Why nobody wants to go to church anymore

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Information about Why nobody wants to go to church anymore

Published on February 17, 2014

Author: toddbfreese

Source: slideshare.net


I presented this to our AD council in an effort to encourage them to think about doing something different to address the problem of declining church membership

Presented by Todd B. Freese

Authors are Thom and Jody Schultz who are the founders and operators of Group Publishing!

I recently found a fascinating, 15-step strategy for converting Christians to atheism. The plan is an excellent way to do just the opposite, helping atheists find eternal life in Christ. One: think about your friendship. The article asks atheists to build relationships with Christians before trying to convert them. Of course, the opposite is just as true. Jesus healed bodies in order to heal souls. We must earn the right to share his love. Two: educate yourself. Atheists are encouraged to "read everything you can about atheism, Christian apologetics and religious history." Believers should do exactly the same thing. Three: learn common arguments leveled by theists and the best rebuttals. The same preparation is essential when talking with atheists. You can find help on our websiteand from a variety of apologetics resources. Four: examine myths, urban legends, and superstitions and learn why people believe stories backed by little evidence. Believers can show that our faith is actually based on remarkable evidence. Five: read and understand their holy book cover to cover. We can only hope atheists will actually do this. In turn, believers should be ready for their claim that "contradictions invalidate the Bible."

Six: study basic physics and biology, as believers may form arguments using a flawed interpretation of physics or biology. Christians should know and use some of the outstanding evidence pointing from creation to a Creator, but avoid arguments that are illogical. Seven: start off casual. The atheist is encouraged to "first show how atheism has impacted your own life in a positive way." In the same way, our conversion story is our most compelling apologetic. Eight: get them in the habit of questioning their own faith. The essay wants atheists to ask us to explain something about religion the atheist doesn't understand. We can do the same in reverse, such as, "Why are you absolutely certain there is no God?" Nine: let them try to convert you. This step is obviously disingenuous and manipulative. Christians, while not suggesting we can be converted, can ask atheists why we should agree with them. Ten: give your friend practical advice for their problems from respected books from respected experts in various fields. In turn, believers can give our atheist friends practical advice from Scripture and Christian teachings.

Eleven: avoid logical fallacies and point out those used by your friend. We can and should do the same. Twelve: socialize them. Again, we should try to bring atheists into relationships with genuine believers. Thirteen: don't try to change them too drastically. By contrast, the Holy Spirit can effect an immediate transformation in the life of anyone who trusts in Christ. Fourteen: know when to back away. Excellent advice. Fifteen: be open-minded. "Listen and understand their point of view." Again, excellent counsel, but ask the Holy Spirit for protection.

      350,000 Churches in America Churchgoers are older than the general population 15 percent of teenagers attend church In 2000 31 percent of churches reported “excellent” financial health, by 2010 that number declined to 14 percent 4000 churches close each year 1000 new churches start each year

   Each year 2.7 million church members fall into inactivity From 1990 to 2000 membership of all Protestant denominations fell by 5 million while the U.S. population increased by 24 million Half of all US churches did not add any new members between 2010 and 2012

Gallup and Barna report 43 percent of American Adults attend each weekend.  However, actual attendance numbers from Orthodox churches say 18.7 percent attend on an average weekend.  College age kids are 30 percent more likely to NOT attend church.  LifeWay Research found seven in 10 Protestants ages 18 to 30 who went to church regularly in high school quit attending by age 23. A third of those had not returned by age 30. That means about one-fourth of young Protestants have left the church. The Barna Group says six in 10 young people will leave the church permanently or for an extended period starting at age 15

     Why do 90 percent of Americans say they believe in God, but avoided church last weekend? 1 in 5 Americans say they have no religious affiliation (highest ever) Why do 88 percent of adults say their faith is important, but choose to grow at church? 64 percent are open to growing in their faith, but a place that is different from a church? Why are some researchers predicting that 85 percent of Americans won’t worship at a church.

 “I Feel Judged.”  87 percent of Americans feel judged by “church” people  “I don’t want to be lectured.”  Younger adults have a desire to discuss and debate, current format of church doesn’t allow for that.  “Church people are a bunch of hypocrites.”  85 percent of non-churchgoers make this claim  “Your God is irrelevant to my life. But I’d like to know there is a God and He cares about me.”  Only 44 percent of worshippers say they “experience” God at church.

1. The need to believe life is meaningful and has a purpose. 2. The need for a sense of community and deeper relationships. 3. The need to be listened to and to be heard. 4. The need to feel one is growing in faith. 5. The need to be appreciated and respected. 6. The need for practical help in developing a mature faith. Developed by George Gallup, Jr. and D. Michael Lindsay

1. Police 1. What are the rules? 2. Lots of rules about right and wrong 3. Popular Rules 1. How to baptize 2. Which translation to use 3. What to eat and drink 4. What to wear 5. Who can use the kitchen (or can’t) 6. How to take communion

 P.A.C. – The Political Action Church 1. Dominated by social action 2. Popular issues ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ A response to racism Becoming more multi-cultural Same sex unions Ordination of gays World hunger Children nutrition Poor people World hunger HIV Gambling ETC . . .

 The Theater  The service is a spectacle, dazzling and well orchestrated – often the worshippers are nothing more than spectators  One church even when so far as to purchase a fog machine. Many began to complain about the air being to foul to breathe

 The Mortuary  Some churches have that mortuary smell, muted tones and furniture – nothing bright or cheery.  There is solemn feeling as if death is waiting for all who enter  These are the churches that indeed to die

 The Seminary 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. This church is designed to transfer knowledge, to be the keeper of the right way of thinking. This church is interested in knowledge, relationships are not valued. Lots of classes, even Bible institutes This church uses notes for sermons and encourage the use of fill-in-the-blanks Lots of Bible memorization

 The Museum This is focused on how things WERE, they are keepers of the history, like museums. Here are the “artifacts” they keep: 1. 2. ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ Music Worship styles Architecture Furniture Schedules Versions of the Bible Teaching and curriculum Preaching styles Annual events Favorite saying, “We’ve always done it that way.” Don’t you dare bring coffee into the sanctuary.

1. Banish the “stand and greet your neighbor” time in the worship service. I know your intentions are good but it’s forced, fruitless, and goofy. 2. Forget everything they taught you about three-point sermons. You’re wildly successful if you can get across one point. Just one point. Then sit down. 3. Get out and spend time with real people. Schedule lunches at your members’ workplaces and schools. Listen. Get a feel for how real people live. 4. Encourage regular evaluation. Use comment cards. Ask us what we remember from last week’s sermon. Then take us seriously and adjust. 5. Crank down the volume of the band. Allow us to actually hear the voices of the flock.

6. Burn the fill-in-the-blank sermon guides. They’re insulting, distracting, and ineffective. (Can you imagine Jesus using them? Let’s see, “Feed my _______.”) 7. Show hospitality. Encourage people to enjoy a cup of coffee—during the service. 8. Let us participate. Entertain our questions—during the service. Let the real people around us share how God is working in their lives. 9. Relax. Make some real friends. Spend more time with your family. Don’t schedule every evening with church meetings. 10. Get rid of the pews. Really!


1. Radical Hospitality 2. Fearless Conversation 3. Genuine Humility 4. Divine Anticipation

 The book has great examples  We should study them and determine how to implement them.      www.lifetree.com A new service for us? New staff? Change? Where? When? Who? How? If we don’t change today, where will we be in one year? Five years? Ten years?

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