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Sunday
Oct212018

Why Going to Church is Getting Harder

 

I will have to say that for most of my Christian life I have practiced going to church. I have always thought that a person who does not want to associate with a church body is someone who has a spiritual problem and is probably what was once referred to as backslidden. Yet, as we assess what is going on with the following statistics, it might give us another reason to pause. 

If these statistics actually do reflect what is going in today’s church, the church in America is in big trouble. 

 

  • More than 30% of churchgoers say they have never felt God’s presence during a service. 
  • 70% of all young people who grow up in church leave the church by their 20’s
  • 44% of American adults say God plays no role in their lives. 
  • 65% of American Christians believe there is more than one way to God.
  • 1/3 of Americans believe that when they die, God will give them a second chance. 
  • 50% of Evangelicals aged 18-29 feel same sex marriage are okay
  • 2/3 of Americans aged 18-34 feel that pre-marital sex is never wrong
  • 62% of American churches have no growth or are in decline.
  • 65% of American churches have less than100 members, including children. 
  • 2 Million people have left the American church in the last seven years.
  • In just 8 years, the percentage of the U.S. population calling themselves Christians has decreased from 78% to 70%. 
  • More than 50% of churchgoers cannot remember the content of last Sunday’s sermon.
  • 75% of Christians do not feel it necessary to share their faith.

 

I cannot verify all these statistics, but I would say that I have witnessed many of them as true. 

When I go to church and listen to the sermons, there is no way I would place myself under the kind of preaching I am hearing nor would I attend that church.

That may sound rather elitist, but I believe the Church is in trouble like a person with a drug problem is in trouble. In other words, before a drug addict can be helped, he/she has to admit there is a problem. Before the Church can do a course correction, it needs to admit it is in trouble. I have been around the block too many times to know that what I hear in church is neither Biblical nor relevant to Biblical truth. Some of what is preached has no spiritual application to living in a world that is slowing moving away from God.

The Church is not a place that should be just a gathering place for people who believe in God, because according to George Barna research, 50% of those sitting in the pews of American churches are not even Christians. If that is the case, perhaps the relevancy is to first convince those who attend church that Christ is the only way to salvation. It seems Americans have wavered on this point according to the statistics. 

You may think I am too hard on the Church, and that is your prerogative, but I would disagree. Church is the place where you hear from God’s Word and meet His presence there to minister to your soul. Too often we hear from a minister whose ideas on God’s Word can be as far from the truth as the local newspaper.

These church statistics didn’t happen in a vacuum, they happened because the church decided that its mission was different from what the Bible teaches. 

Here is how it happens. “Careless theology sets the course for church practice.”

It has been my conviction for many years that states this:“You can never be successful in ministry until you allow God to redeem the ministry in you.”

You can build an organization that is successful with talented people, but when you place that same organization on the scales of God’s standards, it fails to measure up to what God expects. Careless theology is created in the vacuum of truth, and where truth is not taught, the counterfeit theology takes over. 

 

  • Careless theology is: God gives you everything you want and that your best life is now.  
  • Careless theology is:  God compromises with sin and accepts lifestyles and practices that violate His Word. 
  • Careless theology is: God has no need of Israel as His chosen people. 
  • Careless theology is: Social justice is His main purpose for the Church.
  • Careless theology is: Changing the culture so that Christians can take control over all that influences society.
  • Careless theology is: We advance His Kingdom by management principles that promote an organizational excellence. 
  • Careless theology is: God honors faith that consumes life rather than gives it away.
  • Careless theology is: It is okay that society accepts the killing of babies and allows same-sex marriages to thrive.
  • Careless theology is: Where pastors of large churches become more valuable than the message of the gospel.
  • Careless theology is: Preaching has its relevance in cultural norms rather than in the cross of Calvary.

So if our theology is so grossly misaligned with scripture it is no wonder there are so many messed up churches that perpetuate messed up ideas about God.

It is time that believers in Jesus do the following:

  • Believe in His Word.
  • Submit to the work of the Holy Spirit.
  • Take time to pray for holiness to return to the Church.
  • Take a stand in your local church to become an outpost where salvation is preached and truth spoken.
  • Do the work of the ministry where the transformation of hearts can once again become the function of the ministry of the Church.
  • Pray for your leaders so they stay on the mandate of the Great Commission, and hold them accountable in leading the church in following Jesus. 

It is easy to be a Christian in America because there is nothing that forces you to be accountable to living as one. There are too many ways to stray from truth, and those who are firmly planted in truth must not be silent, especially in the Church, in order to redirect our waywardness. 

If these statistics listed in this blog are true, than the Church needs a new direction for doing ministry in America.  

Keeping it honest and truthful…K

 

 

 

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