They eft the snakes behind and so the serpent was no longer required. 400 years later, the prophet found that they were worshiping the snake and ground it up calling it Nehushtan.
          The very thing God did once and never did again, or the tool He used for a specific task at a specific time only became an idol. A major problem “churches” face is our present versions of Nehushtan.
          I could elaborate, but you get the picture.
          This is why I believe that “church” as we once knew it may be gone and never return. Jesus is building HIS CHURCH.

          • Bob Thomas on April 27, 2021 at 5:36 am

            Remember that “All in with God” and “All in with a church” are mutually exclusive. You can be all in with God and not all in with a church OR all in with a church and not all in with God.
            What really matters is that God is within you ( John 14:20 ).

        • Mike Symons on October 18, 2021 at 12:00 am

          This is a blanket reply to many other’s comments. Church is a very convenient place for many to play God with others and get away with it. Paul the apostle was our last great human shepherd. After he died, we been on our own (on a human level not spiritual level) biting and snapping at one another like dogs fighting over a t bone steak. What we need are leaders with insight interested in all church instead of seminary school 90 day wonders only interested in their little world. One of the reasons why many people are leaving church(of which I’m guilty of myself) is because many of today’s leaders are full of knowledge but are greatly lacking in INSIGHT. We need insight leaders not construction worker 90 day wonders.

      • Sarah on August 13, 2021 at 10:25 am

        Thank you for this post. I just learned today that the church I have been attending for the last four years, lead pastor profited over a million from the church’s tithe and then redistributed it to one of ‘his’ people. I have had on going concerns about this church, for the very reasons you have outlined. The importance placed on ‘social groups’ and worship that makes your really feel the presence of God with ‘the beat drops.’ The use of people who are physically attractive in the marketing of the church and just all around making church ‘cool.’ However, I am very torn as I believe in the importance of church, a group that gets together and serves the community in love and ackowledges and praises a good and loving God, but I don’t want to play social games. I don’t want to contribute to an organization developed by a leader who has now manipulted his sheep. God still has used this church for good, but I feel torn and very dissapointed in someone who stood on the pulpit and lied saying he did not take anything from the church tithe. This is not even close to the first time I have been dissapponted by Christian leadership and it certainly will not be the last.

        • Jayda on August 13, 2021 at 10:49 am


          I am right there with you! I feel very torn… If you like Francis Chan, look into his last two books, Letters to the Church (which outlines the downfalls of the modern American church,) and Until Unity (which speaks to how important the unity of believers is to God.) But what to do with both viewpoints? For me, it seems that home churches offer the best direction, but it is near impossible to find one (at least where I live.) I have also not met many people who desire a home church; they like the programs and full band worship found in the church buildings. What to do?

    • Julie Z Coleman on April 28, 2021 at 11:05 am

      My church is exactly that! No pastor, elder leadership (not into their own power) and a community that is committed to using their spiritual gifts to build up the church. The energy can be felt when you walk in the door! We have a teaching team, four people who are trained for that, varied in how they present, but always centered on Jesus and God’s Word. New Hope Chapel, Arnold, MD.

  27. Rod DeFigh on April 7, 2021 at 9:27 am

    I entered the church and sat there and all around me were persons and more persons. I looked at the back of the head that was before me but I could not fellowship with it for it was facing the one who commands the attention of everyone in the room. All heads were upon him. That person who commanded our attention moved his lips and said some things and then we were dismissed. My life moved on and on. Years have gone by. One day I took some moments to reflect on where I have been and where I am going and I came to the realization that the most significant choices and actions I have made came at my own bidding. I do believe that I have been led by the Lord to get to where I am. My wife. My children. My Job. My home and all else are blessings from the Lord. I also believe that the forces of darkness are bent on my destruction and I am therefore in battle more times then I would care. It is my humble belief that we would do well if we could reinvent church. God gave us creative minds and we have invented some fantastic things yet we cant seem to get beyond the mundane existence that is church.

    • Andrei on April 10, 2021 at 12:00 am

      Hello Rod, you are right. Churches are bad. Facing the individual at the pulpit is not good. It is rather idolatry.

      I am currently in Ukraine and am looking for genuine believers to fellowship with. As of now, people are devoted to the individuals at the pulpit, so I cannot find anyone among true believers.

    • Jason Jones on April 13, 2021 at 6:57 pm

      Rod that is a very good point…. though I appreciate the Article in it lies some of the problems. Self, we, I? Where is what God wants for us in this? See we mimic to much what’s been handed down for generations the derived from pagan background. Yes I said that, paganism. Everything the modern church is built on has roots that go back to that.
      The only way to see change in the church and the hearts of men is to remove the filters from our eyes that we have been raised up to see Gods word through and let the spirit of God lead us in truth and his will he has planned for us all along.

  28. Jesus Lover USA on March 26, 2021 at 12:02 am

    Really appreciate this article, thank you for writing this! I am attending church but I have to say, I’m there for the very two things you mention and that context I’m there for the worship of God, collectively with the brethren. To me, I think the big turn off from church is that the people there are living in major idolatry. Let me explain. They come to church in the name of worshiping God and instead they worship the experience, the community, their social status, the pastor, and on and on…this in turn leads to selfish ambitions in ministry and pomposity. The church has this sort of Facebook attitude that says “we’ve corner the market on God, and either you play by our rules or you’re out”.Many churches have ideologies that don’t even align with the Bible and they can’t make a intellectual argument to even defend their position. It’s almost always “the Bible says” followed by an out of context use of scripture to justify the arrogant attitude of someone whom thinks they are the Zuckerberg of faith in God. And just like big tech, if you don’t play in their favor and acquiesce to their power flex you will be blacklisted. None of this bad behavior is of Jesus and none of it has anything to do with Christianity. The business of church deserves judgement from Holy God, for doing all these things in His name. Last, it’s a really good thing that Jesus said “where TWO OR THREE are gathered I am in their midst” surely He must’ve known that this thing we call church today, would exist. Yes I go to church but you would have a hard time convincing me that pastors across America haven’t been trying to hijack the church from Jesus. It’s His church not theirs, not ours, but His; the church belongs to Jesus. And maybe, just maybe that’s why He allowed Covid lockdowns – to get the point across that nobody owns the church or is leading the people, it’s the Holy Spirit and He alone draws, not man. Church leaders need to get over themselves and get right, and humble again. Praise God for Covid, we deserved the spanking.

    • Jesus Lover USA on March 26, 2021 at 12:11 am

      “Two or three” apologies I need to complete that thought, what I mean to say is, a church is no more than 2-3 people, if there are more – great but Jesus never said it had to be this huge gathering in a building. If there is a huge gathering – awesome but if not, the people gathered are no less in church than if they were in a building somewhere. This is a beautiful thing. God never specified the number more than three.

    • Bob Thomas on March 26, 2021 at 7:15 am

      I don’t think the pastors are trying to hijack the church of Jesus … I believe that they (individually) have been trying to play Holy Spirit. 1 John 2:27 justifies this belief.
      I see competition for followers in the church marketplace. Until believers read the Word for themselves, they will never be free.

  29. Laura Williams on March 2, 2021 at 11:52 am

    Hello, I have been a Methodist my entire life, and have been a happy blessed single for some time.

    I am wondering why churches in general, mainly in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, nearly refuse to support single adults.

    The church I call home admitted to me, while I was volunteering in a singles program, they have a list of approximately over a thousand names of singles, although they did not know exactly what to do with them, therefore they were hanging on to them until such a time proposed itself. I was stunned, but after thinking, it was because the people running the program were all married and could not relate to the ministry they were trying to help. The suggestions I made were quickly dismissed mainly because they did not fit in with the schedules of the married persons in charge of the program. Again stunned.

    I am middle age, and church has 2 programs young singles and divorce care, but that is the extent of their services. Yet the church silently condemns bars, online dating, etc. as not Christian.

    As a Christian I am taught the church is for everyone. At this point I feel alone, I feel the church has abandoned me as a single woman. Although if you are a mom, or a family with 2.5 kids, then the red carpet is rolled out every day of the week. Even to the point of bible studies. Multiple times offered during the day, multiple days during the week, which as a single woman I work and cannot attend those times. Ironically, it appears to an outsider that the reason for those times is because the church staff works during the day, although I could be wrong.

    In studying Paul, over the years it has been my understanding that he would have us to go to the people, where they are and not have the people come to us during work hours.

    Can anyone provide any insight as to why churches are apparently obsessed with premade-families and not creating new Christian families?

    • Bob Thomas on March 2, 2021 at 2:09 pm

      One insight that might help, if taken to heart, is that “we” are the church (Matt 18:20).
      For far to long the corporate church (buildings) have taken the mantle away from the
      people in an effort to build co-dependency vs God – dependency.
      Here are a few fruit comparisons (of about 40 we compiled) to consider between The tree of life churches and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good & Evil churches:
      T of L ; All in with God vs All in with the church
      Spiritual Cultural
      Disciple them Involve them
      Repentance Sin Tolerance
      Narrow Road Broad Road
      The modern 501c3 church has in America has betrayed the people and the Lord and violated 2 COR 2:17. Although I believe Covid is a political stunt, God may be shutting down (or testing) organized religion through it. God is Truth (John 1:1, John 14:6, John 17:17). Note John 18:38 where Jesus didn’t answer Pilate. Truth doesn’t need to force itself, or cancel or censor its opponents. By this we can know the current administration is of lies (counter to truth).The majority of the larger churches in America are no different than the population at large, voting 50% one way and 50% the other. No Truth stressed … no offense made … pretty much a social club with no dependence on God. Five years ago we cut TV but kept internet for business reasons. We read the Bible and God spoke truth to us as he reveals it (Matthew 11:25-27). We don’t Discover truth … God alone reveals it. So Laura, why go to church when you are God’s temple? Please read and re-read ISA 30:15 & John 14:20. God will bring like minded Christians to your circle. God Bless you.

    • Andrei on March 2, 2021 at 2:12 pm

      Dear Laura, churches have replaced Christ. They dictate the will of the church rather than the will of Christ. Jesus said, ”Leave them off, they are blind guides”. You need to leave church leaders, pastors and priests. Follow Christ and worship God alone.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on March 2, 2021 at 3:55 pm

      Hey Laura,

      I’m so sorry you’re going through this. All I can say is that not all churches are that way, and I know Jesus isn’t that way.

      I really hope you’re able to find a community of Christians your age in your area!

    • Ashley on March 17, 2021 at 2:24 am

      Hey Laura,
      I am also in DFW and having a hard time finding a church. And you’re correct about the red carpet being rolled out for couples and families but certainly not for single people. The “church” today is watered-down at best and corrupt at worst. I’m sure there’s some good ones out there somewhere, I just haven’t found any yet. Nobody even hardly preaches the Bible anymore let alone believes it. Hardly anybody has discernment. There’s a high level of narcissism and selfishness in the church today. It’s hard. If you find a church somewhere, let me know. I’m going to keep looking.

      • Christopher Pineau on March 17, 2021 at 8:34 am

        Then it would appear that my assessment of the Church as an entity, these days, is correct? To recap; I strongly distrust the Church, and for me? Churches are preaching the word of man over the Word. Any church that advertises a meaningless buzz phrase (by now, anyway, it is, work with me on this one) such as “No justice no peace,” will not have me as a goer, because the empty modern notion of “social justice” has little to do with the Word, which is love, and as we well know by now that that empty modern notion mentioned is about everything but love. File under sad but true.

      • Tduncan on March 17, 2021 at 10:00 am

        Ladies, check out ifgathering.com. Its out of Dallas, not a church but great resources for connecting with others. They are focused on the great commission and the Bible.

  30. Tony Enciso on February 6, 2021 at 2:55 am

    “Increasingly, I’m convinced there’s no point to merely attending. You drive all the way in to connect with three or four songs, hear the message and then head home.”
    – Carey Nieuwhof

    If this is all you have to do in attending your church, you’re right, there is really no reason for you to go to church.

    • Bob Thomas on February 6, 2021 at 4:58 pm

      Pastors … the best advice to give to your flock is ” If you don’t trust me, read the Bible for yourself … then you won’t need me.” 1 John 2:27 tells you who your teacher is.
      In John 16:30 the disciples finally realized that Jesus wanted nothing from them , and everything for them. The reason attending church today is so problematic is that those
      in the pulpits need people to ask them questions to justify their existence. He that points to the one who sent him is the man of truth. Consider how Luciferian Facebook “follow me” has deviated from Jesus instructions to follow Him. God dependency has been replaced with Co-dependency. The one that wants more for me than from me has my support.

      • Tom on March 1, 2021 at 5:29 pm

        I like it mate, having much time with family during week end like sport and beach, visit friends and relatives instead of going to church are important.

    • Andrei on February 6, 2021 at 9:22 pm

      Worship Service is a ritual. God is not worshipped by rituals but in spirit and truth. True religion is to help the poor stay away from sin.

  31. Jade Kennedy on December 27, 2020 at 11:14 am

    I quit going to church in 2005. Best decision ever! Would not go back for a million dollars. I love God and walk closely with Him every day. My wife and I read the bible regularly. God is very active in our lives and has never asked us to go back. Alleluia.
    I was in leadership in several small to mid sized churches. They are all pretty much the same. A small group of well meaning, but under qualified, spiritually immature people trying to lead a larger group of people who are just putting in their time and remain unchanged for decades. That system, albeit practiced the world over, doesn’t work. You will know them by their fruit.

    • Olga Tk. on January 11, 2021 at 3:33 pm

      There is a power in UNITY. There is something God is doing when His people gathered together. Example is Acts 2, “THEY WERE ALL FILLED WITH HOLY SPIRIT” …Jesus Him self told disciples “not to depart from Jerusalem”, (in our option – from your church), but “wait for the promise”. There are something God is doing when His people get together, – you may miss it just sitting home.
      I agree that there are more churches where Holy Spirit is not given freedom, that’s why people don’t get fed and leave. Our programs, and service orders, our different opinions about what H.S does and what He does not, holding Him back from what God wants to do with HIS church..
      Pray, seek, and ask and God will lead you to the church, where God’s Spirit is moving and leading the church, through His vessel-pastor, who humbles in God’s presents until he receives the Word from God to pass it on to people. And you will never be bored, you will run to be there, because there is God Him self. It is GOD’s church, not a pastor’s, and GOD wants to lead them RIGHT WAY. May Lord bless you and lead you to His church.

      • Andrei on February 6, 2021 at 9:16 pm

        You have written that God passes His word to the pastor and pastor passes to people? Why do you say this? God speaks to people. He does not need an intermediate apart from Christ the high priest. Yes, fellowship is important but not in the cults ruled by a pastor. Pastor is the Antichrist. He has become the head of the church.

        • TDuncan on February 8, 2021 at 5:04 pm

          Anti-christ seems a harsh word, they are fallible humans like all of us. I believe the problem is this conflict:
          If pastor preaches “go OUT and be the mission of Christ” and “unite with other Christians” then pastor sees his/her donations flowing other places.
          I think this is why you see pastors acting in a way you see as cultish: A selfish mistrust in God.
          I have so many amazing ideas for working with other churches, but sadly many of these will never happen for exactly this $$ reason.
          The work of Christ keeps me going to church, not the church or pastor.

          • Andrei on February 8, 2021 at 6:11 pm

            You need to read my free ebook Antichrist by ANDRII SHYBANOV where o explain how pastors have taken over the place of Christ in his Church. Jesus is never a head of the church where pastor rules. Pastor has banished a Holy Spirit, so that he will be the only teacher at the Worship Service. Scripture says that God is worshipped in spirit and truth but pastor teach that God is worshipped in the Worship Service where pastor rules.

        • Gabi on May 24, 2021 at 1:41 am

          God is on you you are God’s images. But fellows the 10 commandments. And then rest into internal life.it is very short massage,Jesus said many times throughout the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, “He who has ears, let him hear.” This is not just some generic statement for “hey, everybody listen up”, he is calling for people to take careful heed. “He who has ears” is every person, age, ethnicity, language, and occupation.

          • Gabi on May 24, 2021 at 1:46 am

            God is on you you are God’s images. But fellows the 10 commandments. And then rest into internal life.it is very short messages,Jesus said many times throughout the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, “He who has ears, let him hear.” This is not just some generic statement for “hey, everybody listen up”, he is calling for people to take careful heed. “He who has ears” is every person, age, ethnicity, language, and occupation.

    • Linda Fraser on April 4, 2021 at 9:17 pm

      Amen! My sentiments exactly! Very well said!

      • Linda Fraser on April 4, 2021 at 9:20 pm

        I am replying to Jade Kennedy. The order they put my response in looks like I’m replying to Andrei.

  32. Richard the Saddened on December 21, 2020 at 10:19 am

    The mission of the church is seldom stated on Sundays. There is one exception, though. When I have gone to the church there is always an implicit mission: to raise money.

    • Olga Tk. on January 11, 2021 at 2:52 pm

      Giving your tithes is not for church, it is for your BENEFIT. Even though, many will say that it is not obligated in New Testament. God is still the same and His laws are still working this days as they did back then. We came to this world with nothing. You were created by God and HE sent you here with provision. But He is mentioning a 10th part of it. It gives Him permission to do His part in your finances. Malachi 3:8-12 Lord says “…TEST ME IN THIS…”
      If your church does not consider tithes, but you want to be blessed financially, find the pastor of mission you fill they are doing the God’s work and support them, Just start sewing, it may take some time for your “seed to grow” in spiritual world, but It really works in our days. I know some people who manage their businesses and life by Biblical principles and being successful, as Word of God says. May Lord bless you.

      • Andrei on January 11, 2021 at 3:14 pm

        Dear Olga,
        You are right when you write that God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow and giving tithes is good. You are wrong though about whom believers should give their tithes. Money offerings can be given to the poor, but not to the pastors. As Jesus said that if you provide to the poor and needy, you actually offer it to Christ. Apostles never taught to give money offerings to any individuals for them to distribute the money or use it as they wish. Give your money directly to those who have a need, and by doing so you will show your love for God.

        Thank you.

        • Olga Tk. on January 11, 2021 at 3:43 pm

          Thank you Andrei for responding to my reply. But tithes and offerings are not the same things. Bible says tithes must go to God’s House, His ministries (Malachi 3:10), but our offerings go to poor and needy…
          Blessings to you.

          • Andrei on February 6, 2021 at 9:19 pm

            God does not live in the temples and cults created by men. Tithes were given to the high priest. You present pastor as a high priest but this is wrong. Pastor is of devil. He misleads people with his church doctrine. You must help the poor, don’t give your money to the Antichrist.

  33. www.indiegogo.com on December 5, 2020 at 5:59 am

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  34. Carl on November 15, 2020 at 7:08 am

    Good thought

  35. Carl on November 15, 2020 at 7:06 am


  36. Breattie King on November 3, 2020 at 8:22 pm

    Boy, there have been some long comments here. I’ll just say I might not go back to church after Covid, although I have up until now been very active in church, because I am sick of the politics. Churches all seem to be leaning toward a socialist world view, which has never worked and has never served the church well. When economic freedoms are stamped out, eventually religious freedom is stamped out as well.

    • Frederik Norberg on November 3, 2020 at 9:09 pm

      Baloney! The greatest threat to American religious freedom is not socialism. America will never be socialist. That is a fallacy narrated by false prophets and power hungry politicians. The real threat to American religious freedom is fascism and ignorance. You see, the American eagle must have both wings to fly- a left wing and a right wing. Without both, America cannot fly. It is only by loving and helping each other that Church Attendance will rise again, as well as our country. Fight the REAL enemy. The enemy that is truly anti-Christ. Hate.

      • Elizabeth Kirk on November 6, 2020 at 9:39 pm

        Love your comment about the American Eagle… Yes, we have to have an Eagle with both wings working together, and somehow our Eagle has been wounded and is not flying… It is limping along.. My tiny little AME church has not, and probably will not open. Our members are elderly and extremely fragile, and I think tht perhaps they truly are more comfortable doing “phone” church with several other members. We were already down to a very small amount, and I doubt seriously that it truly be “worthwhile’ expense wise to reopen. Breaks my heart, We may be a very small congregation, but it is a very loving and genuine congregation BUT: reality is painful . I truly miss going to church in the physical sense, and though I have tried zoom sessions I have trouble with my internet and getting it to do the Zoom thing.. I am a senior and computers are more frustrating that helpful to me, and I miss the one on one contact . I am so sad to see what is happening in churches today, and I totally agree and would hope that we could continue loving each other and encourage even more love … Jesus seems to have gotten totally lost in the quagmire of this election. I am appalled at what I see in the hatred, anger, and actual physical violence in some instances being pe
        rpetrated by so called “Christians”…. I do not call my self a Christian because of the horrible negataive connotation… I just say I am a follower of Jesus and try to do what i think Jesus would want me to do.

      • Gloria on January 10, 2021 at 11:28 am

        Sadly to say, but I totally disagree with your thinking that this country will never become a socialist or communist country. We can see the writing on the walls already. Cancel culture, education, freedom of speech, threats to our second amendment, and spreading the wealth – ( taking from you to give to others ) – which is a good thing when done voluntarily. As far as church goes I am in a mess of confusion. Born and raised Catholic, left the church for reasons I felt appropriate. Attended a “Christian church for about 6 months but decided to leave when I asked the question – why do I not see even one cross in the church ( answer being, we don’t want to OFFEND anyone!) Then tried the Methodist church which was closer to my Catholic up bringing but as soon as COVID set in, they closed. Also Pastor there had no problems preaching and praying for everyone from the janitor, grocery store clerk, police, firefighters, EMT’s etc etc, BUT NEVER once said let’s pray for our country or our president. So far the least hellish year I have been reading my Bible, doing a daily devotional, saying my prayers ( even my Catholic taught once’s) and I can say I have never felt closer to God in my entire life. Religions have caused me a great deal of confusion and I that God will guide my way.

    • joann on December 15, 2020 at 10:23 pm

      I definitely agree, we are moving to socialism we need fellowship among human beings together to feel the spirit of God flowing.

      • Frederik on December 15, 2020 at 11:37 pm

        Socialism would not be an issue if people would realize that fairness, equality, and love is how to build Christ’s church on earth. Want to see less “socialism” in church? Practice more “Jesus Love” in your congregation. Stop preaching who you should vote for, left or right. Church is no place for social engineering. Make church a safe place where politics and culture wars are tossed aside for spiritual love and devotion.

    • Christopher P. on January 31, 2021 at 6:09 pm

      Me as well; I’m leery of churches in general for a few reasons that would take up a lot of space, so suffice to say that for myself? I’d much rather have a personal relationship with Him with no middle man getting in the way. To me, there are too many churches being infected with the woke virus and preaching the word of man instead of the Word, and I find that unappealing, at best. So no thank you, at least for now.

  37. Rob Redick on October 30, 2020 at 7:56 pm

    Having served in ministry for many years, including in preaching roles, I believe one of the things the Church at large needs to do is end the practice of asking people to join for “fellowship” and then making them sit together in silence while one man talks.

    We desperately need to move toward the facilitated group learning style that has been adopted nearly everywhere except the in little c churches. You know, where the leader introduces the principles or content, which everyone then discusses in groups, and key learnings are presented back. Learning sticks much more this way.

    To “facilitate this move to an engaged worship hour, I also believe we should seriously consider ending the concept of one Sr. Pastor (a position that is very hard to find in the New Testament without much acrobatics), and replace it with a pastor team.

    • Andrei on November 8, 2020 at 5:36 pm

      Rob, you are right here:
      “I believe one of the things the Church at large needs to do is end the practice of asking people to join for “fellowship” and then making them sit together in silence while one man talks.”
      Believers need to fellowship together away from church buildings. Church leaders, pastors and priests are not required. They are harmful to believers.

    • Jayda on December 18, 2020 at 7:36 pm

      Rob – you’ve put into words what I’ve been feeling for years now! The question that remains for me is this…what do I do with my point of view? How can I help facilitate this change within the local church bodies? Any insight would be welcomed.

  38. Chad on October 5, 2020 at 1:20 pm

    Thanks, Carey, for great, practical stuff we can use right now. Well put in this post. Keep the content coming. Love it!

  39. Chris Gadlage on October 1, 2020 at 3:10 pm

    Excellent article. One language recommendation that may help stop permitting wrong theology:

    “You don’t attend church. You are the church.” RIGHT ON!

    Then, perhaps we should stop referring to a building and events as “church”. Call them what they are: “the church building”; “the church office”; “worship”; “Bible Study”; etc.

    If leaders continue to use this term wrongly, it permits followers to continue to think of “church” as a place you go or an event you attend. It’s subtle, but it’s consistent.

  40. Randy Brock on October 1, 2020 at 10:09 am

    Wow. I’ve never been much of a comment reader but… Welcome to Romans 14.

    • Christopher Gerard Gillen on October 2, 2020 at 5:21 am

      Totally honest and engaging. I loved it!
      We, truly are in trouble as a local and universal church.
      The ways of doing. Sunday Worship has been changing for some time. Covid-19 just brought it all forward.
      We will find new ways of engagement.
      Together, we move forward in Hope!
      Blessings to all!

  41. Vikki on October 1, 2020 at 8:41 am

    There’s one reason I’m aware of in my area that I don’t see addressed anywhere (unless I’ve missed it). Many dedicated Christ-followers in my area are actively ostracized in this current political climate either by leadership or by the church members with influence. If we don’t completely align with the prevailing opinion, we’re told we’re not Christian. Not exactly an incentive to come back week after week. If a choose to wear a mask, not send my son to youth group because of a lack of masks and social distancing, or I don’t vote the same way as those in charge or those most vocal, I’m not welcome. I’m not the only one in this boat. In fact, I had coffee with a new friend recently and we back lament over what to do. We desperately want to be in church and be a part of our church, but if we don’t completely conform, we’re not wanted there.

    • TDunc on October 1, 2020 at 9:13 am

      Let your pastor know how you feel, privately. And if their answer is unwelcoming, well then you have your answer.

    • Andrei on October 1, 2020 at 4:28 pm

      Hello Vikki,
      You need to fellowship with believers at public places, just as it was described in book of Acts.
      Church is a private territory of a pastor, so he enforce his own rules. The only position in the church is elder, not pastor.

      Kind regards,
      Author of ebook “Antichrist”
      Ebook can be downloaded here:
      Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1040335
      Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/x/id1529658745

    • Lyn Richards on October 18, 2020 at 10:44 am

      Thank you! Exactly! I live in a South Carolina, and often feel I am not even welcome in this State! I am frustrated, defeated, demoralized, and lost because I cannot see the Lord in church anymore. That is how I got to your reply. I do not know where to turn, but am teetering on giving up on attending.

      • Betsy Pasko-Flaherty on November 3, 2020 at 12:49 am

        Lyn, I also moved from Oh to SC. I also find churches here unfriendly & cult-like. If you’re not a Baptist & don’t believe in “once saved, always saved” then you’re not welcomed. Also, I find people here love to preach at you, but don’t practice what they preach. SC churches are very undesirable, clickish & if you’re not from SC, they do not let you in. I find attending church a chore not a joy. Very archaic & I cannot stand people screaming out during service “AMEN” over & over & over again. Not fruitful, uplifting nor spiritually fed. Thanks, but no thanks. I’ll watch my home church in Ohio live streamed.

    • matt harding on October 18, 2020 at 10:08 pm

      Hi Vikki, this will have to sink in, but Evangelical Christians are not Christians, but they are Evangelicals.

    • Adelia Goncalves on October 30, 2020 at 7:14 pm

      Our Church community has Cell groups. I have my own reasons not to attend and one I’m tired at that time, and two my husband doesn’t attend Church so I keep him company and three I don’t feel comfortable.
      I agree with you brother, and I don’t think it’s very Christian like to be legalistic about it, my reason for not attending cell groups is because I have tried a few cell groups in the past and I’m uncomfortable and the ones I’ve mentioned before, and superficial. I’ve been a Christian a long time and going to cell groups in the evening until I’m sleepy and driving home in the dark isn’t my thing, except for attending Sunday morning and Sunday night and still can hardly establish a faithful friend excludes me. There are others like myself, who has opened up to me about it and they eventually leave. But I notice that people in Church buildings do try and make an effort with those they know, group clique, and I feel ignored. Is it selfish? No, we have a choice and so long as you feel it is ok I don’t think God is going to get insulted by it. I remind myself, to turn the other cheek.

    • Gloria on January 10, 2021 at 11:38 am

      You hit the nail on the head. We can no longer agree to disagree and still be friends. Sad.

  42. George Maurer on August 21, 2020 at 5:30 pm

    During this virus our church turned to televised services…the great growth of our church has been attributed to being dedicated to “corporate” prayer, but now we seldom see each other, except on television. Hebrews 10:25 cautions us to cherish and defend that which allowed us to grow, which is hands-on, togetherness in prayer and service to God.
    Our growth has slowed substantially since we no longer embrace that which has been described as Jesus’ bride, churching…and churching is togetherness…thus Satan needs to rest, we are putting our growth at risk ourselves and without his help…

    • DGDoyle on October 1, 2020 at 8:17 am


  43. Heidi on August 8, 2020 at 3:36 pm

    Neither condemning nor condoning anyone who chooses to go or not go to church. Consider this, when Jesus was teaching the multitudes, where was He? In a building? No He was outside where anyone who passed by could hear his teaching and could stop and listen. Those people did not have to make a conscious effort to go to a “church” building to hear the Word. How then are we to expect a non believer, who does not realize what the Word is to make that conscious effort to walk into a “church” building? Taking the Word out from behind closed doors reaches many many more people.

    • Sarah on October 1, 2020 at 8:04 am


  44. Bruce Considine on August 2, 2020 at 10:52 pm

    Attending today’s “Church” doesn’t make sense because it’s not the New Testament Ekklesia. Today’s Churches are non-profit religious corporations 501(c)(3) of the STATE.
    –Grace Community Church’s 2014 Bylaws: “The name of this Corporation is Grace Community Church of the Valley. It is a California nonprofit religious Corporation with its principal offices in Sun Valley, California.”
    –There are more than five buildings on this real estate campus. How many million$ (tens of million$?) of dollar$ does it cost, first to buy, then to feed this voracious money pit? How many of these corporations go into debt to buy? Members give, and by law get income tax deduction$.
    –In contrast, the Ekklesia freely meets, primarily in people’s HOMES. Eutychus probably fell out of an Insula, the Roman equivalent of a multi-story apartment building (3rd loft = 4th floor?) It also met in public places (again, Roman Empire,) and in Tyrannus’ school.
    –Unlike these corporations and their worldly properties, the Ekklesia is very flexible. In the same way that families and friends meet today and still social distance (Coronavirus,) the Ekklesia can too.
    –The gift, relief sent to the brethren, or the ministry to the saints, went to the needy believers and itinerant preachers, exclusively. (Probably to the poor in general too.) They supported and supplied the Apostles in their homes. Paul supported himself with a skilled craft and commanded that the Elders (today’s so-called Pastors) do the same. He commanded that they even give to the weak.
    –They were not salaried professionals employed by a corporation that misled their members; taking the giving away from the needy saints for non-biblical purposes.
    –Scripture says not to preach for dirty money. How can you take a paycheck for preaching and NOT be preaching for dirty money? With the right mindset?
    –The Corporation’s BUDGET and the Ekklesia’s ministry to the saints are world’s apart. Make a pie chart and see. The Ekklesia’s order of worship is in Corinthians and is INTERACTIVE. A stage built to broadcast professional actors to a large, passive audience, is a stumbling block to obeying scripture.
    –Obey the LORD Jesus Christ Almighty and start making sense. Assemble as an Ekklesia as commanded and shown in scripture. Enough of these… Social Clubs, these love of dirty money Country Clubs.

    • Andrei on August 3, 2020 at 4:28 am

      Yes, ekklesia is a right term. Christ will indeed marry ekklesia. Church is a term rather introduced by Catholics. Church means a corporation or building.

    • Gary W Whittaker on October 1, 2020 at 5:23 am

      Bruce, While I agree with much of what you wrote, there ARE good reasons to have a permanent structure to meet at. Especially in a tougher climate
      I don’t think we can just compare it to how Jesus taught, in a specific culture and climate. It’s really a matter of doing whatever works to reach people, which now includes electronically. New wineskins for the always new and yet unchanging wine of the gospel. Are we flexible enough for where the Spirit is leading today? I pray we are. Whatever it takes, wherever we are. Some come to Jesus through gifted preachers, others through the acts of love done by a neighbor. Some, as Romans 1 suggests, just through creation, knowing the God who made it for us all is reaching out.

      • Andrei on October 1, 2020 at 5:37 am

        Dear Gary,
        Public places are good for fellowship and houses are good for breaking bread and prayers.


      • Adelia Goncalves on October 30, 2020 at 7:44 pm

        For a long time I stopped going to Church because of all the reasons mentioned above, but I always felt guilty not supportingI the local Church. I did notice that although I was free, I was also slowly growing more distant and the anointing on me wasn’t as strong. So I guess, I felt like a backslider. I felt like I had neglected to hold up or support my other Christian brothers and sisters in the Lord, who I felt didn’t really give a hoot who I was but try not to take offence because you learn to accept that, so long as you try to connect and die trying. However, my faith in God does not change because I am saved, therefore the point I want to make is that meeting in a Church building is okay with me because times have changed, at least it leaves out the question of whose house are we meeting in this week? which is a bit like Christmas and entertaining guests means a lot of extra housework. Peoples houses have an odour, they have rules for you to follow like having no shoes etc, which is weird because I wear something on my feet at home. There are all sorts of reasons and at least in a Church building everyone is welcome and whether you fit in or not, you just have to accept it. Jesus wants us all to get along, but I notice not everyone wants to half the time, they just want to go home and eat because they’re starving. Fallen man, Lord please help us.

  45. Matt on June 19, 2020 at 3:57 pm

    Very clever rhetorical move with the title, but disingenuous all the same, which leads me to distrust the writer right out of the gate; however, since the writer asked if I had any ideas… Give up the Sunday service altogether. The Sunday service is a place where people can connect on a very superficial level. It’s a sad replacement for actually gathering together, Hebrews style. Our Sunday service is a very far cry from the type of meeting that the writer of Hebrews is commenting on (my thought is that if we could magically bring the writer of Hebrews to what passes for Christian community, he fall dead a second time.

    It’s all well and good to tell people that they are the church–and right, it’s not a building or its administration–but what does that actually mean? What is the reality of that statement when you keep on with business as usual? How will you make that metaphor real again to the people?

    Last, if the believers are the church, then why are you saying that church leaders–ah, there’s a rub!–should keep nonbelievers front and center? Is the body being equipped for ministry or is the ministry supplanting the body? If the body was equipped, then the body would fulfill its purpose. Volunteerism is not equipping people to do anything other than volunteering.

    Maybe you want the “unchurched” (whatever that means if church is a body of people) to be reached because the believers in the seat are not doing their work, but they’re not doing it because leadership isn’t doing it. What if the most relational that we can be maxes out at 50 people (Phillip Leiberman)? Sure, Robin Dunbar says that the max number for meaningful relationships caps at around 150 people, but we just keep on plugging and attending megachurches and/or expanding service times. We’re (or you’re) doing it wrong.

    P.S. It’s super-harmful to divide the people who attend a Sunday service into “consumers” and what? serious folks? Just stop with that. Maybe if you actually struck up a relationship with these people you’d find out why they do as they do and not as you want them to do. I teach for a living and so following your idea I should teach only for those students who fully engage during class? That’s a recipe for disaster. You’re only as strong as your weakest link and BTW, you’re it. Her’e’s another troubling statement: As someone wisely said, when you recognize dysfunction in your classroom and you respond to it in order to correct it, you are now part of that dysfunction.
    I’ve got a lot more to say, but this scattershot will have to suffice.

    • Andrei on June 19, 2020 at 4:43 pm

      Truly you said, Sunday service is a disaster.

      • Matt on June 19, 2020 at 7:03 pm

        Hi Andrei,

        Well, I don’t know what it is, but it ain’t church. Maybe we should stop using that word until we all learn what it really means rather than what we think that it means?

        • Matt on June 19, 2020 at 7:07 pm

          Speaking of (mis) using words: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTRKCXC0JFg

        • Andrei on June 19, 2020 at 9:39 pm

          Yes, Sunday worship services and all those weekly meetings managed by church leaders are not the church. Church or “ekklesia” rather have a spiritual meaning.

          I have got some friends in “Dubai International Church of Christ” organization. I criticized church leaders and these church leaders called hotel management to drag me out from the “church” even though I did not do anything wrong to people.. They just said that I am divisive and have “different” interpretation of scriptures, follow “different” doctrine. Another woman collected 59 signatures from people to file a legal case against me for trespassing the private territory of Dubai ICOC “church”. Other ICOC church leaders agreed with Dubai church leaders. They definitely have wrong I understanding of the church.

          I stay now in Philippines during the COVID quarantine and I have some friends who love God. I am writing a book here on a similar topic about fellowship of believers and church titled “Freedom in Christ”. People here invite me to their Baptist and ICOC “church” but these are not churches. I call it rather temples where they gather and pray. We all know that God does not live in temples build by human hands, who lives there then?

          My church is the believers with whom I fellowship. Here in the village in Philippines, I don’t have any people to fellowship with together, just because no one wants to study scriptures together. I communicate with believers from Dubai, Nigeria and my mother in Russia, so this is my church.

          And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. -Matthew 16:18

          Church is rather have a spiritual meaning rather than a meeting of few members of ICOC, Baptists or members of other organizations.

          • Matt on June 20, 2020 at 9:14 am

            Hi Andrei,

            I’m truly sorry for the troubles that you have been through–and are still going through. I believe that you’re correct that the institution is not the church; the institution is established and preserved through rules, regulations, dogma and, unfortunately, people who believe that the institution is not “a” but “the” sacred thing. I’m no sure where you stand “theologically” (scare quotes because I’m using the word very broadly), but you might like Nomad podcast. The theology is not the issue with Nomad, but rather giving voice to people who have begun to question or have long been questioning not just the institution, but its hold on their lives. You might not like/agree with everyone, but sometimes it helps to hear about other people who have similar experiences.

    • K. Scott on June 23, 2020 at 11:38 am

      Regarding Matt’s Comment (dated June 19)

      Dear Matt:
      Many of your statements i found to be insightful and illuminate the Lead Articles counterproductive Ideas.
      At the end of your statements you wrote:
      ” As someone wisely said,
      when you recognize dysfunction in your classroom and you respond to it in order to correct it,
      you are now part of that dysfunction.”

      Now we have to speak the Truth — and we shall Do So — using The Lord as a Perfect Example
      When Jesus Spoke to the unbelieving (who did not know God and Godliness and lived without faith)
      He addressed their Unbelief — their dysfunction from being Children of GOD – and were ignoring their
      spiritual heritage before they were born into mortality and the inherent call of God to Come unto Christ.
      That ignorance and rejection by remaining in Darkness while Light was to be found by faith study repentance and service to God was a dysfunction.

      YOUR Statement which you said was “wise” was The OPPOSITE of wise – it is in fact Wickedness
      For by that Statement — Christ would be dysfunctional to seek to correct the unbelieving from their dysfunction.

      NOW using the same Perfect Example of Christ and his teaching commandments and living example:
      let us turn to those that are the rebellious “disbelieving” Who instead of saying i don;t know or i don’t believe
      because I know not who to worship or even if i should worship– INSTEAD rebel against the LIGHT & TRUTH
      from Above (Heaven/ The Celestial Realm of The GODS)
      For those that reject LIGHT and the desires, thoughts and acts of Holiness / Godliness —
      have made an active and deliberate Choice of Agency to seek and surround themselves– and indeed fill themselves
      with DARKNESS — whose eyes are not set on Light on God — on that which uplifts, rejects the Fallen nature of man and wants the pure Joy of godliness. Those who made a choice for Darkness — desire The DARK the secrets of their Sin and the efforts to hide, obfuscate and rationalize the EVIL of SIN — and rage against God’s Consequence of Shame and Guilt – to say with vehemence There is No God– I will not worship- hear or hearken unto The Voice of God or of His Beloved Son The Christ–nor any of the chosen true and authorized Servants of God — (be they Angels Prophets of The Saints of God) FOR Those So choosing and living and expanding their Darkness in Sin
      Say, not just I do not believe — (i.e. have active living faith in God) but those men and women of SIN and degradation of wanton iniquity and perversions of virtue — REJECT any Guild for the Evil within themselves and FIGHT against GOD and the godly and All The Works of God (be it Scripture or the organization of The Kingdom of God on Earth)
      THOSE people are Yes Dysfunctional.

      SO according your statement that you attribute the appellation of ‘wise’
      WHEN Jesus decried the EVIL of the Sadducee and Pharisee – the false and slimy Scribes — who all were puffed up in Pride- and drenched in the Sin and Blood of innocent – Your so-called ‘wise’ statement of seeking to correct Dysfunction would by extension of logic- lay the claim that Christ became Dysfunctional. That is simply MADNESS

      Please, for God Sake- reject that idea once and for all.
      The Healer – The Doctor/ physician trained to fight disease – is NOT diseased when he examines the patient;
      determines what the type illness- (bacteria, virus, fungus mold etc, etc) !
      NOR does the doctor become infected instantly by the mere act of the diagnosis or choice
      and administration of the medical remedy !

      You have not thought through and pondered these things in The Light of The Holy Scriptures
      You have not prayed unto The Father in The Name of Christ — with faith in Christ – with belief that God
      can answer you and enlighten your mind – reveal both The Light and what is Darkness — and use your God given gift
      and power of Choice (Free Agency) to choose The Light and then to use and live by that Light.
      Those who ask God, with a firm faith in Christ – believing that He can lead, heal and bless their lives;
      And most importantly are not and do not Keep His Commandments
      Cannot Receive The Answer of LIGHT & TRUTH necessary to discern between TRUTH and ERROR.

      You must seek The Face of The Lord – with humility, forsaking any Sin (any Darkness) with a firm resolve to never ever desire, think or act in that/those Sins– and then enter on the path and Keep The Sayings/Teachings/Commandments of Christ. THEN and only THEN will The Father hear you to the point of being able to use The Atonement of Christ to lift you from Darkness and lead you to the Path and the Persons and Chosen Vessels of LIGHT – who have God’s Authority to Teach and Administer The Truth and Saving Ordinances of God prepared for all the Children of God.

      There is TRUTH ! And There is EVIL –
      And we must rise to be greater than The Evil in intelligence, effort and steadfast enduring struggle for Light –
      line upon line; and precept upon precept. Here a little — and there a little . . . . . .
      Until we both enter upon The Strait and Narrow Path – and hold to The Word of God with an steadfastness that
      does not waver, deviate or even give ear to the detractors- the vile and debased who mock God and Godliness.
      Each and Every one who listens to those that Hate God and become embarrassed or ashamed of The Light
      will end up joining with the detractors; the mockers– and become soiled by ceasing to Hearken unto God.

      PLEASE take time and pray about my comments — and Seek in The Word of God – by The Spirit
      Then Try The Works of Christ – for He has Promised that all who will try His Works shall know from GOD
      That His Works are GOOD. There is nothing which is GOOD save it comes from Christ. <— THAT
      And That which is EVIL cometh from The Devil. <— IS FACT !
      And in all honesty, and without rancor or any attack on you– by my effort today
      Your last Statement is Dreadfully WRONG- and will lead you away from God and His Beloved Son Jesus Christ.

      with love
      Your brother and friend
      in Christ

      • matt harding on June 23, 2020 at 12:48 pm

        Hi K. Scott,

        I live in Sacramento, California, which according to recent surveys is the nation’s capitol for bad driving. When I’m out on the road and I see someone speeding up to cut in front of me, if I respond by equally speeding up to close the distance with the car in front of me, I am not only recognizing this dysfunctional driver, but I am also now participating in that driver’s dysfunction; I’ve gone and made it my own dysfunction and I’m liable to add to the accident statistic . If I want to follow Christ, then I would do well to hearken to the ancient wisdom of Philippians 2:5-9.
        Christ “empties” himself not like one empties a glass into the sink; he limits his sphere of or potential for action (eavton ekenosen) . He restrains himself and this to the point of death on a tree. You will never “win” by fighting fire with fire.

    • Marcus on August 26, 2020 at 10:53 pm

      Carey is terrified at the thought of calling people “sinners”, so he uses “unchurched” so as not to hurt their feelings and cause them to not come to church and pay him tithe. Evangelism is, of course, crucial, but making disciples of new believers is commanded. The pastor’s JOB is to minister to the flock (not the sinners) and disciple them. What he calls “consumers” are people who come to church faithfully in obedience to Hebrews 10:25, and they only thing they seek to “consume” is edification from the preaching of the word, prayer, worship, and the sacraments. He has a very callous attitude toward the people of God (i.e. saved, faithful attendees) and really should become a strict evangelist rather than a pastor, as he doesn’t have the heart of a pastor.

    • audie on February 13, 2021 at 9:36 pm

      I wonder what is meant by “those who attend but don’t engage”. Since churches seem to focus on getting people involved in various groups, or activities, or volunteering, does that mean those people are doing few, maybe even none, of those things?

      Do the church leaders understand what life is like for “normal” people? For example, the guy who works at a warehouse and puts in well over 40 hours a week so he can pay his family’s bills and maybe have a bit left over for the family vacation in the summer, or the single mother working a couple of jobs while also caring for her child or children. How are people who already have little enough time for all that is in their lives suppose to then find time to devote to some “next step”?

      A few times, I’ve though that church leaders live, or maybe work, inside a kind of wall. Inside that wall, they feel free to judge us on the outside by strange standards, standards such as “What kind of volunteer work is he doing for the church?” and “How involved was she in the church’s recent outreach event?”

      Meanwhile, those same people are trying to be Christians in their jobs, trying to raise their children to love and fear God, and to be caring neighbors. These are things that are away from the church, and can’t be quantified in church stats.

      • Frederik Norberg on February 13, 2021 at 9:51 pm

        My church pastors are married, Scandinavian, and well into their 70s. They gave up long ago trying to “guilt” people into joining groups and participate in tasks. They know exactly what ordinary church-goers experience in real life. Therefore they waste no time. They lead by example. They are janitors, mechanics, electricians, accountants, and chefs. And the congregation helps when they can.

  46. Loretta Keith on April 29, 2020 at 4:19 pm

    It’s not about what you think or i think.
    It’s about what God’s word says.
    Hebrews 10 :25 about forsake not the aseembling of
    yourselves together.
    The church is the body and each person provides
    a different function just like our physical bodies
    have arms ,legs, etc. Too many people make too many
    excuses for not attending church. You shouldn’t need a gimmick to
    to draw people to attend.
    Society has regressed with the progression of electronics.
    We have become obsessed with non contact communication.

    • JessieDavena on April 29, 2020 at 4:47 pm

      Surely Hebrews 10:25 is talking to those who are actually His people, not to a collective of people who gather in a building.
      The sheep hear His voice. The sheep are his chosen.
      Yet in the church, all I see are goats.

      Not one is hearing His voice. They are all caught up in false beliefs, false followings, and false doctrines.

      • TDunc on April 29, 2020 at 6:01 pm

        Thank you Jessie for clarifying this. So many “preachers” take Heb 10:25 incorrectly and not in the context of who Paul was talking to and what was happening at that time. Jesus never said to build buildings, cathedrals, etc. He never said “make sure you have music and a sermon and it should last between 1 hour and 1.5 hours, etc. etc etc. YOU DON”T REACH PEOPLE WITH GODS LOVE BY SITTING IN A PEW EVERY SUNDAY.

        • JessieDavena on April 29, 2020 at 11:00 pm

          Thanks for receiving and acknowledging. 🙂

        • Adelia Goncalves on October 30, 2020 at 8:26 pm

          No you don’t find that, but then when Jesus went to the Synagogue and preached and Jesus even opened to the book of Isaiah 61. The Spirit of the Lord is upon me ……… and another story when Joseph and Mary had to go back to Jerusalem after a days journey and only found Jesus three days later Luke 2:39 and what did Jesus say? He was surprised that they had no idea that he would be in his Fathers house, where else would he be? LOL
          You see man’s wisdom is folly, God’s wisdom is established already. How about; David, how he wanted to build God a temple, and God said that he couldn’t because he had too much blood on his hands but his son Solomon could. Yes, well you might say that was before Pentecost and it’s true,, but they all gathered together none the less and the Bible says; The Holy Spirit descends upon them and they were baptized with tongues of fire,was that outdoors or in the House. “Temple” ?
          In Acts 2:2, it says that the sound of a violent wind filled the whole house where they were sitting. The Temple is frequently called, “The House” in the Old Testament (see e.g. 2 Samuel 7:5). Even in Acts 7:47, the Temple is called, “The House”. The House where they were sitting was the Temple!
          Peter spoke of the Tomb of David as being there (Acts 2:29). David was buried in the “City of David” (I Kings 2:10), which is the part of Jerusalem that is the closest to the Temple Mount.
          In Acts 2:41, it says that three thousand people were baptized in response to the apostles preaching. One of the only places in Jerusalem with that much water to baptize three thousand people would have been at the southern entrance to the Temple, where there were located numerous “mikvoth”. These were ritual baths used by the worshipers to ceremonially cleanse themselves before entering the grounds of the Temple. These pools, which already symbolized the removal of the uncleanness of sin, and their proximity to where the crowds would have been gathered, gives further evidence to Pentecost happening in or around the southern stair entrance to the Temple grounds.
          All this evidence overwhelmingly points to the events of Acts 2 taking place on or near the southern stair entrance to the Temple. Hundreds of thousands of God fearing Jews from all over the known world (Acst2:5) were gathered to celebrate the Jewish Feast of Shavuot (Leviticus 23:15-22). At this ancient Jewish feast, God came in the form of tongues of fire and settled on the new believers. God moved out of his old “House”, the Temple, and moved into a new “House”, the hearts of the believers. All of this took place in the framework of Old Testament prophecies that were fulfilled at this miraculous event and it all happened at the place God had his people build a place for Him to dwell!

          Bob Dodson

        • joann on December 15, 2020 at 10:29 pm

          But it does say when three or more are gathered. When I watch church on television does not feel the same. I feel people not the building, makes the church but a screen is not the same as actuall people worshiping together in the presence of the Lord.

      • Shane Avery on May 26, 2020 at 8:58 am

        I think the reason many of us stopped attending, not stopped believing and serving, are because we feel trapped in the Church of Laodicea. We are the church. Not a building. Not a set of man made beliefs requiring our tithes to satisfy the selfish desires of the elders. Jesus himself rebuked the established religious system while He was present on this earth. He encouraged devotion to scripture and soul, living a life of servitude to God in communion with others WHO ARE LIKE-MINDED. My separation from a physical church made me realize how blind and naked I was. Let’s put healing salve on our eyes and refine ourselves (which is a painful process) so that we may stand ready at the door for our King. That is where the true church resides and with whom I will fellowship.

        Revelation 3:14-22 New International Version (NIV)
        To the Church in Laodicea
        14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:

        These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

        19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

        21 To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

        • JessieDavena on May 26, 2020 at 4:50 pm

          I believe that we are not just surrounded by the church of Laodicea. All the other churches in Revelation are with us too. It’s just what church does each person come under?

          Is your Christianity lukewarm? Is your Christianity corrupt? Is your Christianity loveless? …..

    • Andrei on May 31, 2020 at 5:36 pm

      You must never attend the church because church is the synonym of Christian temple and God does not love in temples/churches build by human hands. Since God does not live in churches, the devil lives there and operate those churches. If you attend the church and think you worship God, think twice, you worship devil! You just did not realize it. Christ and apostles never spoke of attending churches, it’s all derives from Catholics who dominated and rules over believers for centuries. You must better meet at home with other believers, remembering Christ by eating bread and drinking wine. Don’t attend those churches / temples and worship those idols / church leaders.

      • Frederik Norberg on January 24, 2021 at 4:19 pm

        So, is this one of those “Stay out of the church and be Raptured, but if you go to chucrch, you’re headed for Hades” things? So much darkness. I pray directly to Christ. I don’t think God judges whether you go to church or not. He loves you. If you come to Christ; he answers your prayers.

    • Wayne on January 24, 2021 at 3:53 pm

      Not everything written in the bible is Gods word..what you’ve quoted are the words of Paul…Mention those words to The Lord God and he’ll most likely ask you if you hadn’t read what he did to shiloh.

  47. Tim Watson on April 28, 2020 at 2:44 pm

    The Israelites are coming.

  48. Upplady on March 7, 2020 at 4:18 pm

    And on those Sundays when I have no official role, I’m plagued with the question “Why go to church?”

  49. Bob Thomas on February 28, 2020 at 11:04 pm

    I realized that regular fellowship includes the Father, Son and Holy Spirit . Small groups don’t regularly bring that. That my “Emancipation Proclamation” from the church building was found in verses that include; John 14:20, John 14:26, John 16:14, 1 John 4:8, 1 John 2:27 & Matthew 11:25-27 to name a few. That divine appointments were arranged by God when I kept my eyes open for them . Finally … that when my ears listened for the words of affirmation from above, they sound was so much sweeter than that from my fellow man.

    The review comments condemning the president were bit harsh as he has exhibited more pastoral initiative
    with his leadership than several of the mega church pastors I have witnessed here in Michigan. The tone might be loud but the truth is being spoken … “God will help us.” “Believe” moves us off status quo and presses us into faith in God rather than faith in a Government of men or a church ruled by men (ISA 2:22, Psalm 116:11 & JER 9:4-6). The “Church” still has the Truth (Jesus is Lord) … but has lost Trust in diluting that Truth. Tell them ( new attenders ) to “read the Word themselves , and when they do, they won’t need the church building any longer .” That is exactly what Jesus witnessed in John 16:22-30; they saw that Jesus wanted more FOR THEM than FROM THEM. That did not happen in the churches I’ve been a part of over the last three decades. The church of Matthew 18:20 may be the only church that may end up being endorsed by the only ONE that matters.

    • Melinda Jo Johnston on May 22, 2020 at 2:52 am

      I will tell you why I stopped going to church! I went to a Bible church . it was tought from the scripture and I loved it and I learned and grew in faith. After losing a child to a horrific accident, my ex- husband took up a grievance with me and blamed me. The church I attended knew he worked as an establishe airline company and knew he would be bringing in more of the monies than helping a grieving woman find a good job and supporting her in any way they can so I could get through through the divorce that he dicided was necessary. Nobody in the church backed me…the one that tried to keep the divorce from happening…the one that stood resolute in faith and character. The church;h definitely became poisonous and I never attended one again after. I had to work 3 jobs to stay afloat, but then I crashed into deep depression. Nobody was there to help me. Nobody was there to save me from losing everything I had. And I found that the world outside of the church had more empathy than the people that attended church…that was very sad to me. But now when people say they are Christians…in my mind they are hypocrites and I think that is so haughty to say ” I am a Christian” I am a firm believer in the One true Son of God. I have walked a very hard path and am tired of the so-called “Christian” judging me because I refuse to attend church- even the programs on tv.

      • Bob Thomas on May 24, 2020 at 8:17 pm

        It may be God allowed you to go through all you experienced simply to put you in the place to be God dependent and no longer Co dependent. It may sound harsh but that is exactly what He wants.

        • JessieDavena on May 24, 2020 at 8:33 pm

          You, Bob, are like Job’s friends. Spouting ungodly crap! And your advice is from the “so-called” Christian religion..
          You don’t know the God written of in the Bible. I can tell by your useless comment.

          • Bob Thomas on May 24, 2020 at 8:49 pm

            I fell 22 feet out of a tree in 2013 and had a new hip DEC 13 and new knee JAN 14.
            NO card or follow up from mega church I tithed and volunteered at for 14 years. I did begin to read the word every day since and realize I was never going to hear from God corporately the way He was now speaking to me personally. I heard pastors say “If you don’t trust me, read the bible yourself”… they should have added, ” then you won’t need me” 1 John 2:27. I pray that you don’t take a victim position as we are all victimizers / sinners and Jesus is the only Savior . Nobody else can really help us. Read EZE 14:14 & 14:20. May God bless you only He can.

      • JessieDavena on May 24, 2020 at 8:41 pm

        Sorry for all that you have gone through. The Word says that very few find the path that leads to life.
        Hang in there with God. I know it is hard to do when you’re surrounded by goats and wolves.
        Remember what Jesus said about those who are treated badly and to rejoice, for so were the prophets treated. I hope this gives you something to hold on to.
        There are a lot of things we can draw on from the Word that helps us with our understanding.

        You are special. A rare find.

  50. Patrick on February 23, 2020 at 9:51 am

    Man… I was really hoping this would help. But it still doesn’t do it… and it doesn’t really answer the real question of why I should go to church, or why Sunday church even matters… I was in ministry for 10 years and no longer am. I wrestle with my purpose in the church and why continuing to attend even matters. 100%, the “you are the church” argument just flat out doesn’t hold much weight, because the question is not “am I the church?” the question is “why should I GO to church.” Am I unable to BE the church on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at my corporate, secular workplace? At home with my family? On a Thursday morning coffee with friends? Why does GOING to church all the sudden MAKE me the church just by simply being a warm body in the room? I would argue that going to church actually does not make me the church… rather, being an influential light and follower of Jesus and representative of his on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc in the world does. and again… IN THE SECULAR WORLD. We can argue that going to a Sunday bible study is helpful for our faith and what not, but can’t I do that by myself or at home with my family, or by listening to a podcast? So again, the question still remains: Why does going to church matter? “Because I AM the church” just truthfully doesn’t hold weight, and although I’m desperately searching for one good reason to believe in the church of today… I still haven’t found one. Is it possible that if we (pastors and full time staff) were to be fully honest with ourselves (job security, financial security, image, and identity aside) … maybe going to church on Sunday morning really does not matter.

    • Caren LeMark on March 24, 2020 at 12:15 am

      Acts 20:7 The apostles gathered on the Lord’s Day to break bread.
      I Corinthians 11:17-34
      We believe that this is the inspired word of God. Therefore, we follow it!

      • Leonard Carroll on March 31, 2020 at 10:54 pm

        I agree with you, Caren, and I do as you do. However, I am finding it near impossible to bring others to a church that is vibrant and has a large number who are under 30, under 20 and under 10. We sing passionately for a large part of our service and the young are our principal leaders – they are setting up the musical side more than thirty minutes before the service even begins. When we are singing towards the end of our service the toddlers are encouraged to get up on ‘stage’, dance, run, jump, whatever they please. “Suffer the little children to come unto me for of such is the Kingdom of God.”
        However, Caren, I am becoming more and more convinced that our future is mainly online – not totally, but mainly. You are the type of ‘hands-on’ individual who can direct the way.
        May God bless you abundantly for your persistent faith.

    • JessieDavena on April 26, 2020 at 9:48 am

      I don’t go to church because every single Christian I know doesn’t follow the God of the Bible.
      False doctrines, false beliefs. Super spiritual crap. So many reasons.
      I tolerate my Christian friends ick because they are my friends. But I cringe when I go to one of their places… so called Christian music from teachers of false doctrine. Photos and prayers on a board under a photo of a false prophet.
      Another group of friends think that Hinduism, New Age, and other false doctrines are of God.

      I am annoyed with them, and I am angry at God.
      The way my husband, my son, and myself have been treated by so called Christians. And then to have false doctrine preached at me by my deceived friends who have been told many times that I disagree with their doctrine. It has got me wondering whether the God of the Bible exists, or if He is just a story. A very sorry state to be in.

      I knowingly choose to do things God’s word says not to do. I knowingly choose not to do what He wants me to do. How do I know…. because of what is written in the Bible. And I am careful about which Bible I choose to go by.

      • Andrei on June 20, 2020 at 5:32 pm

        And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. -Matthew 24:12

        • JessieDavena on June 21, 2020 at 8:18 am

          Think what you want.
          I’m waiting to discover whether He really does exist. Surely God can speak for Himself as He did to people in the Old Testament.
          Relying on just a book is no longer enough. I need the real being. And He won’t be found in what the churches call spiritual encounters with Him.
          If He shows Himself to be real, and shows He wants to be in an active relationship with me, my love for Him will not be considered cold.
          As a human, I was given more than just reading to full my “love tank”.

          • Matt on June 21, 2020 at 4:32 pm

            Right on, Jessie. Personally, I think that the whole “personal relationship” thing is a bridge too far. It’s all about me, me , me when what my belief should be is about the welfare of others. I’m not denying that God can’t or won’t show up in our lives and impact us in profound ways/shake us to the core, but if I’m always looking for God to do something for me, then I’m missing the point because he has already done enough. I’m convinced that you’ll have your moment, but it probably won’t come as you expect.

            Hey, short story: I remember this friend of mine, a bass-playing tattoo artist who had muscles on his muscles. He was a man’s man and he was also very tough inside as well. One day we were talking about God and he just opened up about his childhood with an abusive, mentally ill mother who often locked him in the hall closet. He was super worked up and almost yelling, “Where was God then! ” and all of the sudden, like midstream in his torrent of words he goes silent and then he covers his face and moments pass. He looks up and he’s crying. I’m like, “Uh, what just happened?” He tells me that as he’s raging, he remembers how when life was hard back then he would sit in his room and draw and he remembers how when he drew he felt like his insides were flooded with sunshine. As he’s remembering this moment, he hears–not literally– a voice tell him, “Hey, that sunshine feeling? That was me” and he knows that it’s God speaking to him. Damn.

    • Matt on June 20, 2020 at 9:36 am

      Hi Patrick,

      I couldn’t agree more with your post, but I’ll add that going it alone isn’t the answer–at least not for me. Even though I’m a an introvert with a reflective streak, I need people to bounce things off of, to disagree with, to challenge and encourage me and to hold me accountable; however, I don’t need an institution.

    • Adelia Goncalves on October 30, 2020 at 9:05 pm

      Matthew 16:15,16,17
      …15“But what about you?” Jesus asked. “Who do you say I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by My Father in heaven.…17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by My Father in heaven. 18And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.…

      If you are a believer then this is for you. None other than just merely believing in God, for the Bible says in James 2
      Now what use is it, my brothers, for a man to say he “has faith” if his actions do not correspond with it? Could that sort of faith save anyone’s soul? If a fellow man or woman has no clothes to wear and nothing to eat, and one of you say, “Good luck to you I hope you’ll keep warm and find enough to eat”, and yet give them nothing to meet their physical needs, what on earth is the good of that? Yet that is exactly what a bare faith without a corresponding life is like—useless and dead. If we only “have faith” a man could easily challenge us by saying, “you say that you have faith and I have merely good actions. Well, all you can do is to show me a faith without corresponding actions, but I can show you by my actions that I have faith as well.” To the man who thinks that faith by itself is enough I feel inclined to say, “So you believe that there is one God? That’s fine. So do all the devils in hell and shudder in terror!” For, my dear short-sighted man, can’t you see far enough to realise that faith without the right actions is dead and useless? Think of Abraham, our ancestor. Wasn’t it his action which really justified him in God’s sight when his faith led him to offer his son Isaac on the altar? Can’t you see that his faith and his actions were, so to speak, partners—that his faith was implemented by his deed? That is what the scripture means when it says: ‘Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. And he was called the friend of God.’

      You are free to be the living stones, build upon the Rock of Jesus Christ, whether joining a congregation or in a smaller group, God is in the midst of them where two or three are gathered in my name said Jesus. You are still His friend and so long as you yield and submit to the King of kings and Lord of lords and your fellowship is day and night then all power to him, if you mature enough to move on where the Lord wants you to be, whether in a Church building congregating amongst other believers or with a small group. But remain in the vine and partner with God.

    • Cathy Peacher on July 25, 2021 at 3:33 pm

      Because we need people. Because people need us even when they don’t behave like they need us. We need the Body of Christ to encourage and pray with one another. We need to worship together. We will worship together in Heaven one day so we should practice at least one day of the week at loving each other however small or large that may be and trust that the Holy Spirit will work through us.

      • Jayda on July 25, 2021 at 8:09 pm

        I have read and kept up with all these comments because the topic is important to me; and I just wanted you to know this is my favorite comment so far. Thank you!

  51. Dale Hanken on February 9, 2020 at 8:52 am

    I quite attending and no longer care about church as the church has no morals. It supports a Adulterous, lying fool of a “president”. It teaches woman to be second class citizens, takes to deprive women of their rights, and quotes itself as biblical. The Bible was written in a time,when women were treated as property. There was gross cruelty. I don’t want a biblical church. I have no hate of gay people God made us all and everyone has their beliefs. So I now stay away from a Misogynist, hate group

    • David on February 9, 2020 at 12:13 pm

      Dale, the church you describe isn’t what Jesus intended. Jesus came along and gave women value in a culture that devalued them. He valued children and made it clear we should also. Jesus valued everyone and welcomed the unwelcome into his group, Matthew a tax collector. Western civilization has been shaped by first century and second century Christians. The church has missed the mark so many times but Jesus never did. There are churches that love and value people just as Jesus did. Sadly there are many others as you have described. I truly believe following Jesus can make my life better and make me better at life.

      • Leonard Carroll on March 31, 2020 at 11:04 pm

        Very well spoken, David, in a manner that all can understand. May God continue to bless you as He so obviously has thus far done.

    • Mike on February 18, 2020 at 5:45 pm

      Dale. Looks like you are another person who suffers from a bad case of TDS. I wonder if you were so critical of the last seed smoking, transexual loving President who hate the children of God?

    • VJ Grimes on February 22, 2020 at 1:41 pm

      You don’t attend church because it doesn’t represent your values? The article says, You ARE the church. Your values go into the place you contribute (serve). We have a group of former business people who say, “Don’t worry your little head—leave it to us.” This misses the point here too, ENGAGEMENT is the greatest motivator. If “you” do everything, no one has a chance, “They don’t need me.” Our strata can be the same. The place turns into a dump if no one feels purposeful, someone else change the light bulbs, sweep the snow, salt the walks. No one cares—let Jesus do it. People need to feel compelled, called, to step up, and it is in our human nature! If there is no role for me here? I’ll find somewhere else to invest my time and talents, where I can feel “membership, autonomy, mastery,” (D. Pink). Except when I experience deficit (grief, joblessness, despair), it is in a place where I feel beside-the-point, simply applaud, that I feel little interest beyond, “Thank you for YOUR service.” Oh, and that’s another one, military members blush and turn away, “Thank you for your service,” is merely admitting, “Better you than me.” “If you aren’t with us (in substantial ways), you’re against us.” Bowing your head on the golf links for a moment of silence doesn’t cut it. You are the church, you are the country (JFK’s speech refers). Be the change (M. Mead). “I have seen the enemy and he is us,” in the demise of a really good idea (the God idea). The reinvention of the wheel is inevitable—“Gee, we have a variety of talents, let’s invest ourselves in a worthy mission!” Novel. Renewal. Your absence is a sign something is percolating in you, “In with the new.”

      • David Rivers on February 22, 2020 at 4:13 pm

        I love it VJ.

    • Ruth R on August 3, 2020 at 11:03 am

      I think here is an example of why people are leaving “the Church,” actually, leaving their faith. Their minds have been manipulated into embracing an alternative “faith,” known as Critical Theory. This concept goes back to the 1920s, when the Frankfurt School reinvented the philosophy of Karl Marx, including culture as a whole not only the economic system, dividing all people in classes oppressed and oppressor. The terms used in the comment here are popular in our universities, media, entertainment, and politics. As another example, Critical Race Theory uses terms like “white privilege” to condemn the “original sin” of Western Civilization: racism. You are expected to genuflect in shame if you are among the “oppressors.” On the contrary, the gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us that we are all equally sinners, equally fallen short of God’s glory. Some of us are not “more wicked” than others, and no one is an “innocent” victim. To go along with this powerful evil spirit of Critical Theory, especially influencing the minds of our younger generations, is to reject Jesus Christ’s sacrifice and to accept a new belief system or worldview. Note that this only divides us, rather than uniting us under the saving grace of Jesus, which we celebrate by uniting on the Lord’s Day, and especially when we memorialize it together, with bread and wine, as Jesus commanded.

      • matt harding on August 3, 2020 at 12:07 pm

        Hi Ruth,

        I wonder exactly how many readers on this site have any idea what you are referring to, or even more, have read a book by Richard Rorty or any of the other writers who might be considered “Critical Theory.” I think that many people leave the church for reasons not associated with becoming involved/invested in Critical Theory. I will add though that since Critical Theory must ” explain what is wrong with current social reality, identify the actors to change it, and provide both clear norms for criticism and achievable practical goals for social transformation,” I would see it as a welcome tool to peel back the layers of Americanism (see Brian Zahnd) that has masqueraded as Christianity in this country.

  52. Alan on January 24, 2020 at 9:43 pm

    You should go to and be identified with a Bible-believing evangelical church because Christ commands it.

    There is a dangerous and unfortunately popular line of thinking these days that dismisses church membership and even the church itself in favor of “a personal relationship with Jesus.” To make that choice is to embrace a false dilemma, one that resonates with countless professing Christians. (emphasis on the word “professing”)

    What is the central practice of the Christian life—that most crucial habit which no believer should ever endeavor to do without? It’s not personal devotions or Bible reading, as important as those are. It’s not even private prayer or attending Christian conferences.
    The central practice of the Christian life, at least biblically speaking, is gathering together as Christ’s body for corporate worship, for hearing the Word, and for participating in the sacraments.

    • Matt on June 20, 2020 at 2:23 pm

      Hi Alan,
      No, Jesus did not command anyone to join a church, nor did he tell his followers to create churches with ideological axes to grind. That’s a good question that you ask, though. I’ll agree that the gathering together is vital, but even more vital–or just as vital–is the practicing of shalom. You can gather together all you want, but if you’re doing it for the wrong mission, you’re missing it.

  53. Jay Greatens on January 8, 2020 at 10:46 am

    This article title caught my attention. I have found myself lately disinterested in attending church and your comment about “we are the church” and comments about being a consumer vs contributor are excellent. I have found it very easy lately to just stay home, listen to a sermon, from a variety of pastors in the area, but am missing the community of believers and recognize that I am not obedient to God’s calling to not forsake corporate worship and being a part of kingdom growth.

    My concern however is that your article suggests going back to the “seeker sensitive model”, which I was a part of in the “90’s and it failed and unfortunately the fallout is a generation of burned out people, who do not really know each other or care to know each other. Church is for the believer, and we lost sight of that It is a community of believers, the body of Christ that when healthy and functioning well, will be a support to the believer and in doing so be a living example to the unchurched and unbeliever in the community, that becomes our witness and our outreach to a greater degree. Thoughts?

    • T Dunc on January 8, 2020 at 11:44 am

      Ive been following this article for some time. And contemplating what is the future church. I can come to no other conclusion than to be a missionary. This can be done in any place, any “missionary field”. It has no requirements of buildings or boards. Consumer Christianity is the saddest thing to happen to His kingdom.

      • Sigh on February 22, 2020 at 7:12 am

        Honestly, I’ve visited so many churches, done many ministries and I’ve yet to encounter any love in any church. Always someone backstabbing, gossiping, and ulterior motives. You enter one trial and where are the brothers and sisters? Fellowship ends at the door. I don’t see how a modern church fits His vision if everyone is out for themselves. A majority of the church flees when service is over. I was very loving, naive, altruistic, but no more. Not going to church I can’t say I’m happy but I’m no longer miserable.

        I find my friends in the Lord outside of the Churches I’ve attended are my true spiritual family, and my own quiet time with Him are worth more than many attendances at any church.

        • Adelia Goncalves on October 30, 2020 at 10:06 pm

          I’m sorry you got hurt, I can say that I did a lot of times, but I think I’m just a resilient person, coming from a Chrisitan home when I thought how come abuse from an angry dad, clearly has a mental health problem is Christianity, we just had to go with the flow, unfortunately as children and a part of the biological family who attends Church religiously and even cell group at home. Let’s forgive and forget because now as an adult, life has its own pressure and an angry frustrated dad comes with it. It sounds bad and we think Chrisitanity doesn’t work, people are just imperfect living beings, as well as the rest of the society what’s the difference anymore. We have to understand that the place is full of sinners, converted saints, saved by grace, redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ, bought with his blood, trying to live better, build a better character and all at some point were broken and they are loved by Jesus and called to repentance by the Father of all mercy and grace. You will find that everyone is sick and need a healer. Let us have compassion one for another and as painful as it is now I know we are passing from death to life and the life to come is worth all the suffering this world can ever offer. Whatever God leads you to do, lean on him and keep the faith. Fight the good fight and you will not be dissapointed. To refine gold it must first go through the fire, is being hurt and forgiving anyway the character that comes with suffering.
          Romans 8: 17 & 18 17And if we are children, then we are heirs: heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ—if indeed we suffer with Him, so that we may also be glorified with Him. 18 I consider that our present sufferings are not comparable to the glory that will be revealed in us. 19The creation waits in eager expectation for the revelation of the sons of God.…
          My husband turned away because he got offended by a pastor that had to know what sort of profession people do and he felt he was not as importantly treated as the ones that were in a more expensive profession. I guess when it came to giving it may not be good enough. So we do get hurt and Jesus knows and that’s why he is our Lord and God.

    • David on January 8, 2020 at 11:55 am

      My point was not to look at different models of how we do church. It was about being the church, the body of Christ. Yes, we should be a support system for fellow believers because we are a family with the same Heavenly Father. But just being good (which I know I struggle) or just believing is not enough. Jesus was action oriented and outward focused. We see over and over again “as he was going” he met people where they were physically and spiritually in life. He said he came to “serve others, not be served”. He tells his inner circle of guys to go and make disciples teaching them, being an example of what Jesus had taught and did for others. We can be examples for others to see when we do more than just believe. But when we put those beliefs into life changing actions outside of our walls and go and do what Jesus and later what his disciples did love others as Christ loved us.

    • Trev on June 14, 2020 at 12:23 am

      You nailed it on the head. It is pointing to a seeker-friendly model. Which is not what the church was made for. It is for believers and we invite others to be apart of it. I have found seeker-friendly churches that merely make the church look nice at the cost of what it truly stands for. I am drawn to people who know what they believe. I am not saying we shouldn’t focus inviting in new people but we shouldn’t compromise the values. Hebrews 4:11 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

      • Bob Thomas on June 15, 2020 at 7:40 am

        What comes to mind when I read your reply is MATT 23:13. I believe that more than a few pastors ( I’ve been an eye witness to several) might be knowingly producing false converts by not speaking truth out of fear of offending attendees. When do they plan on telling biblical truth … it may be too late for many as no one knows the hour of their death.

  54. Lee on December 30, 2019 at 4:23 am

    The church was started 1000’s of years before Yeshua (Jesus) showed up. Israel was and still in (in a sense) the church. The church was about COMMUNITY. Today it’s about entertainment or listening to a talking head for 45 minutes share HIS/HER views of Scripture. That’s it! Nothing more. No community anymore.

    • Lee on December 30, 2019 at 4:27 am

      ……….and frankly, you give feedback to the hierarchy and most of the time will be belittled or ignored with any constructive ideas or suggestions to deal with the dying issue…..

    • Mary on December 30, 2019 at 4:00 pm

      The true church was started with Abraham. He humbled hi
      Self before God and thus was given perfect judgment ( the ability to understand and teach Gods way)and was ordained of God to be the father of many ( many who will believe and take hold of this great judgment. ( judgment is the embodiment of faith , hope and love)
      As God’s great evolutionary plan moved forward to deliver mankind from using our own Judgment( which is what we do apart from Gods Spirit , he sent his only begotten son so that all of mankind is given an opportunity to have perfect judgment , thus receive salvation through belief in His name ., Yahoshua Messiah – Don’t stop at 3:16 – but read on to 3:18. In fact the entire chapter of John is a good place to start, especially if you are interested in coming out of religion and seeking God ( Yahweh) .

  55. David on December 17, 2019 at 12:15 am

    One of the questions I ask, if our church in our community ceased to exist would anyone notice. If the answer is they wouldn’t notice then we are not having the impact Christ has called us to have. It doesn’t matter if the word of God is being preached or it is just fancy feel good words. We are not being followers of Christ and being doers. Sharing a sacrificial love that all Christ followers are called to do. Many people call themselves Christians but lack the fruit of the Spirit, love , joy, peace, patience kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self control. Followers of Christ put others needs ahead of their own. This is what made the first century eklasia so contagious. It is being authentic with others and sharing the good news of Gods gift to all the people. If the church you attended ceased to exist how Long would it take for them to notice or miss it?

    • Lee on December 30, 2019 at 4:25 am

      No, the wider community would_not_notice or care for that matter. The ‘church’ has become IRRELEVANT. It is merely a religious SOCIAL CLUB.

    • Ken Morgan on January 6, 2020 at 9:59 am

      No evidence of the holy spirit working in church people so pretense

  56. Frederik Norberg on December 14, 2019 at 4:24 pm

    If you ask 50 people how a church should be run, you will get 50 different answers with every shade of grey along the way. One church is too biblical and not open enough, another is too open and not biblical enough. The problem is no one is ever going to agree on a church that (ideally) would include everyone. So, should we worry about church attendance? A little, but not to the point where finger-pointing and shouting take the place of the Peace of God and the Bliss of Christ. My church is small, getting smaller, but I realized it’s time to stop worrying about church attendance and to better focus on what we can receive from God’s blessing, and how to spread the message of Jesus through our community. Our church does this in small but very effective ways (food pantry, etc.) If you don’t have enough members who can successfully wrap Christmas gifts at the mall (which we used to do as an outreach to the community) then maybe it’s time to find a different way to meet and greet those who might be willing to listen. Also, far better than proselytizing, focus on doing good works for the sake of just helping people. You would be surprised how many people respond to God more from honest caring rather than being told “you are going to hades” or to “vote a certain way”. And if my church gets so small it disappears, I will not cry or yell about complacency (Ye without sin cast the first stone). Instead I will be grateful to have had such a wonderful congregation that I had. Gratitude. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

    • Abner Santos-Pepin on December 14, 2019 at 7:01 pm

      Lol alright skippy

      • Frederik Norberg on December 15, 2019 at 7:09 pm

        Mr. Pepin (are you a blood relative of chef Jacques Pepin, perhaps?) If you have an actual reply to my comment, something less juvenile and more enlightening, please regale us with your wisdom. And that’s Mr, Skippy to you.

      • Lee on December 30, 2019 at 4:28 am

        Abner Santos-Pepin needs to grow up into an adult……

    • Elizabeth Kirk on December 16, 2019 at 11:58 am

      I totally appreciate your comment… I joined a very small church about two yearss ago. Initially I was very upset that it was so small and appeared to have no real chance of growing, but then realized that this “little” church had love, kindness and more of a spirit of God and Christ than most of the big churches I previously attended..This church could clearly be designated as a “dying” church, but as long as the dedicated few keep attending and doing what they are doing now.. it will die a dignified death… Most of the congregation is over 65 , the oldest being 95 and the youngest almost 2.. the average sunday attendance is 10- to 15, but the fellowship, love, true worship, etc, make it more of a church than most of the churches surrounding it…. God has His way of handling these things… I

      I previously attended a church that was also classified as dying, and as we attended the council meetings each week, and prayed for a miracle, we totally expected each week to be closed down by the local Conference,,, and YET, through the grace of God, small as they may be they continue to survive… When I moved to a new state , the search for a church began and I ended up in this very small historic AME church. This precious church was part of the Underground RR in Pa, and in 2020 will be celebrating its 200th.. anniversary… God will decide when this church will close just as He as decided to keep it open at this point.

      • Frederik Norberg on December 16, 2019 at 12:18 pm

        Thanks Elizabeth for your wonderful reply!

    • Rod DeFigh on March 29, 2020 at 3:01 pm

      So much activity happening here. Must have triggered a sensitive nerve with our church going experiences. For what its worth here is my attempt at entering the conversation. This reply is for anyone an everyone.
      We as a human race have done some amazing things over our long history. We made it to the moon and back didn’t we. But more importantly we invented the flushable toilet and there ain’t no going back from that. My parents used to tell me about the hole in the ground and the Sears n Roebucks catalog they used as, well, you know. We as the “created in Gods image people” can invent anything we set our minds too. The pew was invented long ago for the church service but most modern churches have traded those in for the comfy padded chairs. How about the microphone and all things electronic. And then there are the modern heating and ventilation systems. Have we given any thought to re-inventing the Bible? After all it was written in ancient times and times have changed. Most of us here in the civilized world have put slavery to rest. We could make that point more clear. Our new Bible could clarify all those passages that leave us scratching our heads like “women are to keep silent in the church or women being saved in child baring. Do a search on Bible verses that Christians love to ignore and see what comes up. So we could fix all those as well. Our new Bible could address all those topics that our current Bible is silent about or ignores. We as people were created by God as sexual beings but let’s be honest there is a whole lot left unsaid in our old Bible when it comes to sex and some that we could restate in a more modern context.
      There are some observations I have made late in life that the church ignores. The big one for me is the role of the father to his children. A case in point, the Graham family, Aka the Billy Graham family. Read Franklin Grahams biography, “Rebel with a cause.” He for a time rebelled against his faith and the church. When he most needed his father, he was sent to a boarding school, a southern boy shipped off to New York. Billy Graham was asked late in life what regrets he may have had. His reply, “Yes, I didn’t spend enough time with my family.” How did he miss that? How did we miss that? How do we miss that even now? If a Christian man has a son and or daughter, being a father is his first ministry. All other endeavors in life are secondary. I have turned sixty this year. Over all those decades I have observed many “ideal Christian families” whose children fell away from the church and the faith. The common denominator of these families was the disengagement of the father in the lives of his sons and daughters. I’m talking about Bible and seminary educated fathers in some cases. Daughters having sons without marring their fathers and so these sons advance through life without that irreplaceable input of their fathers. The biological father or his absence is huge in a young mans life. I once knew a young man, who was given up to the state by his father when he was before the age of memory (1970’s) He grew up in foster families. When I knew him he always had a picture of his father in his wallet. The young mans first marriage failed after two years, he moved away and I lost touch with him. Many years later as I thought back on it I realized that this young man desperately needed and wanted his father and he was lost without him.
      Dust off your Bible as it exist now and read about the sons of Moses the great law giver who lead Israel out of Egypt to the Promise Land and the sons of Samuel the great Prophet. Moses sons fell into obscurity and Samuels sons fell in to sin. The common denominator of Moses and Samuel? The absence of their fathers. People of the church, when are we going to preach that sermon?
      My Great Grandfather DeFigh was born 1865. His mother did not marry his father therefore he grew up without knowing him. My oldest brother died a couple years ago. He was in poor health and virtually homeless and never married. He lived in the basement of a charitable family the last few years of his life, he was 65, a life with so much potential unrealized. He was lost. I know my family well and it has become clear that my Great Grandfathers legacy was passed down for over one hundred and fifty years, father to son and father to son. If we ever get around to reinventing the Bible for modern times lets be sure to include a lengthy book that covers in depth the importance of the father. We could change our church and change the world if we did that.

    • Heidi Overall on August 27, 2020 at 12:38 am

      This was actually done on a Facebook page. And ALL who have commented thus far (approximately 40) have agreed. No debating on there about how a church should be run. These are people from all walks of life, from different places and at different levels of faith. All want the Church to come out of the government 501c3. All want to be better prepared for spiritual warfare. All want to have pastors that care more about their flock than their wallet. All want to be edified and corrected when necessary. All want only the TRUTH based solely on the Bible and not on man’s traditions and false doctrines. ALL want the Sabbath to be brought back as the true day of rest, the true day to keep holy. All want the Church to stop celebrating pagan holidays. That’s 40 people from different areas, different walks of life, different levels of faith that want the same.

  57. S.C. on December 2, 2019 at 11:04 pm

    My church does live services I can view. I can watch on my phone too. At least in those two environment I won’t be glared at by a bunch of people who don’t even know me but still gossip about me over some silly and stupid misunderstanding. This went on for almost a year and I became discouraged. Knowing that things weren’t going to be resolved but would either stay the same or only get worse, I lost might desire and eventually left. Don’t blame me – blame those who are being what they are for causing me to leave. I have no time for cultural social clubs. Sorry.

    • Paul on December 8, 2019 at 11:21 pm

      Let me clear things up. I already told you what to do. “To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good…All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills…Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it…Earnestly desire the spiritual gifts…What then? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up…If anyone thinks he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that the things I am writing to you are a command of the Lord…”

      • Mary Price on December 9, 2019 at 1:30 am

        Who was Paul speaking to? ….. He was speaking to those who had been already taught the true Gospel and who believed in the basic doctrine of the initiation into the real church as shown in the book of Acts. He was speaking to an assembly of believers who had received the baptism of the Holy Spirit and who were already members of the body, real church, and who were being taught and encouraged by the apostle Paul himself.
        In todays ” churches” people are not being taught the truth. A perverted gospel is what the churches of today offer and it does not bring life to the body. the pastors are feeding the flock a pack of lies from start to finish ( though inadvertently) and making them believe that they have been “saved” when they are not even being fed the sincere milk of the Word and when the pastors themselves have not even believed in the true gospel.
        The truth does exist and it is there for whomever will humble themselves before God and wait upon him to lead the way.
        People can completely memorize every verse in the bible, graduate from the finest schools of theology and will still be in total darkness and unless the truth is revealed to them through God’s Spirit they will remain in darkness.
        Mark 4:12
        The great apostle Paul had to unlearn his religious teaching and it only happened because the Messiah himself revealed his name ( Yahoshua ) to Paul ( Whose name was Saul at the time) in the perfect tongue of judgement. He will give his perfect judgement to all who will cry out to him. John 7:37( kjv).. Yahoshua stood and cried , if any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink.

        • Lee on December 30, 2019 at 4:29 am


  58. Paula Bryant on December 1, 2019 at 11:24 am

    I am at the point of my life right now trying to decide if I should altogether stop going. It’s like man want attention and they are not caring how they get it. Using Church for own gain is saying who you are really serving. God words are there for anyone who wants to hear maybe some would take focus of themselves and keep it on Our One And Only Living God! And just stay on Scripture and not themselves it could really help others. We know that the living God is not of confusion just Truth it’s so many chapters that pertains to our everyday life. We must know what Our Father is speaking not mans point of view. His word are his words not for us to turn it around to focus on their life. Now it’s about you and not God. The word is the Word for everyone. Man has made so much error in changing things to fit their on lifestyle if we not coming with truth God word. do to the fact is that we are still living the very things that needs to be talking about. Then repent not repeat or just step down if the Shepard is loss who can lead his sheep. Yes we are!! False teaching is a huge problem let’s be honest. I have been studying more at home and with family and a lot of them has been making huge changes in their lives. I’m going to leave with this God is a loving Father and he is to be feared.the beginning of knowledge is to fear understanding God words. (Scripture)When we really fear something we obey it do what it say Our Savior paid an Amazing
    Ultimate Sacrifice for us to obey Gods world. We must repay with obedience to what he is saying to do not man repent not repeat.
    May Our One And Only Living God Be With You He Is At The Door. Blessings Love And Peace.

    • Mary Price on December 3, 2019 at 4:43 am

      My journey coming out of the so called “church” and into the light began about 60 years ago.
      Here’s what the Spirit has taught me: The churches of today are a part of a huge harlot system where the true gospel is wrenched and twisted into various religious organizations of man . Although many people managed to come out of the great whore of Babylon (Catholicism) during the time of the great reformation ( around 15-1600’s) they never came out from among her completely, but instead began to insert their own personal doctrines mixed in with a little truth, hence; the birth of the daughters (Christianity) of that Great Whore.. i.e. all of Christianity ( with her various denominations and so-called non-denominations, which are simply offshoots of other denominations .. which God cautions his people to come out of . Rev. 18:4 kjv
      My claim is that the church today is nowhere to be found ( the real church, body of believers, those people who adhere to the apostles doctrine). However, I do know that the truth does exist and I do know that God is able to teach and guide us into his perfect truth which is the same today as it was taught over 2000 years ago, but which has been greatly wrenched and distorted by a perverted gospel, being cleverly taught world wide. The bible calls it doctrines of demons…. and the peer pressure to become a part of this huge mess of Christianity is massive. ( their fear of me is taught by the precepts of men) Isaiah 29:13 kjv
      I thank God that he is restoring the truth to his people who will fear his name and call upon his name, thereby choosing life (truth) over death ( religious lies) and that he is preparing a body ( the real church) for himself .
      Just as the devil deceived the first humans who were given souls, our religious leaders are deceiving billions of people, and with the same old lie that he told Eve, “surely you will not die”.
      The apostles doctrine, given to the early church by the messiah himself, has not changed, but our religious leaders have wrenched it greatly, though inadvertently, because these lies have been handed down from their fathers and past generations. These seemingly innocent lies that are craftily taught in religion ( they have had over 2000 years to practice the wrenching of the gospel) will cause horrific consequences in the near future to everyone one on the planet. Yet, the truth does exist. If we will become as little children and humble ourselves before God and seek him with the whole heart. For he will liberally teach all truth to those who desire to know the living God. He is a great and merciful God to those who will acknowledge him. His name is Yahweh, meaning I AM God Almighty. In short form ( as his beloved King David called him, Yah (meaning I AM). His messianic name is Yahoshua ..(meaning I AM SALVATION).
      His messianic name can be pronounced and spelled somewhat differently due to interfacing of languages and so forth but spellings are not nearly as important as the meaning of his name ( Yah) meaning I AM and the meaning of the saviors God given name, Yah oshua meaning I AM SALVATION. His name is of the upmost importance.
      Matt. 18:3 kjv We simply must become as little children and learn from our maker. Unless we do that we will in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven…. Isaiah 28:9kjv God will teach those who are weaned from the from the milk and drawn from the breast ( of what?) Of the conventional wisdom of theology ( Christianity). So if you are done with playing church and ready for the truth , go straight to the source . The true (spiritual) church is being built and once the church is completed ( fleshly temple; the body of real believers) then the rapture will happen.
      Time is short. Let us call upon the name of our maker, pay attention and follow his lead.
      Just after all of the apostles died and the stone temple ( which was made to house God’s name ) was destroyed again, the religious and political leaders of that day had God’s name removed from the scriptures and replaced with a different name which later,during the reformation was again changed to Jesus in order to conceal it’s obvious meaning, originally given in order to appease the huge Zeus worshipping populous of their day. That’s all they needed to do in order to catapult their lies into mans own religion and traditions that have endured and gotten even worse until this day. God’s name has been removed from our English bibles over 7000 times and replaced with titles such as Lord.
      Very last chapter of the old testament says – Malachi 3:16 Keep in mind, the early church, the very first body of believers who were taught the true gospel by the Messiah himself , studied the old testament , and as the apostle Paul said, those things were written for our learning. These early believers knew very well what the Saviors name was and they new the importance of believing in his name. They also knew and held fast to the Messiah’s doctrine which is the blue print to salvation and which has been wrenched into useless false doctrines that we are being taught today. That’s why the scripture says the WHOLE WORLD lies in DARKNESS. 1 John 5:19. kjv
      Of all the sins that mankind has succumbed to, there is none darker and greater than religious captivity. Just as the Messiah told the religious leaders of his day, same as now…Matthew 23:15 kjv
      That’s why I’ve come out of the mud pits of religion. I am seeking his will in all things because of all he has done and continues to do to teach and guide me in all truth. John 8:36 kjv
      I don’t say these things to be unkind to anyone, whether it be religious leaders or church goers. God can use all of our life’s experiences as stepping stones , good and bad, including our church experiences to teach and help us, but he does indeed caution his own to come out of her. Rev.18:4 kjv
      The King James Version is the most accurate translation of the bibles that we have today.

  59. Steve on November 29, 2019 at 2:47 pm

    Being the Church and being there as a consumer, or spectator is an important distinction. I have spent the 10 years at a church where I serve community youth 4 days per week in a community that has a great deal of community need in attention to young people and families. But the church congregation resents my work because I don’t sit in the pews with them on Sunday being a Sunday consumer who expects to be served rather than serving. I’ve learned first-hand what this distinction is. In my mind the Sunday crowd are there to be entertained and comforted by a sermon, the routine of church service and then some refreshments after, cake, coffee or some sweets. But what then? Is that really what God expects? Neglect of community in favor of a Sunday show of fellowship? Their church is an idea that has no practical use and it might as well be streamed on the Internet and followed by coffee cake in the comfort of one’s own home on Sunday. It’s simply a social experience that keeps them coming each weekend.
    I have chosen to work at a real Church during the work week and leave the spectator church to the others on Sunday.

    • Elizabeth Kirk on November 29, 2019 at 6:07 pm

      Steve: Sadly you are so right in many of your comments. Coming to “church” to be seen and NOT to work or be involved is not the “church”… The earliest church experiences were the “togetherness” of a group of people.. small groups in homes, lead by Paul and or followers (women). These were for the sharing of the communion of fellowship, worship and becoming a family of worshipers.. Today, from what I have seen either the church is a dying church with no plans or efforts for growth, or mega churches who feed the frenzy of loud praise music , heavy instruments, and nothing to do with the “communion” of believers , or even communion at all…

      I have been very frustrated with the numerous churches and denominations I have attended over the years, and finally got ordained non-denominationaly to serve in campground and motorcycle ministry. I also served as an ordained “CLM” in the Methodist church for several years, but when I moved to another state, the ‘ Powers to be”.. decided that my other “state” credentials and seminary studies (two of them) and experiences, etc, were not GOOD enough for them… so back to non-denomnational ministry and attending a tiny AME church which I love… and they wonder why people are leaving…. hypocrites at the highest levels … so so sad..

      I really do not have to “go” to church , but as in the early church i feel the fellowship, family connection and need for actual “communion” is very important to my spiritual life.

  60. Mary on November 3, 2019 at 8:38 pm

    I had a powerful spiritual experience when I4. After receiving the baptism of the Holy Ghost ( alone in my room) I began to seek God and was able to discern truth from fake. Every single church and denomination proved to be lacking so much truth that I finally stopped looking for a church. I was perplexed because the Bible clearly speaks about assembling together. And the messiah did give doctrine to the apostles. A doctrine that is powerful yet very simple , yet no churches today adhere to that doctrine. In fact , I only see the churches that god warns his people to come out of! So I wait and pray. Better to wait quietly upon god alone that to join a so called church that’s full of lies I promise you, i do have the faith to know that I’m right where I need to be at this time. I pray always and I do believe that he is preparing the true church (people)that he will be back for soon. So if you want to know God’s will but are not interested in going to church, take heart, you may be in a better place then you think. Keep praying . He hears .

    • Elizabeth. Kirk on November 29, 2019 at 4:53 pm

      Mary! Totally right on!

  61. Lou Sanchez on October 31, 2019 at 9:08 am

    I recently left two churches. One was because I found the well liked Pastor was Happily married and Gay. Best sermons, great personality, awesome dude yet I can’t do it. Next was a small “city” church where homeless and wealthy congregated together. So cool and trendy even rock songs were played and the Pastor had this inner thread to his teachings that “we” were doing church right and the megachurches of the area were doing it wrong. Well it turned on me too and one day he read my Facebook that I called our Quarterback to our franchise a Pus*y because he weined and quit two weeks before the season started. He criticised my post and said that “leaders” in his church would never post something like that. BOOM. Yep, i left there too , my wife stayed. Funny, I went back to the Catholic church of my youth where I was raised and I love it. No priest reading my FB. The liturgy is consistent and stable. The teaching is spot on, no Pastors point of view needed. No 45 minute glorified I know more than you sessions…. the Church won’t allow me by its rules to partake in Communion because I am married to a Non-catholic missionary of 40 years! LOL. I’m the divorced one she is not. So, lots of rules but I go to worship Jesus not partake in a wafer called the body of christ. I see the spiritual signifigance but no one is going to convince me that the Priest converts the host into the body of the Lord and his blood physically. I have a brain that GOD himself gave me. At 57 I’m tired of churches, rules, personalities and people in general. I love people but Christians sometimes wear me out. My rocker druggie friends did the same, so being in recovery more than 30 years I find contentment speaking with the Lord alone, Praying with my wife and being of service if I see a need or helping hand needed. I guess even after being a missionary myself I’ve had enough of all of it down here and am waiting on the one true Priest to show me the one true church. Thanks for the thought inspiring article.

  62. Ami on October 23, 2019 at 5:23 pm

    Forgive me if this was addressed above but I couldn’t read all the comments but an you cite your sources for the statistics regarding the 94% of churches are not growing and the stats listed just after that as well and from what year those are based? Thank you,

  63. Joseph Rochefort on October 22, 2019 at 12:17 am

    I often have a strange feeling when being in the Church service. It is often disquieting to me. I see it two ways, maybe three. Often I feel like I am in the “Light” of God, but the others around me are still searching for God and it feels almost painful to me. That is the best way I can describe it.

    I wondered if maybe I am very empathic and are simply picking up all the negative things in people’s lives they are in Church to pray about.

    Also I am a person that is part of the LGBTQ community. I know that if the people at Church knew it many of them wouldn’t like me for who I really am. So knowing you are never free to be yourself around them doesn’t bring you a lot of comfort or peace either.

    • TDuncan on October 22, 2019 at 12:46 am

      Peace and comfort come from our heavenly father not from others. Rely on Him, Trust Him and then you will know His Peace.
      I pray you can find a place where you can share your love of God with others while being yourself!

    • Carey Nieuwhof on October 22, 2019 at 12:22 pm


      This is hard, whether you are in the LGBTQ community or not should have zero effect on whether a Christian loves you or not, although I know that isn’t how it actually plays out often times.

      Continue to lean into God and the Christians that will love you. Despite what many people say, you belong in the church.

      Cheering for you.


    • Elizabeth Kirk on October 24, 2019 at 9:51 am

      Your comment about being LGBT and your anticipated response from fellow parishioners breaks my heart,, because I know it is true… I am also torn because I sit in a church which I know would reject my gay son, or at least make it very uncomfortable… I love my church, and definitely feel the Holy Spirit in this church, but …….. am I being a hypocrite, ??/ do you feel you are not being true to yourself or your gay friends by sitting in a church that would most likely ostracize you and them???

      • Anthony Eugene Thompson on November 8, 2019 at 3:56 pm

        It’s the most important thing I have to say. I want to emphasize that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came into the world to save sinners — heterosexual sinners and homosexual sinners, greedy, proud, selfish, angry sinners and sinners who commit homosexual acts. We all need the same Savior, and the blood of Christ is sufficient to wash away every sin and remove all judgment and bring us to everlasting healing and joy.

  64. Rachel on October 8, 2019 at 8:16 pm

    The Church and even your article centers on one population group: people with kids. Those of us who do not have kids are treated as if we don’t exist or don’t matter. The Church frequently chooses the needs of people with kids over everyone else’s needs; i.e., allowing a kid to literally scream during the whole service, allowing her son to bring his fire truck to church and literally set it off during the sermon (*many* times), throw a ball around (twice at my head, deliberately), and the pastor then taking the mom’s side when she got upset because I moved away from her up front so that I could *try* to hear, and the pastor not admonishing the mom for her lack of parenting. Church people are the least tactful as well: In our area, it is becoming common to announce a pregnancy in church while there are people who cannot have children for one reason or another that have to endure the constant barage of these activities or just simply not included in the conversation because that is ALL people talk about. THERE ARE OTHER GROUPS OF PEOPLE *BESIDES* THOSE WHO DO NOT HAVE CHILDREN. Where’s the focus on them?

    • Frederik on October 15, 2019 at 11:45 am

      Just one small comment on this. I do not have children and I couldn’t agree more…except for this thought. Once you exempt children so “the adults can worship together” it begs the question- are children adjacent “Christians to be” or are they Christians beside us? Yes it drives me crazy to have a baby crying, especially when a special guest has come to give the sermon. I want to hear the sermon! But while the mother can go to the nursery and still hear the sermon through the loudspeaker, what kind of message is this? In my church, very young children play at a table at the back of the Sanctuary sometimes. I have ADD, and since I am a Deacon and sit in back to handle situations, the sound of playing really steals a lot of the service from me. Still, do I really want a church with no children, and do we want to tell moms “Please use the nursery”? I want a church not just for singles and families also. Jesus Christ would not eliminate kids from his service. There must be a way to solve both the issue of noisy offspring and an inclusive service.

      • Anthony Eugene Thompson on November 8, 2019 at 3:56 pm

        . It’s the most important thing I have to say. I want to emphasize that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came into the world to save sinners — heterosexual sinners and homosexual sinners, greedy, proud, selfish, angry sinners and sinners who commit homosexual acts. We all need the same Savior, and the blood of Christ is sufficient to wash away every sin and remove all judgment and bring us to everlasting healing and joy.

    • Steve Housewright on November 29, 2019 at 2:49 pm

      Children are the future. Ignore them and the Church doesn’t have a future.

  65. Ronald on September 27, 2019 at 10:43 am

    Just to simplify everything. Knowledge wisdom & understanding are ONLY attributes of God, but when WE have LOVE we have the WHOLE THING.
    So sad but something that is TERRIBLY true that the greatest amount of HATE & PREJUDICES have ALWAYS come from RELIGIOUS PEOPLE.


  66. Joy on September 4, 2019 at 7:56 pm

    Problem: The way services are run these days, it is hard to “be the church” on Sunday morning. The “real Christians gather” argument fails when the gathering doesn’t meet the goal of Church function—it’s just a concert or seminar. I could do the whole Sunday morning show and barely talk to anyone, much less pray with them, encourage them or meet their needs. At this point in my life, I have found that going to a Sunday school that is not an overly academic, “show off what you know” gathering of lay pontificators, then going home is the closest to meaningfully gathering to serve others in a Church-like way. We pray, share, have time to connect face to face, learn a little, know when the others are struggling and help. The service doesn’t meet any need other than entertainment for those who like singing or a feel good or academic speech. I wish church leaders would stop acting as if gathering was the main thing. You gather to do what? Is that WHAT being done? Bringing an unsaved person to such a group during a casual get together would also be a clearer picture of the Church than song time and seminary-lite. Please encourage church leaders to do Church things.

    • Tee Ledet on September 8, 2019 at 10:28 am

      Our church service is an hour and a half. Most of it is instrumental music/ star search! The second time waster is the information stuff, and that leaves less than 30 min of sermon. Too many songs plus to much other promotional stuff leaving me not enticed to attend. Lost interest! Not getting the message!

      • Adelia Goncalves on October 30, 2020 at 11:39 pm

        I use to be in the praise and worship team in a small church, and I’m sorry to say but the lead singer was a jealous person that caused a defense that I had no idea what I had done. The pastor’s wife who played the piano ended up taking her side and told me that I shouldn’t strife with the lead singer. She ended up passing me a tape to listen to about strife. I couldn’t believe the accusation, it was really weird. They were divisive and causing the division but in the end I was blamed. Some times people get the wrong idea or are threatened and that is not our fault. I ended up talking to her and explain that we are working together for the same Kingdom and Jesus is the cornerstone and this is His Church, not hers or mine so we have to work together. I tried by inviting her over and making an effort to be her friend rather than her foe. We are not here to be performers but rather to give God the Glory.

        • Andrei on October 31, 2020 at 4:37 pm

          Dear Adelia, the church you were the member of was not Jesus’ church but it was the pastor and his wife’s church. Do not worship God with the songs. You must worship God in spirit and the truth, according to the Scripture. It is weird to read that pastor’s wife recorded your voice to prove you are wrong. She is not spiritual woman. Believers don’t settle conflicts like this. I remember when some church leaders in Dubai also recorded my voice with attempt to use it against me. Very unspiritual! Read my ebook “Antichrist” by Andrii Shybanov (Smashwords, Apple Books, Amazon, Kobo) to understand more why you should recent your church membership and any service in it.

    • Dianne M Spangler on September 8, 2019 at 11:05 am

      I just finished reading your article. This is what I would like to share. I have been a Christian for 41 years. For the first time, this year, I stopped attending church. The reason I did is because 1. The church is no longer teaching the Word of God. 2. The church is now teaching Life Application and Psychology. I had over 30 years of teaching under Pastor John MacArthur at Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, CA. He was excellent and is still excellent. I left his church to find a smaller church closer to home. After visiting numerous churches, God revealed what His calling was for me. And that was to have my own ministry. It is absolutely fantastic. I train myself. I listen to MacArthur’s radio broadcast every morning, I memorize scripture, I listen to my Christian music and then I live a very active life involved in people’s lives – my family, my friends and others. I am, also, very active on social media and just began being a mentor for my alma mater where I received my college degree. Life is terrific. God is using me in so many ways in so many people’s lives…it is very exciting.
      God bless you,

  67. David on August 18, 2019 at 7:04 pm

    Historically, the reason the Church gathered together was to take the Eucharist, the body and blood of Christ. Now, that’s pretty tough to do online isn’t it?

    The Church is not just a place you go and get your spiritual education and sing-song fix from. That’s a very modern concept. Even the Magisterial Reformation still held the Eucharist every Sunday as the preeminent reason for their gathering. Please, study your Church history. Christianity is not just a spiritual book club.

    The Apostles initially continued to pray in the Temple and the synagogues with other Jews on Saturday. They then also gathered (just those that were baptized in Christ) on Sunday to take Eucharist. After some time, Christians were expelled from the synagogues and eventually the Saturday synagogue synaxis service blended with the Eucharistic liturgy and was held on Sunday.

    If you attend a Liturgy at an Eastern Orthodox Church, you’ll see exactly this same pattern, going back all the way to the Apostles, in action.

    The Church is a sacramental community in Christ – it takes the creation (like real physical stuff), sets it apart to God and then distributes his blessings back to the community by a partaking in that grace. Yes, we have teaching and sermons and Bible studies — those are all good things — but the central focus of the Christian life is the worship of God, through, with and in His creation. We are a royal priesthood, offering up the creation to God, returning back to Him the service we were created to offer in the Garden of Eden.

    • lenny dobbie on September 1, 2019 at 4:25 am

      My dad called me the Devil, and I worship the wrong Jesus and God. My dad is a Catholic and he serves on the altar. I stopped going to the Catholic church because the Church will not confess and admit to their sins against the laity.
      The Catholic church is all about religious process, I went and did bible studies full time and when i quoted him scriptures he started cursing. Why should anyone attend church when those who attend more judgemental. I was in the choir and the church made us get a child security check, but all the priests who are molesting all the laity are still there.
      I am not giving my honest money and my time to a church that is corrupt, does not teach the word of god, protects child molesters and will not obey the law.

      today we read scriptures at home, had communion and sung “how great thou art” and saved $40 dollars and god and Jesus still loves us heaps.

      • David on September 4, 2019 at 10:21 pm

        I’m not sure what Catholic sex abuse scandals has to do with the historic fact that the ancient Church gathered chiefly to share the Eucharist together. I’m sorry you had bad experiences. May the Lord help you to heal. I am not a Roman Catholic, nor was I intimating anything to do with Western Catholicism.

        It’s a sad episode of history that in the knee-jerk attempt to be all things non-Catholic, evangelicals have ended up even asking such absurd questions as, “do we really need to go to Church on Sunday.” None of our ancient forbears could ever fathom being a Christian without regularly communing with the Body of Christ. Being united to Christ by uniting with His Body — the Church — through His Body — the Eucharist — is and always has been the very essence of being a Christian. That is what “being the Church, as the article puts it, is.

        • Peter on November 15, 2019 at 7:18 pm

          The article is about why attending church no longer makes sense. Way to be the typical dismissive Christian. This is the main problem with Christianity as a community. When a person is being abused emotionally or physically…they pry this information of why you are upset out of you. Then they turn it all on you, act dismissive and treat you like the villain for being upset. Then they frown on you for not forgiving instantly showing that they don’t care about you nor do they understand how forgiveness works.

          A PERSON MUST REPENT…yet you see these church cliques where they have people in positions of authority where everyone will support that person no matter what. That person is essentially an idol to not be questioned and propped up. It’s an evil system. Even the bible has some brow raising concerns.

          1. Women and how they’ve been treated for thousands of years as if they are just a man’s property, slaves, objects and even in the NEW TESTAMENT treated as less than but they do have verses you can flip to that props up women but usually it’s over how submissive she is and her sexuality or lack of.

          2. How to beat slaves and if the slave doesn’t die within a day or two the owner is not to be punished.

          3. The whole concept that those laws are done away with because of Jesus getting nailed to the cross contradicts what Jesus said which is to keep his commandments….which Paul created a distinction for gentiles and Jews….which does go against what Jesus said to keep his commandments and specified a couple out of the 10 commandments to not be considered the least of in Heaven.

          4. The whole treating Jesus like he was God in the flesh and pointing to one ambiguous scripture as “proof” when Jesus said way more than once he was less than God and God was greater…The Father is greater.

          5. Why are most of the volunteer aka servants non paid members women?? In order to keep these servants guilt ridden to keep them doing everything for free, scripture is read…kinda like the old days of slavery and how Christianity was forced on the slaves with scripture read out loud telling slaves to obey their Earthly masters as you would the Lord and even the masters that weren’t good.

          6. Forgiveness for FREE with no repentance is a speech mostly tossed out to WOMEN, AFRICANS, NON-Whites and used as a weapon where as the most favorable men in churches don’t have to obey this and won’t be held in contempt. If you are a lowly person however, you have no right to be upset at all after being abused..YOU are to blame for not instantly forgiving. Blame the victim, scoff at the victim.

          7. Being told that even if someone is a good person filled with morals they will go to hell unless they believe in the story of Jesus including fantastical illogical tales. Virgin birth, Jesus floating in the flesh to heaven.

          8. People claiming the old testament no longer applies but then flips through Deuteronomy and Leviticus to bash people they don’t like.

          If people are leaving the churches…it’s because the bible is filled with immoral behavior that most characters in the bible perform, double standards, hypocrisy, double-speak and cult like behavior while pretending everyone is not in a mainstream religion is a “cult” even the ones that came out before Judaism.

          Like it or not, people have the RIGHT to not go to a church if there are people behaving in an abusive manner including GOSSIP, SLANDER, MOLESTATION, SEXUAL ABUSE etc… If a person is not being treated well that person has every right to leave and never go back and it does reflect on your religious beliefs when NO ACTION is taken to make it right.

    • Joy on September 4, 2019 at 7:58 pm

      I agree so much with the needing to take Communion/the Eucharist every week. I am sad that churches so obsessed with being “biblical” or bragging about how Bible based they are do not do this. I grew up in such a tradition, and it loses some legitimacy because of it.

      • David on September 4, 2019 at 10:38 pm

        Yes, the majority of American Christianity has its roots in the most radical wings of the Reformation. These radical traditions couldn’t survive in Europe’s system of state churches of the time, and boldly landed on these shores. The radical Reformation and pietistic traditions emphasized a sort of a-churched mental and direct connection with the Lord, as opposed to the nearly 18 centuries of sacramental and communal Christianity practiced before that. Modern American Evangelicalism has thus become rather Gnostic in character. One’s personal mental assent to certain doctrines is what matters most. There’s no embodied sense of the Church through communal participation in sacramental life. Everything is disembodied mental spiritualism. I use the word “emphasized” so as to say that the tenuous connections to historic Christianity have not been entirely severed. But everyday another strand rings with the frequency of having reached a taughtness beyond sustaining.

        If you’d like to revisit that tradition of your past, perhaps reading Alexander Schmemann’s short and wonderful masterpiece “For the Life of the World” would reignite the soul.

        Dcn. Michael Hyatt also did a podcast series on Ancient Faith Radio going through the book a chapter at a time. You can listen to it here:

        Many blessings.

    • Jakki C on September 5, 2019 at 4:01 pm


    • Ann on September 20, 2019 at 9:27 am


  68. tony behrends on July 20, 2019 at 6:05 pm

    Did not think it possible to provide this many poor excuses for not attending Church. In the very beginning, Carry, you hit upon the very essence of Church and then you proceeded to undo that foundation with trivial points of self-serving doctrine. You said that in times past the Church was the social, cultural, and missional hub of society. You should have stopped there. That’s what Church is and that’s WHY you need to physically get off your butt and meet with others because the closest bonds in which the very hearty of Christianity beats are those that bring us together to worship and to share and to serve. Don’t even try this lame bit of rationalizing regarding the internet. We all use social media and we all know that sending messages or emails or interacting on Twitter of Facebook is hardly comparable to sitting across or next to that same person, or persons and interacting as humans have always done. There is NO community on line – that’s a load of horse-pucky. Think of the people you love: would you ever be satisfied in simply receiving an email or something like it from here on out instead of actually being with them! We both know the answer. How sad that for all your experience, you’re simply providing most of the people on this thread with yet more excuses as to how they can push God further back on their schedules. Nice going!

  69. Brian on June 21, 2019 at 1:58 pm

    Good article. Still not going. I am so Unchurched that I just do not care anymore. I am down with JC, just not all the human BS church entails…I am sure this is not what GOD intended for his church. Would rather just sleep in and pray for all of you…because you really need it! Now that the closet is empty…I am moving into it and closing the door!!!!!

    • Peter on June 21, 2019 at 4:02 pm

      Wow, Brian, you are such a gracious, righteous, perfect human being. I’m so glad there are people like you who are better Christians than almost everyone. I’m glad Jesus died just for you and not the nasty, sinful world.

      • Sandy on October 26, 2019 at 6:41 am

        Right on Brian. Please hear me, we need more churches. We need more, healthy churches. And we need churches that are doing a fantastic job at reaching people. Give me a break. Religions were invented to control you and teach you you to fear Gods wrath if you break the “rules” so they can grow their business for dollars in their pockets and keep you scared and ignorant thinking you’ll have a better chance getting to heaven. I was a Christian went to church all the time read the Bible too. But never understood it and the answers the drunken molester priests made no logical sense whatsoever .
        My God The only god does not Judge or punishes you if you don’t follow the rules. My God does not have the capacity to do so for his pure energy flows thru me as I know I am not separat from . Oh and he is A she and A he, not a entity who is flawed, jealous and figment of Christianity’s ignorance.

        • K. Scott on June 23, 2020 at 2:04 pm

          Dear Sandy–
          you wrote:
          My God
          The only god does not Judge or punishes you if you don’t follow the rules.

          I am sorry to inform you — but there is only one person — who is NOT God
          who was Cast Out of The Presence of God to be Cursed – named and live as ‘Satan’
          who teaches that ‘a god- will never punish for breaking the rules’

          Please pay attention– if you break the rule of gravity – leaping from a tall place to a greater
          distance than your legs or body can handle — YOU DIE
          When you break the rules of eating food that is not rotten or poisoned– YOU DIE
          When you break marriage vow and break another’s Heart — YOUR Marriage DIES
          There is Consequences —
          and there are in fact CURSES for those that break The Commandments of God FACT !

          This entire life is a Conditional State of Action Reaction –
          Acts that bring Blessings by fulfilling Commandments (Rules) of God set in place for those Blessings!
          There are equally desires, thoughts and acts when Violate The Commandments Set by God
          And when we Break His Commandments — The God of This Earth assigned by God The Father
          (His Beloved Son – Jesus Christ) sets in motion in this Probationary mortal life
          And by and by – According to The Will of God and His Plan to allow Agency and to parse out Results
          The are fruits of the Evil that we do (the rules that we break)

          NOW many think because God does not strike the Murder or Rapist or other vile person
          Immediately when they do their act of harm / cruelty – crime or EVIL act
          That must mean that there is no God – and no consequence or no Curse

          Look to real life– When the men who commit acts of sodomy – break the rule of Sexual Chastity
          Do they Immediately fall over and DIE of AIDS ? NO
          Do the men or women who have syphilis and engage in sexual intercourse deliver the symptoms
          immediately to their partner? NO
          There is a incubation time– there is a set of Rules (again made by GOD- for this Grand Plan of
          Testing of our faith and our lives of choice of Good and Evil. And The HARVEST of our acts
          only comes in Full in The LAST DAY of this mortal probation and our spiritual “come uppins”
          in the space of experience from our individual death and The Time of Resurrection and Call
          To The Throne of God (where Christ shall sit) To Judge all the men and women sent to Earth

          THE SIMPLE fact that you can go a naughty or terrible thing
          And God does not Immediately Punish or Destroy you for that naught or terrible thing
          Does NOT Mean that there is no God – nor Does is mean there is not Punishment (Judgment)
          for the acts that are expressly contrary to and in violation of The JUSTICE of God
          that Applies all Blessings and Punishments for The perfection of Justice or Violation of God’s JUSTICE!

          You have not thought through life or the zillions and zillions of life examples that surround you and i
          on this Earth and in the Entire Universe Around Us.
          You act – and their will be a Consequence.
          When you obey the Path Set by God in His WORD dressed as a tree in the many blossoms of wondrous fragrant life giving and blessing Commandments (Rules)
          You obtain the sweetness of the fragrance of God all about your person.
          When you endure in keeping those Commands — the Fruit of God will grow and be seen and enjoyed
          by all who are around you – -as you become fruitful in the works of God.
          LIKEWISE — as you reject LIGHT and partake of the nature of the Fallen man/woman
          cause by our first Parents (Adam & Eve) –and you act to desire that which is Evil – selfish – unkind
          mean, cruel and acting to pervert God’s Power of Enmity into a hatred of that which is Good
          instead of its Divine Purpose and power to reject EVIL and Satan –by hating that which is EVIL
          You Set your life in a course that will bring the Consequences of your choice of EVIL.

          Each of us receive wages from him whom we list to obey.
          If we obey (keep the rules of) GOD — then we receive wages (blessings) from God !! FACT
          If we reject God and break his Commandments (Rules)
          and by that rejection – by ceasing to hearken unto His Voice (by The Spirit and by The Holy Word)
          (i.e. The Holy Ghost & Holy Scriptures)
          we are placed into the realm of Satan’s Power – by the firm Decree of God — for The Choice of EVIL
          God set the Consequence of that choice of Dark rather than Light- Selfishness instead of keeping
          The Golden Rule (whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you– do ye even so unto them)
          Even as many as– (meaning each and every person – boy or girl; man or woman)
          who cease to listen and follow God (‘hearken)
          Are by The Consequence God Established by JUSTICE
          shall be 1) deceived;
          shall be 2) made blind; (meaning they will have their ability to see and discern Truth from Error blinded)
          shall be 3) led captive at the will of Our Enemy Satan.
          This is part and parcel of The Captivity of Satan. He chose Evil in The BEGINNING before this
          earth was formed and set into place for mankind to come to earth and gain a physical body
          We chose to come here. Lucifer did not want to come and be tested – for he rejected God and
          his beloved Firstborn – and sought to Dethrone our Father in Heaven- DESTROY CHOICE
          and use LIES to deceive the children of the gods to seek to usurp God and Destroy Everything.
          He was so successful with his LIES that 1/3 of the Hosts of Heaven (children of The Gods)
          Rebelled against The Eternity of Holiness that God set forth and offered for all to pursue
          by a mortal test on earth of their faith – their choices- and their works.
          Those 1/3 of All The Hosts Joined with that evil man and were Cast Out
          They roam as spirit men and women (outside the power of our un-quickened mortal sight)
          invisible to all save the most holy ones given that sight beyond the Veil placed on the eyes/minds
          of mortals. And what do those Evil Spirits Do? They tempt mankind to yield to the fallen nature
          the natural man / and the natural woman – to desire evil, keep secret their choices of darkness and acts
          of rebellion selfishness and wickedness. And all who hear their sly and cunning words transmitted to
          our inner being (our spirit) and Who Do Not Fight and Say No to Evil and Yes to God & Christ
          Fall to those three dynamics of The Captivity of Satan.

          And those Consequences are just as the blessing of God –parsed out over time and in accordance
          to the measure of Evil chosen and enacted.

          Did the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah exist? YES
          Were there men in the first that committed sodomy (anal sex) with other men ? YES
          Were they instantly punished & destroyed by breaking the Rule of Sexual Intercourse set by God? NO
          Did they grow in wickedness over many years in fact? YES
          How about Gomorrah?
          Did those women who rejected sexual intercourse with men in the bonds of Marriage before God
          and chose to live lives of sexual attraction and sexual interaction with other women–
          Destroyed instantly by God? NO
          Did that city of evil perverted women – continue from year to year ? YES

          BUT there was a time when they were fully ripe in iniquity.
          When they had rejected the Very Pattern of GOD that teaches us through History & Scripture
          that He raises up Prophets and Holy men and women of God (Saints) and sends them forth
          as examples and heralds to cry Repentance and teach the Ways of God and the Promises of Blessings
          for keeping The Commandments of God (Rules)
          BUT when they (Sodom and Gomorrah) had rejected God and His Servants & Messengers
          to the point that God knew they had hardened their hearts to total Darkness
          And then The men of Sodom sought to Defile the Angels of God that were Sent to Lot
          at the behest of Abraham –to save Lot from The Destruction God Promised to pour out on those
          two cities. The men of Sodom sought to have sex with those men (whom they did not realize were
          And God took that as the last straw (so to speak)
          AND He saved Lot and his two sisters
          (But Lot’s wife having rejected the simplest rule not to look back- was Destroyed instantly)
          The Lord Sent Down FIRE from Heaven and consumed those two cities.
          The Wickedness of Perversions of Sodomy (homosexuality) and Lesbianism was DESTROYED
          in such a mighty way – that all but the most ignorant and foolish — Teach how EVIL
          those lifestyles are!! !! !!!

          The Example of Consequences & CURSE by the enactment of Punishment to utter DESTRUCTION
          is meant to Shake you from your deep sleep of Ignorance and Rejection of Common Sense.
          There is a Consequence Blessing for Obedience-
          for each and every Command we keep and ea. and every time we keep That specific Commandment !!

          AND there is a Punishment – a consequence and a Curse for each and every Command of God
          that we reject- either by failing to learn that Command that is readily written for us in Holy Script.
          OR by actively choosing to reject those Commands of Life and Joy – and seeking in selfish abandon
          the path of Darkness (the very path that Satan our common Enemy has perused)

          JUST because God by His Perfect Plan gives us some time to see consequences and the unfolding
          of a part of the Curse (associated with Sin) over sometimes many years to their noticeable expression
          Does Not Mean – there is not Effect for breaking Rules.

          GOD – The Father in Heaven – who has His Firstborn Son – Chosen – Accepted and Anointed as
          The Chosen Christ for Mankind – Set and Honors by JUSTICE every Command, Oath, Covenant
          and Promised made in This Perfect Plan.
          And Christ did come to earth – live a sinless life- and because He was The Christ and empowered by
          The Father – by his faith, desires for holiness, faith in His Father and The Perfect Plan
          entered into and endured– as well as completed The Infinite Eternal Atonement – to suffer for ALL Sin
          the repentant and the unrepentant. WHY for those that would never repent? Why for those who
          would repent but then desire, think to justify or rationalize & ultimately Chose to RETURN to Sin
          WHY would Christ The Lord suffer the Punishment (full Consequence & Curse) for those men and
          women who stayed in Sin or Return to their SINS?
          The Answer is – for the certain cry by the Sinner – You never did that for me?
          And for their certain Lies – on Judgment Day– (had Christ not suffered for them) you left me out?
          GOD was never going to allow the LIE – ‘i would have repented — but you did not have a place in your plan for me– so you can’t punish me, ha, ha, ha!
          GOD is smarter then the wicked – smarter than Satan – and Infinitely Smarter then EVIL
          The Plan was for Christ to suffer for ALL. But only the humble the repentant and the faithful
          obtain the Cleansing and then by further faithfulness unto the End – the Refinement of That Very
          Those that reject God – made a choice That God (again by JUSTICE) honors.
          God will never – has never- and shall never – Force any person into The Atonement & Its Blessings
          IF you choose to live in Sin — in Darkness- The LAW set for Restoration on Judgment Day
          is invoked and applied to all for Their Choice of Darkness. They remain Filthy as they those Filthiness.
          And ALL who choose to live unto God – keep the Rules (that you so blithely reject as meaningless)
          and are Faithful and True unto God and His Christ– will by the Same ETERNAL JUSTICE of GOD
          will receive the Full Blessings of That Atonement offered by all- but enjoyed by the Righteous!

          The Lord has said – I The Lord cannot look upon Sin with the least degree of Allowance” !! !!
          He does not reward rebellion with Blessings! NEVER !! !!
          Those who love Him – who love His Son Christ- He and The Son work and work and work to Bless
          and to Prosper. Holding out as a loving Perfect Men – the hand and power of Cleansing and
          Path to Christ-like life to the sinner. BUT there is an end of that opportunity,.
          For The Spirit shall not always strive with man. There is a time when the probation is over
          and a man or woman is Ripe in Iniquity – or the day of their death arrives and they live or die
          faithful or die in their Sins. And the same desires thoughts and culmination of actions
          will be the same of that dead man or woman when they enter into the Realm of post-mortal life
          to enter into the Spirit Prison for all who reject God and His PLAN. There they again have
          a chance to Choose to stay in their sins and suffer the punishment for their acts of rebellion of those Rules (Commandments). Many may indeed turn to their hard hearts – reject Rules and gnash their
          teeth in Fury That Punishment finally is poured out by the mythical god they believe had not Wrath
          or Justice for the acts of evil and the deeds that hurt the innocent.

          PLEASE know that just because you do not see the Harvest the moment you put the seed into soil
          Does not mean there is not an ultimate Conclusion for that Seed.
          Each Act — in fact all our desires and thoughts are known to God.
          He can by His Power (just as Jesus and the holy Prophets were granted this power) See into the hearts of men and women.
          He sees each and every one our deeds (even in the darkest deepest cave)
          And there is a Day of Reckoning – in fact many – some in mortality
          some in Spirit Prison for the deeds in the body — and the Full Measure
          to include a Final Measure of our final desire for Good or EVIL
          on The Last Day – Judgment Day!
          Never Think God – a Holy and Perfect Man – Has Rules but No Punishment!

          Please be wise and awaken to the beauty and Reality of this LIFE.


          I bear my solemn witness as a follower of Jesus Christ
          That GOD- The True and Living God- The Father of Jesus Christ
          both has The POWER & ‘the capacity’ as you denied to have
          To PUNISH ‘if you break His Holy Commandment.
          In The Name of Jesus Christ, and by my sacred duty to God
          I declare to you that Our Father is a MAN – a holy man – a Perfect Man
          An Everlasting Perfect Glorified GOD.
          He is a he – and not some aberration or abomination of dual non existance
          bisexual he/she entity !!

          That is one of the most Foolish and Abhorrent LIES sent forth by
          Satan to deceive and destroy the mind to irrational MADNESS.
          Do not give in to the ugly Myth of the sexual perverts and those who truck in mental abominations! They have nothing but an endless misery for them
          IF they abide in that ugliness. Each was born a spirit child of god – boy
          OR they were born a girl. Any rare malformation of mortal birth defect
          of a hermaphrodite has no bearing on the life and reality of NORMAL
          and Eternal Nature of mankind.

          The Realm of Heaven includes The Holy Men and Holy Women of GOD
          There is a plan and power for The Eternal Family and Eternal Couples
          Men and Women. God is not a God of CONFUSION.
          And The Holiest State of Perfection is The Joy of Eternal Union
          God never intended men and women to never have Eternal Love & Marriage
          But For Every Great Blessing There is Great Commandments required.
          Please for Heaven Sake- forsake that which is lewd, crude and rude
          Seek for The TRUTH and the Light which will fill you.
          You spoke of a power within you. That is The Light of Christ – to lead you
          to find more LIGHT & TRUTH.
          IF you continue in the madness of non-sexual binary Reality
          for the Insanity of fluid sexual nature– OR — the madness of thinking
          The True and Living GOD is this hateful insane myth of the wicked.
          That Light inside you will withdraw its influence and you will be filled
          with the Darkness (according to your choices for lies and Darkness
          in refuting the very power that you claim you feel inside).
          As Jesus Declared to the Samaritan Woman at the well (John 4:22)
          “Ye worship, ye know not what:”
          “We (I and The People of God) KNOW What We Worship;”
          For SALVATION is of (The People of God) ! ”
          /// yes it was with ‘The Jews’ in the time before the mass of people
          and the leaders of The Jews rejected by own Savior and the God of This Earth
          and demanded Jesus be Crucified – and proclaimed
          “his blood be on us, and on our children”
          THAT BROKE The Covenant– God heard their cry to reject the RULE
          The Command given to The House of Israel- and this Tribe of Judah
          (The Jews) forfeited their place given by God to lead The People of God
          and Salvation was thereafter (after their rejection of Christ & The Covenant-
          yes a ‘Rule’) no longer “of The Jews”.
          That sad and fateful reality is again of the Choice –
          And the Promised Punishment and Curse upon The Jews
          and even upon their innocent unsuspecting children (descendants)
          came to be fulfilled by the most wicked of the Gentile peoples/nations
          who reject God – and hearing the Jews once worshipped the God they
          reject- they enacted The Declared Curse and have persecuted our Jewish
          brothers and sisters to the utter condemnation of those Jews living in
          The Time of Christ (The Meridian of Times). And because the innocent
          descendants of those wicked who sought to Kill Their King- Jesus
          a more full Punishment will be reigned upon all those Jews who remain
          in the rejection of Christ – Even when He is Declared by God, Angels and The Wrath poured out to Prove GOD Punishes EVIL in the Great TRIBULATION
          that proceeds The Lord’s Second Coming!

          God is a God of JUSTICE – and The Lord will Repay
          Romans 12:19
          Dearly beloved, . . . . .
          for it is written,
          Vengeance Is Mine;
          I Will Repay,
          Saith The Lord.
          Those are not the words of
          your mythical no power no justice no punishment god- who is a LIE of Satan!
          BUT Those are The Words of Reality of A God of Vengeance Against EVIL

          What Jesus Said to the Samaritan was the words of The God of This World.
          The same man that each of us chose to follow before we were born!!
          That Is A God that loves the woman that is murdered, the baby aborted,
          the woman rapped, the men slain in wars against other evil tyrants and their
          armies of followers or enslaved minions.

          The God of Israel – The God of This Earth — is First and Foremost
          A God of JUSTICE. For only by JUSTICE was The Plan of Mercy Offered.
          But those who will not obey The Commands of God – God Shall PUNISH!

          The Lord has promised To Pour out His Wrath ‘Without Measure’
          Read Isaiah 5: 13 through 25. // yes part of Isiah is about The Jews
          // when Jesus would live in mortality
          But The Great Tribulation Shall be Enacted when the world turns in a majority
          to Evil and God creates a Great Division of The People –
          One Group will be those who will rape and pillage and slay their fellow man with abandon. And That Group will Divide Itself from and be separate from—
          The People of God and those good honorable virtuous men & women
          who reject the bloodlust of the wicked – the murderers of babes in the womb
          and the lawless mob who will not be governed by the law nor by Justice
          save it be to their Destruction !

          YOU really do not want to be a part of the HORROR of the MOB
          The most evil who make a dreadful pact with Satan for Power by bloodshed
          and who use abominations to seal their lives to The Devil for the myth of
          unbeatable power as tyrants over mankind.
          YOU really do not want to be a part of the Crowd that follow the LIES
          of those that despise what is lovely, clean and pure.

          I find it amazing that you never actually read ‘The Bible’
          Ezekiel 28:16; THEN Study
          Malachi 4:1-3 – if your heart is still closed to TRUTH—-
          1 For, Behold, The Day Cometh,
          that Shall burn as an oven;
          and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly,
          Shall Be Stubble:
          and The Day that Cometh
          Shall Burn Them Up,
          Saith The Lord of Hosts,
          that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.
          /// note– the root is father and mother– the branch is any of their children.
          /// for their is a mighty Curse upon those the despise God and work
          /// to Destroy The People of God and The Works of Righteousness!!

          2 ¶ But unto you that fear My Name
          shall The Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in His wings;
          and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.
          3 And ye shall tread down the wicked;
          for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet
          In The Day that I Shall do This,
          Saith The Lord of Hosts.

          /// the reason The Holy People of God will wake in ‘ashes’
          /// is because The Lord Shall Destroy The Wicked left alive at His 2nd Coming
          /// by The Glory of His Presence with The Followers of Christ lifted up into
          /// the sky above the ground to Witness the Culmination of His WRATH !! !!

          Read too Isaiah 11:4 with a heart ready to learn—–
          4 But with Righteousness Shall He <— Jesus Christ, The Lord
          Judge the poor, and
          Reprove with equity for the meek of The Earth:

          and He Shall Smite The Earth With The Rod of His Mouth,
          and with The Breath of His Lips Shall He Slay The Wicked."
          /// sure sounds like a God who both has the Power and the will
          /// to Act to Punish those that He knows are Wicked ! Does it not !! !!!

          Then Read Matthew 13:49-51 —
          49 So Shall It Be At The End of The World:
          the angels shall come forth, and sever the WICKED from among the JUST,
          50 And shall cast them into The Furnace of Fire:
          there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

          51 Jesus saith unto them, Have ye understood all these things? . . . .

          /// & i say to you- are you paying attention? Will you still cling to your myth?

          Christ has Declared that The Wicked will be Destroyed by The Fire of God

          Please WAKE UP

          yours truly

  70. Steve on June 13, 2019 at 4:43 pm

    This is a great and necessary article. People often quit church because it’s long and boring. After an hour I am usually itching to leave. I am for sure not the only one who thinks this way. So much talk about the building, upcoming events, raising money, etc. Throw that in with a too often long winded message( not always though. Some are quite good and others you could feel the Holy Spirit moving) and suddenly the sporting event later on becomes the focus or even a nap.

    People love to quote ” do not forsake the assembly” not said by JESUS. Well, back then, what else could be said? No television, no radio, no internet and no Bibles for distribution. Church was more of a meeting with different people speaking. Compare that to one person speaking giving a lecture today. Of course many people will get bored. I get more out of watching a live service on the net or streaming to my tv or even on demand. I dont have to get ready and then drive 30 to 45 munutes to go to a church. Online church makes more sense today for many people. Isn’t there an online church with many chapters now? Folks meet at various locations to watch online. It also saves a lot of money instead of building new churches.

    Christians who always talk about showing up at church usually become hardliners. When I left my previous church my ex friend from the church was always asking if I am going to another. I said I watch online and read the Bible more now due to more time freed up. I also read other religious material. That was not good enough for him and he actually stopped talking to me after wishing him a happy birthday and told him about a sick family member. Yep, this is what ” religion” and being ” Pharisee- ish” can do. Sometimes I think pastors get upset at online church because they see their jobs vanishing.

    Online church is only going to explode. We live in a different era. I am sure radio and television have had tremendous positive effects on reaching the lost. Online is similar. We don’t need all these buildings that have to be paid for.That is money that can help tons of people. I am not against going to a church building. I understand the positive connection it can have but so can online church. The Word is being preached as well and financial giving for great things. Folks can meet up and watch online. And for.me online church has opened up a great deal of time to read the Bible. Before I was going to church several times per week and I was like, ” I have no time to read the Bible. I’ve got to get to Church!” lol

  71. Laura Ingrahm on June 2, 2019 at 1:26 am

    The main reason people are leaving the church in droves is because of parishes abandoning the organ during worship. Instead congregations are assaulted with screeching electric guitars and thuming basses, throbbing drums and horrible singing. What happened to the sacred pipe organ? The pipe organ is the voice of God the Father and God the Son. The guitar is a demonic instrument. Why is it permissible in Christian churches? The music isn’t even classic, sacred hymns played anymore either. It’s secular music they play. I got so angry when a praise band at my church was singing Beatles songs! The Beatles were all drug addicted atheists with terrible morals. Why sing and play their music during a catholic mass. Society seems to be so disjointed nowadays. Our churches are becoming more touchy feely than being straight forward with Gods commandments; by enforcing Gods laws and preaching about the impending punishment in the afterlife if we’re not up to the challenge. This is extremely important. We never know when our number’s up and we’ll be face to face with Lord Jesus Christ begging for forgiveness. We need to stop the insanity now and urge our pastors, bishops, cardinals and even the pope, to bring back the holy, blessed pipe organs, and the sacred choirs praising Our Lord Jesus Christ. Who died for our sins. Don’t wait before it’s too late!

    • Robo421 on June 2, 2019 at 9:24 am

      I believe you are the reason I left the institutional church, because of your judgmental and angry attitude. There too many reasons why people are leaving. A musical instrumental is not demonic no more than saying guns kill…. no people kill and people kill their own in the church. I could go on and on, but I don’t want to because what you said is narrow minded and just plain “WRONG”. You are dealing with INSTITUTIONS that have left Christ and Jesus is not welcome into a lot of these buildings. WE ARE THE CHURCH, NOT MAN MADE BUILDINGS AND ESTABLISHMENTS!! It is Christians who cause people to run away from GOD because of your caustic spirit. May God open the eyes of all our hearts.

    • Ben on June 30, 2019 at 12:21 am


      Hold on a sec…… LOL

    • Pam on August 17, 2019 at 12:19 pm

      Psalms says we will sing with stinged instruments forever.

  72. Chris on May 19, 2019 at 7:50 am

    Your view is unorthodox and borderline anti Christ. Scripture commands that we forsake not the assembly of ouselves. So obey scripture or you oppose the only God who can bring life and peace to your weary soul. You MUST seek God on your knees until he answere you not just on the questiin of fellowship, but firstly to honestly know if you are even born again

    • Sany on October 26, 2019 at 6:52 am

      Chris Pllease Dude. Who wrote the Scriptures? Men. And If I have to obey a flawed God with dictatorship rules. I’ll skip heaven so I won’t be to Close to him.
      People are not going to church now because they now get that for 2000 years religion has been the biggest lie of all time

    • Danold on October 16, 2021 at 10:14 pm

      Chris — the context of the passage that tells us “forsake not the assembling together” Hebrews 10, tells us what we are seeking to accomplish by attending church. We are to seriously motivate each other to keep contending for the faith. If that (and other Biblical expectations) is not the experience we are having at church, then attending that church is also NOT biblical. My experience is that it is extremely difficult to find churches that are good enough at meeting Biblical criteria that we really do have do ask ourselves if attending church is so much of a hindrance to doing what God wants us to do that we should stop going.

      • Bob Thomas on October 17, 2021 at 3:00 pm

        I look at 2 COR 2:17 as a key marker to whether a church is a church or a business.
        “We do not peddle the Word for profit.”
        Word of Faith /prosperity as well as those building “bigger building @ are in for a coming shaking. REV 17:17 … God is allowing his enemies to carry out His plans.
        Church as we have experienced it will look different soon. There will be true believers meeting together in manageable groups bringing revelation to the gatherings and there will be the government Churches
        (Gov’t of the devil) that are sold out to
        Worldly desires and “ legalized sin”.
        A “devout” whatever doesn’t matter to God .what matters is an obedient heart … see
        John 14:21. And that my friend doesn’t require stepping into any church building.

        • Mike Symons on October 17, 2021 at 9:30 pm

          Your comment highly interested me Bob. I myself have been struggling with what church is really supposed to be. I don’t know if you’ve read some of my inputs in reply to others however, I have mentioned that Protestantism has become a huge quagmire of thousands of churches believing they are the only church. I remember a joke that my 8th grade history teacher told that I’ve never forgotten. To shorten it, it was about people who died being given a tour of heaven. The tour guide stopped and instructed the newbies “when we go past this section, you need to be REAL quiet.” They asked, “why?” He replied “these particular people think they’re the only ones up here.” I believe you are correct on one thing Bob. There is waaaay too much commercialism in many evangelical and major church organizations. I like the passage in Matthew (where 2 or 3 are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them). This means if 2 or more gather in a house or a coffee shop in the name of Jesus outside of any establishment organization, THAT RIGHT THERE IS CHURCH!!!! Thank you for spending time with me Bob. Sincerely Mike.

  73. SS on May 15, 2019 at 11:30 pm

    YOU DON’T ATTEND CHURCH. YOU ARE THE CHURCH. We the and the u the church. Ministry is to serve people.
    Flowery but be honest Carey the pastor and the board runs the show and will kick you out no matter how faithful you are and no matter if you gave all what you had and didnt have to give but still gave, gave their time, money, resources and did all what they could to meet the needs of their church but was kicked out because they was never married, childless and over 40.
    What kind of people does the church say they are, and who do they serve? Be honest, church is geared toward and set to serve families, the dating couples. kids of all ages, the widowed, the divorced and the single parents but mostly the single moms and not so much the single dads, all of them except the never married who is childless and over 40. The never married who does not have kids and are over 40 are seen as a threat and as man or women hunting whores by the pastor, the board the widowed, the divorced and the single mom or a single dad. The never married who does not have kids and are over 40 are seen as threats to the pastors ministry, to the dating couples, to their marriages and to their families. I cant start my own church cause God didnt call me to. So whats a girl to do? Keep going to church right and get treated like a whore and a threat and kicked out again right?

  74. G. Snyder on April 30, 2019 at 1:38 pm

    First, let me say I’ve been attending churches since I was 12 yrs. old, I’m now 65. Too many times man’s agenda has become the focus NOT the Lord’s. Many times the congregation has people more qualified if not as qualified as the people in leadership positions, but the Pastor has his own vision as to who should lead. A lot of times it’s the Pastors family or close friends. I’m not talking about people who crave the glory and attention, just those who are willing, which churches should encourage. But the Pastor or the church board are in charge so that won’t happen. Discouraging! I’ve had meetings with Pastors and church boards to present my concerns on issues and the response has been “well, you can leave if you want”…… REALLY? IF I Wanted To Leave I Would Not Have Presented My Concerns In The First Place! I WOULD JUST LEAVE! It seems, if you have questions, you’re a danger so you’re better off gone. The last church I was at my wife and I decided to leave because I had a private conversation with another person I was on the worship team with because I had concerns about why I was not being used, I DID NOT discuss this conversation with anyone else, NO-ONE. Somehow it was printed out on paper, word for word, and presented to me at a meeting with the Pastor and youth Pastor. He said I was Gossiping! When my wife and I came to our last church service, after the service was over we said goodbye to a couple of our close friends, I was accused by the Pastor of “Creating Division In The Church”! I’ve had enough, I will probably never be a member of another church again! I might visit this one or that one, but to be a member of any church again, that will never happen.

    • Frankie on May 14, 2019 at 12:25 pm

      First let me say I am sorry about your experience and have faced some of the similar circumstances that you have faced as well. I believe this article raised great reasons for you to find a place to be a consistent participant again as well as your experience. One thing that I noticed with time, every time we became discouraged or disillusioned with a church and stepped back, even while searching for a place, our relationship always suffered with Christ. But here is another big thought I have taken on and began to share with others that have had our experiences. When people that are not grounded in Christ come in and all that are left in the church are people with their own agenda and not a true love for reaching lost people and growing disciples, how will they find Jesus. If all of us that have a bad experience, or multiple, decide we won’t be in a church consistently any longer, what happens to those that need us? Like I said, I have been there and left the church at one point for 4 years after having served in ministry. God has forgiven me for stepping away from my calling and I do not carry guilt, regret yes but not guilt, what I do carry guilt for are the people that I might have been able to show the love of Jesus and shared the gospel and was not there because I got aggravated about my experience. as I said, I understand your thoughts and have had them, but you have survived and getting grounded in a church focused on the gospel will give you a chance to be used like never before and overcome the past with your testimony.

    • Mike Symons on October 17, 2021 at 10:03 pm

      Actually a reply to SS and G Snyder, One of the biggest problems with church is this. There are too many humans in it. Whenever we read the book of Acts, we read of superhuman, mythical like characters similar to some tv show heroes of people who get shot at, run over by cars and beat up but never get their hair messed up. Many of us get very dissolutioned when we find out that church today really isn’t what the book of Acts portrays it to be. I’m not implying that the book of Acts is fiction. I’m just saying that whether we’re in church or out of church, we’re always going to be surrounded by humans. If only Paul would’ve made one single mistake such as accidentally tripping over a merchant’s trinket table after stepping on a woman’s dress train and falling flat on his face and accidentally using God’s name in vain and got recorded by Luke, we would not expect people in church to be so darn human. Thanks for spending time with me. Sincerely Mike

      • Mike Symons on October 17, 2021 at 10:17 pm

        I worded that wrong. *we WOULD expect people to be more human and not superhuman

  75. Shawn on April 27, 2019 at 6:43 pm

    I understand the service needs to be something a new attendee/believer likes and it makes sense a team should like it. I don’t want a boring service either! However, doesn’t that risk setting up the consumer mindset for those new believers/attenders? How do we balance those two?

  76. Kerry Cox on March 7, 2019 at 8:23 am

    I recently moved to a small town where I assumed a new person would be welcomed in and encouraged to engage in missions and development. Every church I went to seemed introverted, hostile, and suspicious when I said I wasn’t especially interested in Sunday service but more in community outreach and actual service.

    I was formerly a worship leader at a mission church but felt like a celebrity that people idolized and that left me feeling alone and without true spiritual companionship and fellowship. I don’t ever want this to happen again. It seems I do more good by getting to know my neighbors and making myself available to meet other’s needs, but my need is for others who feel this way (a passion to serve) and to share prayer and hold one another up.

    It seems you have to establish yourself in an in-crowd before you can truly engage in what we are supposed to be doing. As a single woman, I feel marginalized and left out of church. On Sundays, I choose to minister to those in need rather than spend an hour or so in the pew. God always provides support, and it doesn’t seem to happen within the walls of a building.

  77. Lily on February 24, 2019 at 11:28 pm

    Churches require money to operate. There in lies the problem. I’ll podcast and witness to anyone for free, no building, theology degree or pay required. There in lies the answer.

  78. Dan on February 24, 2019 at 9:14 am

    The writer left the reader with much to digest here in the message. It remains that “Spirituality” is a God thing. “Religion” is man made. God so wants us to have a personal relationship with His Son Jesus Christ. Some claim that gathering in church is not necessary to fulfill this relationship? It is not true, scripture tells us He said; “Where two or more gather in my name…” is this not reflective for His desire for Christians to attend church? But so many attend “to be served” because they find themselves void of the “personal spiritual relationship” with Jesus Christ. Instead, they find themselves unenthusiasticly “involved in a religion” that leaves them unfulfilled NO MATTER WHICH CHURCH THEY ATTEND OR STOPPED ATTENDING. Perhaps this is the disconnect. Spiritual relationship or man made religion? The essence of the transformation to a born again Christian, is to discover and understand the difference between being “religious” and being “spiritual “. In the end, “serve or be served” appears to say it all. On the surface it seems “Religious” attendees come and go because they don’t like the way they are being “served.” While “Spiritual “ attendees are less likely to be disappointed by the style of the pastor or the volume of the music because thet attent to “serve” the Lord. DJP

  79. Aaron Cole on April 19, 2018 at 11:18 am

    So true! Solid article. As a growing large church, engagement, reaching the lost, and seeing people’s lives transformed by Jesus as they BECOME the church is powerful to witness. Thanks for continuing to inspire and have a pulse on our culture.

    • Elizabeth Kirk on April 30, 2019 at 10:25 pm

      How do you “become ” the church, when the pastor tells you personally he would rather see you “leave” than another particular individual who was new to the church. This was said because he was angry at me , because he supported me as I applied to seminary, and once admitted found that this was definitely NOT the path which was meant to be for me,’ and left after about 3 months..

      He then stopped speaking to me completely for months. I stayed because this church family was my “family”, and I was teaching Bible study and heading a womens group and still serving as a Lay Minister. .. I could not leave these women and the work I was doing which I felt was my way of sharing the love , etc of Jesus… I finally did leave when I moved to another state, by this time, I had now become a CLM in the Methodist church.. When I went to transfer y credentials from one state to another, I was refused .. My minister and another ordained UMC minister went to bat for me but the refusal stood.. NO good reason given to any of us. and now the split coming in the Methodist church. . If this isn’t enough to quit the “church”… I am now attending a local AME church, which is also on its last legs…. The whole “church” situation personally and professionally breaks my heart.

  80. Robert Check on March 26, 2018 at 6:51 pm

    My wife & i left church about 3 years ago-We were attending a denominational church & we had been to 3 major church denominations over the previous 18 years with short breaks in between moving to each church.All our church services were Sunday services however during those 18 years we began going to a Messianic Bible Study Fellowship every second Saturday as well as Sunday Church Services.As time went on we saw clearly that the friendly-loving-welcoming Saturday Fellowship which had Christians from all churches attending was absolutely fantastic with prayer, praise & worship & great Bible teaching.3 years ago in Australia we had a Royal Commission into the sexual & physical abuse of children by institutions & the biggest abusers of children over many many decades were 3 major church denominations & the cover-ups-intimidation-legal challenges & persecution of the victims & their families was horrendous.Abortion is another area the church does not show moral leadership in-same sex marriage recently became law in Australia with many churches supporting legalising an abomination & not confronting the government on what the Bible says.The Australian church is highly compromised with government funding -tax exemptions-tax free status etc & they are scared to proclaim the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ without fear or favour in case they lose their $$$$$$$$$ from government.My wife & i have commenced a prayer & healing ministry & its open to all people wether Christian or non-Chrsitiian to seek from the Lord Jesus prayer & healing & we give the non -Christians the gospel message of salvation in Christ alone.My wife & i attend the Messianic Bible Study Fellowship every second Saturday & every second Thursday.My wife & i do not miss the politics of churches, their compromised preaching-prosperity gospel-anti-semitism & anti-israel (some churches) & their total lack of understanding that as Christians we are grafted into the root of Israel through Christ,they are not grafted into a denomination-There is the church & there is Israel & God will keep all his covenants with Israel (Abraham) from whom the church through Christ obtains all blessings & not the other way around.Jesus said “All things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses & the Prophets & the Psalms concerning Me”.Luke 24:44 All these writers were Jewish-Jesus is the Jewish Messiah & King & Saviour of the whole world.The Book of Acts to the Jew first then to the Gentile-When the Church gets back to the pattern set by God as proclaimed by the Apostle’s then the Bride of Christ will be ready for their Bridegroom the Lord Jesus to come without-spot or blemish but Yeshua will reign from Zion in Jerusalem as ruler over the whole Earth.Christians say the Church has replaced Israel -How has the Church replaced Israel? Jesus the Holy One of Israel- Jesus the God of Israel -Yeshua King of Israel-Jesus the Jewish Messiah.

  81. Mark Armstrong on March 20, 2018 at 5:02 am

    I’m a pastor in an Australian regional city and the uses of technology I’m reading about in this article far exceed anything I’ve seen except for, perhaps, a few megachurches in our capital cities. I think technology risks warping our theology of church. Although Carey was not writing a blog on the doctrine of the church, it is nevertheless underpinned by such doctrine. Very briefly, on the plain of Shinar, God scattered people everywhere because they conspired to dethrone God (Gen 11). Scattering and languages are the judgement of God. The Day of Pentecost is the biblical response to this episode. The gathering of God’s people and unity expressed through a common language and a common Spirit (Acts 2). The gospel reverses the events at Babel. “Scattering” is replaced with “gathering”. We are saved for church which is fundamentally the gathering of God’s people. I am not “church”. I am a saved individual and when I gather with other saved people I am experiencing church. Heb 10:24-25 calls us to meet together. This imperative is not erased with technology. In glory we are physically in each other’s presence and our churches should be conceived as “little outposts of heaven”. Technology can be a blessing if we use it within the framework of a biblical doctrine of church.

    • Shawn Francis on March 26, 2019 at 9:36 pm

      Mark Armstrong – That was excellent! Solid doctrine and very diplomatically delivered.

  82. Suzy on March 19, 2018 at 6:42 pm

    Why is Sunday morning- a methodical, timed, and planned service, where we don’t actually interact with one another (unless you HAVE to do the greeting thing that isn’t about sharing yourself or Christ really) – considered “real” worship and gathering as a body? I meet every other week with women from the church for bible or life application study, with a larger body of women once a month to discuss spiritual topics and encourages one another, every other week I serve in the nursery so parents can serve or attend, not to mention various church meetings. Because I choose not to sit in a chair in an auditorium the other 2 times a month – when I won’t be having meaningful conversation with anyone- and watch online, l am not “really” engaged? I gather with other believers, I learn, I worship, and I encourage others. According to this article, I’m not doing enough.

    • Jason on March 19, 2018 at 8:46 pm

      Men like this chump who wrote this have no clue. Yeah I said chump. Christ has not bestowed a real revival because the Bride is filthy……they just want more of the same:

      *more of the world inside the church
      *Jesus loves you / we cant judge anyone / that’s between them and God / little or no repentance and no CHANGED life of blood and fire

      Jesus left the church a LONG time ago in this country anyway……..don’t let ANYONE shame you into the shopworn phrase “but….but we are not to foresake the gathering”

      When the gathering is on a broad road to hell and doesn’t care…..but don’t we have a great new building??????? Singing love songs to Jesus, and how we so want “to be like Him”


      Would ANYONE in a modern American church spend 40 days in the desert temped by the devil himself? No. To be betrayed by a disciple, a man you chose? To be degraded, spurned, to be that ‘man of sorrows’? No way. Heck, right before I quit mine there was a pall one Sunday morning because “the air conditioner was broken” and of course “my child will get heat exhaustion” and “Its just too hot”

      So is hell

      You would think these “devout, i love jesus more than anything Christians” were being thrown into the furnace by their incessant complaining. Most of the Christian world now doesn’t even meet in a church (China for example) and I lived in India………some of the churches there are ramshackled corrugated metal and cardboard with a palm frond roof. The flock is just happy to have a cup of tea after the service before they walk six miles back home in 100 degree heat.

      Where are the signs and wonders???? It doesn’t happen here anymore. Men being lifted off their seats and dropped at the altar. Witnesses of men and women shredding tghe program and sweating in fear of God. Doesn’t happen. Even Penatcostals would not believe it if they saw this today.

      God left the American church decades ago. Perhaps THAT is a sign

      • Rob O on March 24, 2019 at 8:01 am

        I agree with most of what you said, however God did not leave the church, people have left God.They have made God in the image they wanted.

    • Joy on April 28, 2019 at 9:01 am

      I tend to agree with this. I think a lot of people in leadership are very attached to the Sunday morning show and consistently hear it touted as “the gathering of believers together.” But you’re right…attending a lecture is not the sort of gathering that the Bible seems to mean—the one where we are truly teaching, mentoring and supporting one another. It is a construction of our Western culture which, though it used to have a deep purpose in society, doesn’t have the same effect anymore.

  83. Craig Anderson on March 18, 2018 at 6:51 pm

    I read most of the comments on this post. Wow! So many hurting people! It’s really hard to read. I pray for the Grace of God to work in every life. May He bring bring healing and peace to each person. If the church is going to become “without spot or wrinkle” as Ephesians says (5;27) then a lot of change is ahead of us. I am deeply saddened that so many have been hurt by church. The church is people, – as Carey says – we are the church. The church is His bride, If I’m in it and you’re in it, then we are in the same church – we all need to be part of the answer. I pray I can walk in humility and forgive those who have hurt me, then I can become a little more like Jesus.

  84. DMc on January 5, 2018 at 12:44 pm

    This article sows the seeds of its own destruction. When you design a service for people (“One good way to check whether your church is ready to reach the unchurched is to see if teenagers love your church services”), you are programming them to expect to be catered to, i.e., to be church consumers rather than the body of Christ. Hello!

    • Noel on March 16, 2018 at 6:31 pm

      My wife and I served in Church from the moment we became Christians in 1987 from setting out chairs to Sunday School teaching to door to door outreach to leading to preaching to Pastoring first as part of a Church leadership core team for 8 years and then for 7 years as leaders of a small Church we were asked to lead – which, in the end, burnt us out completely – me especially – and I simply collapsed one day…drained in every way possible…carbonised…

      Our “decision” (my breakdown) to step down , “survive” and try to help the folks to find other churches (there was no-one to take our place), was initially met with shock, then resignation and ultimately deep resentment.

      Apart from a handful of friends (to this day) in the Church, we might as well not have existed, eaten bread is soon forgotten.

      Worse was to follow, the founding pastor of the Church and his wife slandered us to whoever cared to listen, and there were many, with a false narrative that “we just walked away…plain and simple”

      The numbing shock and deep shame of incapacitating ministerial collapse was exacerbated by this betrayal and cruel judgement.

      Our true friends loved and supported us, saved us, through the literally devastating collapse of a fabric, a frame of reference, a community, that simply turned away when we needed them most.

      We discovered very quickly that Church relationships turned out to be contingent relationships.

      The pain of enquiring “loving” phone calls and coffees with leaders we’d known were actually recruiting rather than restoring “care” – as soon as they realised how broken I was, the love-bombing quickly ended.

      We no longer go to Church.

      We don’t conceive of ever returning to Church.

      We love Christ.


      • Jack on March 17, 2018 at 8:56 am

        I know your pain, same thing happened here, only it was not the former Pastor, people started spreading lies and no matter what we did, the congregation refuses to help. I see my “exit” is getting closer everyday.

      • Rick Wuorenma on March 18, 2018 at 9:09 am

        The last day we attended church was the day (the wife and I) “donated” another FRN to “the cause.” The cause was another (great) building project. It was brick-n-motar. It was the hard stuff of the world. OH ya, it was a good cause. For the youth! We must have a place for the youth.

        THEN GOD broke through. In a quiet and gentle voice, we looked at each other in the days that followed that “donation” and the Lord of the universe asked us (where is the discipleship part in this building). There is a big (life-long) story leading up to that question. But it ALL boils down to this…the church has become a business so the church people can pay their school loan back, pay the mortgage, pay the guy to give a great (religion) speech, pay for the mailing to pay for the …

        We now go to TV church. I gather with other men every Friday for prayer, breakfast and Bible. No great mission to support and most of all the place needs our business. We are safe. We talk “big boy stuff.” The wife asks every week, “what did you talk about?” Well; she is still in the (no church for me thing still). Her church is rest from all the business of the busy marketplace. Resting at home with a cup of coffee and the dog. Her church is me and her talking about the PODcast I just listened to on the internet.

        Now we give our FRN’s to the other TV churches who we will probably never see (or visit) in the flesh.

        May God have mercy, RLW

        • T Duncan on May 4, 2018 at 12:04 pm

          RLW I keep having the same thoughts. When 90% of the church income goes to building loans, staff salaries, and 10% to mission and ministry that just seems so wrong. I do homeless and hungry ministry each week and I see where the money I give to church could do SO much for the homeless and hungry. I feel much more like Jesus’ church when I am serving and praying with the people in need than I do on Sunday in a church building.

      • Don on March 19, 2018 at 8:10 pm

        Noel – it would be good to remember that people are people and God is God. People will let you down, hurt you, desert you, and take your soul if you let them (thanks James Taylor). Remember the rest of that lyric? Ah, but don’t you let them… Love, forgive, and live life without remembering what fallen children of God have done to you. I have had a staggering amount of things said about me and my wife. All falsehood and lies. We don’t care. We love God, so we love people. Learn to move on, find a church like Carey’s, and help people find Jesus. That is all that matters! 🙂

  85. Terry on October 17, 2017 at 9:32 am

    This article resonates with the last decade of my life as a Christian. My wife and I, after growing up in church, were spiritually flatlined and stopped attending church. Our marriage was weak and failing. Our faith was something we intellectually clung to but not something we were living. Upon attending my old church after a long stint away I found myself annoyed that no one had realized I had been missing (consumerism? Totally)

    The church we joined in Cleveland has several institutional mechanisms in place designed to challenge people out of their religious consumerism. First, if you’re a member you are required to serve on Sundays. There’s an alternating schedule so you aren’t serving every week. But if you’re a member, you serve. Period. And you can’t serve if you aren’t a member. If you want to teach Sunday school or play in the band, you have to become a covenanted member.

    Members are also expected to be a part of a Community group within the church. These small groups are centered around 1.) digging deeper into the weekly sermon topic/scripture 2.) providing a place where being spiritually challenged face to face is habitual and 3.) the expectation that each group will engage their neighborhood with the gospel.

    There are other ways too, but these 2 have been particularly valuable to my wife and I over the last 5 years. Our marriage is strong and our faith is growing.

    • JK on March 17, 2018 at 3:18 pm

      I’m glad such a situation is working out for you. I’ve been in churches where I’ve felt hounded to do all kinds of volunteer work I can’t do. I’m not a mother but taught Sunday School for two years. It took a long time to find material and crafts. Finally I had to give it up because I couldn’t spare that time due to another problem. And everyone got mad at me even though they had a full team (I was a committee of 2) to work on the Sunday School.
      I’ve been asked to prepare food, but as a vegetarian who gets depressed going by the meat counter at the supermarket, I’ve no desire to be making ham sandwiches etc. That has caused hostility from some of the church’s ladies. Several won’t even speak to me.
      I was asked to work in the altar guild and couldn’t because I’m allergic to the brass and silver cleaners. That made me unpopular too.
      Now I go to only one small service a month or so and very few functions.I donate a large weekly donation via bank transfer and my husband and I do the church newsletter. My main reason for attending is for communion and worship. I wish someone would ask me what my skills and knowledge entails and find something that would suit me at the church. I’ve heard this kind of story from others who have felt so hounded for volunteer work that they’ve left the church altogether. If I was in a church that gave me the ultamatum of either contributing or else, I’d find another church.

      • AldoraLee on May 21, 2019 at 8:52 pm

        Thanks for explaining your views. In the book of Acts,
        The Holy Scriptures
        ask us to fellowship with one another in the body of Christ.

  86. Linda Willeke on October 15, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    Excellent article. I totally agree that we ARE the church and the church exists for us and perhaps even more so for those “outside the doors”. I think one aspect you may have missed is that many of us go to church because we desire to meet Christ in the Eucharist and believe that he is truly present there to feed us in the bread and wine.

    • JK on March 18, 2018 at 11:09 am

      I totally agree!

  87. Ben on August 25, 2017 at 5:53 am

    Good post Carey.
    In my humble opinion, both personal and congregational mission mindsets are critical.
    I’ve experienced that having an outward (and upward) focus has led me too many opportunities for showing love and care during my week/everyday life. I also appear to witness many more of Gods blessings and mercies when not obsessed with my needs and my busyness. This isn’t all fairy floss and fluffy kittens, sometimes Gods beauty is revealed in the most gritty of situations.
    As congregations, I believe we also have an important missional role to play as there are some things that can only be implemented as a group. Working together to bless your town, the poor, the sick or the environment can build amazing camaraderie amongst your church family whilst channelling combined energies/effort outwardly.
    Sad thing is that in these times, the above seems so countercultural to both society and the church.
    Better days are ahead though…genuine mission to radically and authentically share the love of Christ is becoming a shining beacon in present turbulent times.

  88. Bette on August 4, 2017 at 9:55 am

    I think the most important way to grow the church is to make sure the church is a body of people who love one another. People of all ages, who see people genuinely care for each other on a Sunday morning or Saturday night or whenever the body gathers, will be drawn in and want to be a part of that living body. The message, the music, the setting are all secondary to the bigger command of Jesus to “love one another”.

  89. Morgan Chiverton on August 3, 2017 at 1:07 am

    Amazing article! I’m going to get your book (s)

  90. Jason on July 29, 2017 at 4:10 pm

    Yet very soon on this blog or another one we’ll hear about “my church accepts everyone and tells them to come as they are”

    I left church for the following reasons:

    *Limp, spineless “ministry” that helps the poor ONLY at Christmas, and then spends the rest of the year talking about all the amazing “work” they do for the poor. I want action that is lived.

    *Mean church ladies / self-righteous church mommy’s. Yeah, the women who think they own the church. They view single men like myself as sex-depraved, unable to do anything or lead anything…then complain when you do try or want to. They forgive a single man if he looks like Ryan Gosling or looks like a leading man from a “Hallmark Channel” made-for-TV-movie……..then they have free run of the place. Most have a very passive-aggressive attitude that is never called out, and gently corrected. More tiring than anything. The pastors are actually terrified of them. Visitors quickly don’t come back to that.

    *Church music. I am so tired of contemporary ‘christian’ music. It’s more like an American Idol performance……..the cool guy with the tattoo. The pastors (cough) virginal daughter with always a solo. Repetitive, repetitive and repetitive dumb phrases “You are my God and I will worship you”. Weak, insipid, and uninspiring lyrics, and outright theft of a secular song, and putting “god” or “jesus” in it, and now it’s a Christian song! It looks and is fake. Flashing lights, disco balls, smoke machines, remote microphones……….dare you criticize???? You have a “critical spirit” and “we have to do this, or the young people won’t come” and you look around the church……and the young people are not there or in the lobby ‘hanging out’

    *Talking about sin? Only men are sinners, and women were always “led astray” by a no good, lazy, porn addicted, living in mommy’s basement, no job, type of man.

    *Relationships are phony and surface only. Sure, the men meet up and “man up” and then they go home. They is zero genuine friendships being built. Mention this? You have a “critical spirit” and “what are you doing about it?” and you want to do more…and of course…..you are not allowed to start anything……

    *More concern with numbers, numbers, numbers…the new church building program

    *Bible studies that are (cough) “bold” but just like church, when they are over….no personal changes.

    *Sermons that are always about “not judging” yet the “inner clique” of the church are the most judgmental people you will ever see

    *You pick up your cross. You want to be like Jesus….and the whole body then thinks and accuses you of “Oh….who does he think he is? He thinks he is better than us!!!”

    *The usual gossip that is never addressed.

    I went on a 150 mile backpacking trek in June. Guess what???? I had more fellowship with Jesus in the beauty of God’s creation in the wilderness of mountains, rivers, remote ponds and the stillness and beauty of it all. I was challenged. I wasn’t judged. I wasn’t gossiped about. I wasn’t given passive-aggressive attitudes, and the song of the wind, the rain…the feeling of the sun, the crystal air……………..devotional and prayers in the morning. Reading His Word by the light of a campfire at night……….

    Got more solved and figured out in my life that I ever got figured out INSIDE a church. Even repented from sin. Came to terms with what I had done in my life that was sinful, and rotten in the eyes of God.

    Church, you can keep your ‘hip-pastors’ your “new” buildings. Your dumb songs, your silly attempts to look “authentic” and copy-cat to the WORLD. Your fake “family” and marriage-as-an-idol image that you deny but live and act out.

    • Ange on August 13, 2017 at 12:32 pm

      Agreed, Jason. Unfortunately, people will continue to judge and condemn us for not contributing more to the church and this is why we feel like this. My husband and I got sick and tired of trying to connect and get involved where we are gifted to get involved. We were told we had to be greeters before we could be small group leaders. I was told that as a woman I could only teacher Sunday school. We participated in small groups where the leaders didn’t contact the group at all during the week or during the summer break. We longed for relationships and purpose and left broken-hearted. This is the church?

      • Jason on August 13, 2017 at 1:58 pm

        In these times, the church is going to have to actually LIVE what it preaches. Not just on Sunday. I keep hearing “family” but there was no one I really could call in my church if I was in a jam. The usual attitude is: “Well, what did YOU do about it?”

        I really wasn’t allowed to do anything.

        Reach out? Gossiped about. Don’t reach out? You are not making an effort.

        I would like to a find a church that wants to help me grow. Not “do” everything for me. Not to be “popular” and not to be considered a “leader”

        I would just like the true fellowship, repentance, striving, learning and example that Christ lived. Revolutionary indeed.

        Until then…….I will push myself to stay in prayer daily. Devotionals. Scripture reading, and watching some sermons online from pastors that actually teach about heaven and hell.

      • Elizabeth Kirk on August 14, 2017 at 2:37 pm

        Sadly, I have to agree with you, I have had very similar experiences, and am still frustrated . I recently started attending an AME church and WOW.. I am relatively new, so I am not familiar with the “practices” etc, and just offer to help when necessary.. This past Sunday, I just kind of took over during a “crunch” time before worship service, and ran off programs for the extra people who came. One of the older members came up and said WOW, you have only been here 3 x and you are stepping up to “help” …. Like it was a tremendous surprise.. Guess where I am going next week. ??

        • Jerry McDowell on March 17, 2018 at 5:49 pm

          i dont have the answer .but i do see a lack of want to and desire . you may have a big crowd sunday morning .come sunday night 15 would be a crowd . what i do know is the anointing destroys the yoke. with in us is 2 battles flesh man vs spirit man ..jesus told peter the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak… Jesus also told peter upon this Rock i will build my church… what is that rock thou art the Christ.. we put Jesus on the throne and us on the cross .it boils down folks are not interested . programs are not working .. how about just do some good old fashioned HolyGhost preaching

    • Stan on October 15, 2017 at 10:20 am

      Well, Jason. I cannot say this is the experience at my church.
      I also have to say ( yes I have to if no one else will) that you have a lot of baggage that has not been dealt with here.
      I suggest working through some of your issues and if you continue to use the church as a scapegoat, I don’t ever see complete healing of past hurts, wrongs, pain and I suspect misunderstandings and misinterpretations of people’s motives an actions.

      • Jason on October 15, 2017 at 1:48 pm

        Great! Happy that you found a church where this is not your experience!

        However, it is the experience for many, and tons of men (hence why they are not going) and to “deny” this and use the excuses “these men have baggage and issue to work out!”

        How “bold” and “brave” of you to say this! Make sure you tell your fellow deacons / leaders / pastor that you were “bold” for Jesus this week.

        This shows most that you really have no care for the vast swath of people who don’t come to church….as long as your “club” doesn’t get rocked and church can not longer wring their hands and say “well, people just don’t want to know Him”

        They do. People are screaming for a Savior. They don’t see Him in church, and this reflects the trends, attendance and attitude today. The “end times” warnings are for all of us…………..especially those who “claim” and “know” Him.

        • theartist on March 19, 2018 at 11:42 am

          TO Jason AND the Many others who have/are experiencing-I UNDERSTAND and KNOW where you are coming from. I am experiencing it. I am also an EMPLOYEE and will be leaving my position of 25 years. Even though I will remain a member (until My assigment(s) here are complete and my administrative replacment is trained), in the interim, Along with The Word of God (Bible) I am reading A.W.Tozer, Oswald Chambers, and Charles Spurgeon, Andrew Murray, D.L. Moody, R.A. Torrey, and E.M Bounds. What led me to these late great men (saints) of our Lord? Because of the superficial teaching of the Church where I work/attend. The severe lack of spiritual growth, the repetitive teaching of the “fundamentals,” a carelessness (event only) attiude in reaching the lost. Introverted (church to church) fellowship and not Church to community. Where certain families are elevated and others dismissed. Leadership surrounded by “yes men” who dare not challenge-even while being clearly mislead. No true repetence of sin, little knowledge of Spiritual Warfare, nor what are moral absolutes or the meaning and significance of what it means to have a Biblical Worldview, therefore sin abounds -I knew there was MORE-and I asked the Lord to lead me to the MORE. While you are not attending a physical Church now-Please YouTube Francis Chan. This man of God is authentic in expounding on God’s Word-and living it out. Ask God to give you a new home. The only perfect Home is in Heaven. But God commands that we “not forsake the assembling of ourselves with other believers”. He will give us our new Houses of Worship. Will there be porcupines there too? YES. But God can give us less of these-wherever He ultimately plants us.
          P.S. Dr. Henry Cloud’s book “Necessary Endings” is a catalyst in my moving forward. This Christian pscychologist hits the bullseye.

    • Mary on October 15, 2017 at 6:15 pm

      Wow, I wish that your experience was different…. but sadly I understand and have to agree with you. It is terribly frustrating to try and make changes with the old guard causing waves. As a pastor’s daughter ( I didn’t sing solo’s) and a pastor’s wife…. of 35 years. It is so easy to give up and not want to invite people to our church. I do pray that I can be the change and make it work and that God’s love will transcend my mistakes… my sins and I will be able to honour Him each and every day not just Sunday’s. Love is the answer.

    • Larry Robinson on January 9, 2018 at 12:46 pm

      Wow. You are slamming a heavy hammer. Driving in nails with each blow. I find that a huge majority of Southern Baptist churches in Central Texas are exactly like what you are saying. Tragic. Sadly, most church members look in mirrors and see something different than what non attendants (not just non believers) see.

    • Steve Fletcher on March 17, 2018 at 8:08 am

      Jason, you listed several attitudes that do exist in many churches. I think Carey put fort a positive way to overcome many of those negatives. Engagement by more people. There is a good chance you are not the only one to notice the negatives. By working with the pastor or elders a person can unite others in correcting those negatives with their active engagement.

    • Anna Kleinschmidt on March 19, 2018 at 2:14 am

      @Jason: Amen to all!! Especially regarding music and building projects! I could not agree more. You are right Brother. God has left the building long ago!

    • Mike on June 14, 2018 at 7:21 pm

      Jason – Lots of today’s churches are just as you described. My wife and I left one about 10 years ago (in which I had led a Bible study), joined another – but then the pastor and 1/3 of the members left and it circled the drain…

      We church-hopped for a couple of years driving ever farther away to find a church that was Biblically-focused and had some depth. No luck yet, and now we stay home on Sundays.

      I’m absolutely sick of the shallow sermons, church-growth numbers games, and dishonest and disingenuous behavior of the staff, elders and deacons. I’ll pass.

      I’m not going back. Churches in the USA are shrinking at an alarming rate and from what I can tell the decline will continue. If people want shallow, light entertainment mixed with “how to live a better life” they can stay home and watch TV, where at least the music is better…

    • Anon on October 21, 2019 at 8:31 am

      What Jason described is exactly why I do not attend church anymore. Have seen this happen for years and how uninterested people are in changing. If anything I see the church as the mission field, the very place one must witness to the lost.

    • S. on October 27, 2019 at 1:14 pm

      We agree with you, especially about the music. Today we tried to attend a new church, but were blasted out of our seats by the music (what is this, a music concert?) and therefore went out the door. Another time, we tried a different church and got to hear the umpteen repetition of the chorus – we almost memorized it. We call this 7-11 music, 7 verses – repeated 11 times. A guest pastor at our old church called it “off the wall” music. The lyrics are bland, the music is so alike sounding from song to song. What is wrong with the old, beloved hymns? There, the music is different and there are actual verses – and they all say something important.

    • I Have Had Enough on December 12, 2019 at 11:03 pm

      Well said. Problem is when a person leaves the church for the reasons you stated, the church just brushes it off as being the problem of the person who left instead of manning up and admitting that the church is the problem. Many of them won’t ever admit it. It would take too much effort and cost to overhaul their erroneous system.

  91. Sina on July 22, 2017 at 9:45 pm

    Blessed by this artile – Thank you

    • Jason Maloney on July 24, 2017 at 9:13 am

      Well said and to most I would agree. Thanks for sharing.

      Everytime I read an article like this, which is often lately, I ask my self what this means for denominations who are supported by the local church tithe, which in turn support missions, church planting and other ministries.

      Supporting the store house is important as well.

    • Mags Lewis on July 28, 2017 at 7:36 am

      As a church leader with my husband for thirty years in the U.K. I have spent all my energynencoudaging the flock to reach the lost but each time in each church we did this the flock complain that they don’t want the types of people that we bring in or the problems they bring with them
      They just want us to be there for their needs to be met and get fed and cared for this is all well and good but it doesn’t change the world or grow the church ! We are in a time of waiting on the Lord for what he wants us to do next but my energy is sapped by church goers who fight fall out and complain ! This is a wasted if valuable leadership ministry experience all because the church is too selfish and introverted so at the moment I am giving church a wide berth as it saps me of everything that is good sad but true and there are many more like me !
      They just want us to be

      • elizabeth Kirk on July 28, 2017 at 10:49 am

        Mags,, sorry you feel this way, but I am in total agreement about churches not wanting “those”kind of people, i.e. blacks, LGBT, Hispanics, etc.. Somewhere in this whole church situation “Jesus and his message and actions ” have been totally lost…

        • Rob O on March 24, 2019 at 8:58 am

          We are not to bring people into the church building, we are commanded to, “go out”

  92. Micael on July 22, 2017 at 5:38 pm

    Very interesting article. I agree with many options set out by the author in order to transform the church so it reaches again to every members and non-members.
    But what about the Holy Spirit? It’s seems like it’s been forgotten here. Maybe it reveals how much it’s been forgotten in our churches as well?
    I like that quote from A. W Tozer ” If the Holy Spirit was withdrawn from the church today, 95% of what we do would go on and no one would know the difference. If the Holy spirit had been withdrawn from the New Testament church, 95 % of what they did would stop, and everybody would know the difference”.

    • jamie on July 23, 2017 at 11:48 am

      I agree about what Michael said about the Holy Spirit. If we have to “get ” people to want to be involved then we are working in our own power.
      Also, Biblically speaking, the church is for believers of Jesus. It is not for the unsaved.
      (fellowship of believers). We are to be the church and do the work ourselves. Preach, tell, deliver, heal, baptize, make disciples. Jesus told us to do that. Yes we should have fellowship with other believers but it does not have to be in a certain building, at a certain time etc.

  93. Andre Afamasaga on July 22, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    One of the best articles I’ve read on this subject ever. Thank you.

  94. Kai on July 21, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    I agree with this article… excluding the fact that a lot of people have been hurt by churches by getting involved. I know that I have gotten severely burned by getting “too close” twice (by the only two churches Ive been truly involved in). This breaks the part of you that trusted the church, which results in you taking a “break” (which, at the time, you swear won’t be a temporary one).
    Months or years later, you decide you miss going to church because you need to be fed in order to get to the place where you were before the church incident. But going to church will not be an option (and I mean, WILL NOT) if you have to be involved in order to attend. That period of attending but only being fed (and holding off the serving) is very crucial in order to slowly ease yourself back into trusting “church” (as we’ve made it in North America) again.
    So please, if you’re in that period of needing to be fed but protecting your heart by not yet getting involved, know that that is not wrong and you aren’t the only one. ❤

    • Kathy Smith on July 21, 2017 at 11:31 pm

      Totally agree. Been burned twice by church politics. At this point in my life, I need to attend with no expectations.

    • elizabeth Kirk on July 23, 2017 at 8:02 am

      Kai: so totally true, been there done that, and the part about church politics is true also… especially when your own pastor tells you that he would rather see you (a member for 30 years) leave than a newer person who he personally likes better but who has never been involved in service in the church. Can you imagine the heart break and disappointment one would feel, coming from their own pastor.

      • Lev on February 16, 2018 at 9:47 pm

        I don’t have to imagine it, this is reality. To preach and being careful to practically implement: Love the kind that God is, God gave and gives and the resulting interactions between active believers, is a mute subject. Jesus gives the command to love oneanother as by these means the world will look and see Jesus’ desciples.
        Instead there is pastor encouraged ageism, bullying, ministry hunting (rather than support another’s ministry, looking to take it off the other person), separating (one of the biblical key words and ideas is love and together, rather than discouraging older folks with the “youth must have it!”. The biblical pattern is old and young to work together till the old drop off because of fading physical strength and God calling them home. Seing and having visions and dreams is intergenerational, catching the fire from each other and each other on spurning to build on God’s kingdom.), favouritism, hitting your serving brother/sister with disrespect, blocking and hanging out to dry (this is how that works: being asked to do a project but then starving it of any ingredients or interaction, so the project can’t progress. Then suddenly you hear as surprise in an announcement that brother/sister so and so (he/she has wealth, accalades, worldly position and in the case of power women who like to throw their weight around (the people that make the pastor tick)) is doing this project. He/she does get all the cooperation possible. This pattern repeats.
        Church folk who are adamant that they will NOT work with anybody other than themselves. Their conduct is encouraged and firmed up because they are pastor’s favourites.
        Making love your aim, encourage each other etc are rare luxuries. This causes rather than being encouraged for closer fellowship with each other and the Lord, to be repelled.
        No love IN the church, no difference to the world, no effective witness to the world.
        No love, then the preaching and other do-good activities are just noise making cymbals, causing ear ache, heart ache, belly ache (bad feelings and unease about church) and a dismembered body. Hence the Letter to the Ephesians in Revelation.
        Servant hearts become soo discouraged that they look to leave; if they make their feeling known it gets met with the spiritoanalysis list:
        Yep, he isn’t secure in the father’s love etc and “not forgetting the assemblying of ourselves” of course.
        Maybe demonstrating what God’s love IS like by showing at least unfavoured respect (the first thing that is part of the AGAPE love container) and by making sure that people in an interest group MUST work together, not breaking a smoldering wick, strengthening the weak knees, going after the sheep that’s about to or has fallen (rather than “I won’t go after them!”) would be better. Let him who wants to be the greatest be the servant of all.
        That still leaves enough to do for having to forgive each other as we are all different.
        It’s sad and wasteful if a Christian is forced to be a talent burying, now nailed in Jack in his box (no more jouful bounce) :'(

        • Elizabeth Kirk on February 17, 2018 at 1:52 pm

          Lev, great response.. key words that stood out to me: If there is no love in the church, you make no difference in the world , and are not an effective witness in the world… Many church people stay in that happy little box that meets on Sunday morning (or evening) and never think about, or do anything for the people in their own immediate neighborhood, or church neighborhood… I miss the concept of church “family” as I have had in other churches I belonged to, but this “family” worked outside of the church also.. I have had to accept, so far , that this, closed door “church” is what I have found for the most part in the various churches I have attended recently as I continue my “seeking” journey.. I have recently found solice in seeking a more universal religious connection, i.e. attending and learning more about “other” religions, i.e. Baha’i and Islam.. yet still maintaining my ties to several local churches…but without significant enthusiasm… I am not surprised that the statistics for church attendance continue to plummet.

  95. Chris on July 21, 2017 at 9:26 am

    I like Francis Chan’s take on the church. I work for and attend a mega church in the inland empire in California. Sunday feel pretty lonely sitting in our big new worship center. My husband and i get up for the 6th day of the week, hassle the traffic, ride a bus from the parking lot and leave without connecting with anyone. HOWEVER… our small group overcomes the isolated Sunday morning experience, which is completely necessary in a large church. I think about those who don’t have the connections I have by working for the church and how they feel.

    • Raymond Hays on July 21, 2017 at 11:21 am

      I have read most of the responses here and I find them all to have a heartfelt base.
      The one thing I can ask of those who mentioned the Mega churches, is why are you going there? I have visited a number of these “Mega” churches and found if one asks; when and how did you get “saved” you will get a verity of answers, but a large number of the youth have no idea of what you speak, they come because their friends come, and they like the music which to some is like going to a Free concert. then there are the not so young folk who will come right out and tell you they are there because they can bury themselves or get lost in the crowd and not really get involved with much of what the “Church” is all about. They just come enjoy the music service and the feel good message and get out as fast as they can in order to beat the traffic. After they go they can say to themselves we have done our duty as Christians, and that should last us through the week until next time.
      Then there are the Mega churches where it seems as if everyone is involved they go out to the community, seek out the lost and bring them in meet their individual needs showing them the true religion of Faith in Jesus. Thus the church grows and there is something for everyone.
      I remember in the church I attended in Seattle as you leave the sanctuary there was a sign over the doors that read “YOU ARE NOW ENTERING THE MISSION FIELD”

  96. Lenita Scholer on July 20, 2017 at 7:33 pm

    We are the communion of saints, we need to gather together to be the church. I hate online, live TV, mega church, I am not here to be entertained. I’m here for the message, the fellowship and communion. Maybe Im too old already but church is for everyone, we should not cater to any one group. You learn what you live, if you grow up in the church, you will be come back to the church. I taught my kids Jesus is their rock. They can depend on him when all else fails. I love our pastor, our church, and the community we have. I wished I could spend more time there. An hour a week is really not enough……

    • Larry McCoy Sr. on July 22, 2017 at 11:13 am

      1/168 is a very week week. I know a lot of people that think one hour on Sunday morning is just right. I am a “senior” person and I have a church background since I accepted Jesus at the age of 12 at a church camp. I know a lot of people that attend to satisfy the desire to “fellowship” with other Christians. I know that each person has to be given a “roll” to attend. Being active is very important to continue attending.

  97. Daryl Billings on July 20, 2017 at 6:58 pm

    If I am sitting in a chair in a building, worshiping the Father and learning the truth that comes from the Father’s heart, am I attending church? If I am in the ICU unit praying with people who are desperate for the Lord to change their situation, am I attending church? If I am listening to a parent who doesn’t understand the choices their teenage child is making, am I attending church? If I am comforting a friend who just lost a loved one, am I attending church? If I stop while I am shopping and pray with the man using crutches, am I attending church. If I give the homeless person a sandwich and a bottle of water, am I attending church? Of course, I am! You can see where I am going with this, I hope. The Church is the body of Christ and when we do the things we see Him do and say the things we see Him say, then we are in attendance with the Church He is building. Let’s get real about Church and do the things He asked us to do.

    • Luke on July 21, 2017 at 10:05 am

      I’d agree you are worshiping when you are doing those things, but there is more to “going to church” than just worshiping. Sure, we should seek to worship Jesus in all we do. However, “going to church” is much more connected with keeping the Sabbath. That is, we are commanded to have a rest time where we meet and gather with other believers. We are commanded after all to not stop meeting together as some are in the habbit of doing. Skirting around what God has plainly asked us to do by, instead, labeling everything we do as “going to church,” kinda misses the point. Yes, worship God in all you do. But one of those things we should do is gather with other believers to rest in the grace, mercy and presence of Jesus.

    • Francis Pule on July 22, 2017 at 5:32 pm

      You are not going to church, you have just described what being the church looks like.
      You are living out what it means to be part of the kingdom of God.

      Bless you mate.

    • Patricia Saunders on July 23, 2017 at 5:38 pm

      Love this comment.

  98. Richard Haag on July 20, 2017 at 11:12 am

    The Church today has stopped studying scripture. He gave us his word but sermons tend to be about feelings.

  99. Sandra on July 20, 2017 at 9:40 am

    Wow, reading a lot of the comments, people are really picking up on this whole age-gap thing.

    Carey’s statement was “One good way to check whether your church is ready to reach the unchurched is to see if teenagers love your church services. Not your alternative service. Your main-open-the-doors-wide service. If teenagers hate your church service, so will unchurched people.”

    The point was that teenagers generally have their finger on the pulse of our culture, so if you want to reach the unchurched – who are the culture – then check out what the teens think. Adolescents can tell when someone is teaching fluff and they can sense inauthenticity a mile away. If they hunger for what is being taught, then you are going to reach the culture. The danger is when the Gospel is not being preached in the middle of it. THAT Truth is what the culture is eager to hear. And if it is being preached in an authentic, vulnerable, welcoming community – to people of all ages, stages, ethnicities and demographics – then the unchurched will be drawn. It is not the light-show, the rock and roll music, the whatever. All people want Truth. All people want to be welcome in an authentic community. Teens are only your thermometer.

    • Sarah on July 20, 2017 at 10:14 am

      “The danger is when the Gospel is not being preached in the middle of it. THAT Truth is what the culture is eager to hear. And if it is being preached in an authentic, vulnerable, welcoming community – to people of all ages, stages, ethnicities and demographics – then the unchurched will be drawn. It is not the light-show, the rock and roll music, the whatever. All people want Truth. All people want to be welcome in an authentic community. Teens are only your thermometer.”

      • Sammye Heald on July 20, 2017 at 2:17 pm

        I am still looking for a church that does not pander to the young but loves the elderly too. Most I have attended have a band (too loud), a praise team of about 4 people, and a choir that sits in those seats but do not really act as a choir. They chant something you see on a big screen and have forgotten about the beautiful hymns we used to sing to praise our lord. I guess what I want and am looking for is a church like I grew up in….a church where everyone was welcome and the pastor really preached about God and Jesus and the love they have for all mankind. I just have not found that yet.

        • Luke on July 21, 2017 at 10:11 am

          The article is kinda about how we don’t go to church to consume church. That is, it’s not about our personal preferences or wants. Pandering to either the young or old because that’s what someone prefers is not what this article is about at all. It’s about getting away from worrying about trying to find any kind of church that caters to anyone, young or old, other than finding a church that caters to the mission of Jesus which is, to seek and save the lost.

        • Raymond Hays on July 21, 2017 at 10:54 am

          Sammy, I have to agree with you, in that I am still searching for the kind of fellowship that builds you and reinforces what you believe. A church should be a gathering place of all peoples who are like minded in the service of the Lord, be you young or old, age is irrelevant except for the fact that older Christians should be looked up to by the younger, and older Christians should be setting an example and mentoring the younger Christian. Sometimes tho, the younger Christian is more mature than some elders but he shows respect, and Just as Jesus did as a young person teaching in the Temple by asking the elders questions that may lead to both or all learning.
          Yes I too would love to find a church that is balanced. A Church based in the community for the community.

  100. Sallie on July 19, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    “If teenagers hate your church service, so will unchurched people.”

    Really? The focus of a church is to be what teenagers think? And the unchurched? Isn’t the church supposed to be a gathering of the body of Christ for mutual edification and building up? If others want to come in and see what is happening, they should be welcome to observe and listen. And all generations should be welcome – both young AND old. But to focus on what teens like? And the unchurched? Based on what?

    • Phyllis on July 19, 2017 at 10:00 pm

      Exactly!! I agree with the statement “we ARE the Church.” Preaching the Truth, the Bible, the Gospel, as well as Law… well, that would be a worship service! No gimmicks & games.

    • Sandra on July 20, 2017 at 9:21 am

      Sallie, I believe that is a great statement. If teenagers, who have their fingers on the pulse of the culture, feel welcome and engaged in a church service, the unchurched – those immersed in the culture – will as well. Yes, ALL generations should be welcome and we should be doing all we can to engage people of all ages, stages, ethnicities and cultures. But the teens are the gauge of how relevant our church is presenting the gospel to the culture.

      • Sallie on July 20, 2017 at 2:28 pm

        The gathering of the church is for the building up and edification of the Body of Christ. I still don’t understand where from the Scriptures (or even tradition before the past thirty years) people get the idea that we are supposed to be “relevant” and appeal to people immersed in the culture. I thought the point of growing up was to be able to participate with the adults, not expect the adults to pander to the lowest common denominator. Where is the idea even remotely implied in the Scriptures that teenagers know what appeals to the lost who are enamored with the culture so that should guide our services?

        • Dana Williams on July 20, 2017 at 7:35 pm

          Don’t take such a low view of teenagers. They are more astute than they often get credit for.

        • Dan slishet on July 22, 2017 at 2:30 pm

          Amen Sister!!!! In fact, it should never be about how relevant the church is to any segment of society. It is not about segmental presentations with slick marketing programs. It’s about being light and salt in a dark and rotting world.

  101. Travis Haines on July 19, 2017 at 5:18 pm

    “On the most elementary level, you do not have to go to church to be a Christian. You do not have to go home to be married either. But in both cases if you do not, you will have a very poor relationship.”
    – R. Kent Hughes

    • Jacqueline Scott on July 19, 2017 at 7:10 pm

      All I can say is an excellent assessment! Thank you & GOD Bless!

  102. Clay K. on July 19, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    There are far more reasons to attend church than these two. Church exists to worship God and build up believers for the work of the ministry. Both of these aspects, and many others, are missing from your post. Here is a response, respectfully submitted to broaden the conversation: http://reasonabletheology.org/attending-church-still-makes-sense/

  103. linda on July 19, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    I am the church… but “old people” are expected to sit down and shut up. “Our youth” are the church of today…

    It’s downright hurtful — and unfortunately, “older people” are not the only ones who are given a very low place on the pecking order.

    Sometimes faithful are not treated like they are the ones who are wanted or needed.

    • Chris on July 19, 2017 at 5:35 pm

      I hear you and relate. The sad part is that there is a pecking order in the church at all. A shame that some Pastors are the ones who have created the pecking order and are dividing the flock. God loves all people, and the church above all, should want and need all Christians.