I talk to a lot of people who “used to go to church,” but no longer do. They love Jesus, read their Bible, pray, minister to others, and evangelize. They are just tired up and fed (Said it that way on purpose) with how church people act. Consider a few of the reasons they give for why they don’t attend a regular meeting of believers as defined by the last 50 years as “church” (They affirmed these things in one way or another consistent with the article from which I copied them):
Note: I’m not saying I necessarily agree with them or their reasoning… I just presenting this for consideration.
Many believers are growing tired of the celebrity culture in our churches.
Many believers are fed up with the incessant entertainment and worldly amusements found in the churches.
Many believers are not being fed from the Word of God. (This one is huge. RE)
Many believers are put off by the attempt to cater solely to youth, while ignoring their needs.
Many believers are tired of just being bench warmers, with no role to play.
Many believers are weary of the constant need to be “relevant” at the expense of biblical orthodoxy. (Essential. RE)
Many believers are looking for the real deal. They want an encounter with almighty God, not just a razzmatazz stage production.
Many believers are desiring genuine Holy Ghost revival, not just pep talks, self-help seminars, and a me-centred gospel.
Many believers are starving for the reality of First Century Christianity. (I think every genuine Christian does. RE)
I would add one more… Many believers are tired of the fights and politics and drama in local congregations.
Honestly, I get their point… which is something local congregations would do well to consider and change accordingly. People who encounter these things in local congregations will NOT try to change them… they won’t voice their perspective either, instead they look around for a place to worship and when they don’t find one, they leave. That doesn’t mean they aren’t saved NOR does it necessarily mean they are out of God’s will either. They just haven’t found what they know the true church is supposed to mean and be… a model of First Century Christianity.
The answer… local congregations need to take a close look at themselves. Those who’ve left should not give up in their search. Since God can do all things I don’t see why churches can’t change (That’s called revival) and those who are searching can’t find (“Seek and you WILL find”).
Just my thoughts for the first day of 2015.
Ron, thank you for this article. One of the lines you wrote really spoke to me. “They want an encounter with almighty God.” That is all I want when I go to church.. Everything else falls into place when we encounter Him. I need to feel trust, in church. Last year I experienced thru another friend, that gossip about me was put into prayer request at bible study. I had attended bible study for at least 12 years there, but only two girls had ever reached out to me. This isn’t the first incident like this. I genuinely love people and see others thru Jesus’s eyes. But I am angry that so few others IN CHURCH do not see peoples thru His eyes. I thought that was the thing that everyone received when they are saved. Forgiveness!…I know…
Bless you Lynn. I think we all experience things like that to one degree or another. There are times I take the “Phoebe Buffet” approach to church (You know, the blonde character in the Friends TV program). She ran in a goofy way, but didn’t care what anyone thought. She’d say odd and unusual stuff, knowing others didn’t “get” her, but that was fine with her. And she was happy.
Paul wrote, “I am what I am by the grace of God…” (1 Cor 15:10). We all, you and I, are who we are by God’s grace. We live in a fallen world which mean there is a certain oddness to us… and that’s okay! We are ALL trying to be better, do better, and deal with our own dysfunctions. I am better now at not really caring what others think about me or what I do. The only one that matters in God through Jesus. And He loves me (You too!). As Paul wrote, “There is therefore now NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Those people trying to blow out your candle won’t make theirs any brighter. You just keep seeking God and leave it all in His hands!
Thanks Ron. The reasons you listed are all true. The one you added “Many believers are tired of the fights and politics and drama in local congregations.” was big for me. That seems to happen in all congregations and in every denominations.
Jim… I’m probably odd without being cliche, but revival and awakening is needed. There are changes taking place and most ministers and congregants are either blind or don’t care. Bless you my friend.