The Decline in Church attendance: Is it due to church hurt or lack of commitment?
The decline of church attendance has reached major heights over the last couple of decades and the churches are relating it to lack of commitment while attendees are relating it to things that go on in the church that should not. Many others give different reasons as to why the decline of church attendance. The primary reason many go to church is to get closer to God but there appears to be a debacle with convincing those who are pulling away to stay? Is it because of church hurt and offenses or it is because of lack of commitment? I would say both. In a recent survey it has been found that nearly 1 in 5 adults who attend monthly or more say they do not usually feel God’s presence; 1 in 4 don’t usually feel a sense of community; and 4 in 10 don’t usually feel connected to their faith’s history.
The major problem is that we are commanded to reach the lost but we appear to be losing more people than we are reaching. Pastors and church leaders have started to see church as a business and things like benevolence and evangelism is being put on the back burners. Many also feel as if the church is more concerned with growing the number of members than they are with making those who are already apart of the church feel as if they belong. Is clergy abuse, the cover-up by the Church, and fundamentalist preachers and congregations been driving people away from the Church? Are these reasons more valid than a lack of commitment since many who don't go to church say that they still believe in God?
Another reason for the decline is people have many choices for worshipping. Due to the increase in internet usage, Google generation people are making use of e-churches. This makes them abandon attending physical churches. They are satisfied with e-Churches and with their worship.
Millennials feel that there is phony advertising from churches. This is believed to be creating a devastating impact on the Church and most certainly contributing to its decline. You cannot tell Millennials that your church welcomes everybody — that all can come to Jesus — and then, when they come, what they find are unwelcoming gestures.
You cannot say, “Everybody is welcome here" if, by that, you really mean, so long as you’re like the rest of us. If everyone is not really equally welcomed in the doors of your church, the church needs to stop saying one thing and making attendees feel something else.
There are issues on both sides, from the church leaders and workers as well as from the church attending people. The commitment level has gone away from both service and commitment. It is time for the church doors to be only open to the example that Jesus set.
Blessings and Breakthroughs,
Pamela D. Smith