The sex-abuses of the previous century made lots of people very cross with church, and strangely enough instead of blaming the criminals and those who protected them they took on an adversary position against the Church in general, the body of Christ and worse even also against God, starting to deny His existence or His good-heartedness, because such bad things happen in the world. They seem to forget what it was all about in the Garden of Eden and why God allows such bad things to happen in this world, where man wants to arrange everything himself and wants to have full control and power.
The last few years we also have seen many American-like churches having coming to the foreground attracting people with their lively services or shows and big events. Mainly youngsters could be attracted by such churches offering much entertainment. But faith can not be build on entertainment only. The seed of the faith has to be able to grow in good fertile soil, and that is something what not many of those popular preachers could not give for a long time.
We have found people who became very excited by those popular preachers. They were even happy to join in and become active in that church. They showed up regularly at first, but as soon as the “newness” was gone they lost also interest. After a while some also got so busy doing church they failed to enjoy being the church.
Many may who are at a certain church today are there because they like it the way it is and are not so much interested in seeing change. As such the last few years we also have seen people leave their church because of certain changes even when that church was making progress.
An other problem with many people is that they can not make a difference between one person and the community he or she belongs to. When one person has done something wrong lots of people consider the whole congregation at fault. The other way when they have done something which is not mainstream or not in accordance with the church teachings, they prefer not to continue a bad confrontation with that church but prefer to blacken that church because they ‘would’ not be welcome any more.
In many cases the way a person feels about themselves may determine whether they remain committed to church. Often we can see that the people themselves have an agenda or that they are pursuing an issue — or a position — and when their demands weren’t met and they couldn’t overpower the system, they left. This is the contemporary clash we encounter a lot these days. Idleness and pride is the main concern today that certain people take distance from the society which does not want to give in to their wishes.
In a few cases we also find committed people who leave their church because they feel neglected. When some time in church they want to be elected to be on a program or hold an office, and what that does not happen they start feeling left out or abandoned. Those eager to do something for their church but not receiving enough opportunities, start then feeling as if they are not appreciated or that they are not considered good enough by those in charge. Or they start feeling like others do not think they would be smart enough to do the job. For those people often there is a way out or into an other church or other community where they may be feeling more appreciated or feel loved and treated equally. Those people are not so much a problem for the church in general.
The ones who really get frustrated or have become hurt because of one or more persons doing something bad against them, fro example abusing them, makes the worst leavers of church, because most of the time they are so filled with hate against the situation that they often turn it into hate against the church and against God in general.
Today for a lot of youngsters the church also may be a boring place to be, not offering enough varied entertainment and surprising events. Often they also seem to feel that church is not connected to the reality of this world or is too much at the side “world alienated”. For some also the real contacts may frighten them more than all the social media friends, which are at a distance and really do not get to know their “real life” whilst in church so much can not stay hidden, and that bothers them. Certainly in smaller communities or in preaching groups that may become a burden.
We also can see that at those churches where there is the pride of all the side programs and activities but not Scripture, after a while the people do not stay very “believing” any more. We see the faith diminishing in many churches, be it Catholic or Protestant because not much time is spent at the Word of God. In several congregations we find that they spend a lot of efforts into the entertainment part of service. Every where in the capitalist world we can see that modern tools are brought into the church to help to lure the people in many adventures. The lights and music often becoming the point of worship and even taking up 80-90% of the worship and the other preaching. Some youngsters even come to see the church as a place where one can meet others and as such can come to know friends. They start using the church building or the church events as a dating site and as soon as they have found some one they loose interest in the church community. Three in 10 young people also feel the church is too exclusive in this pluralistic and multi-cultural age. And the same number feel forced to choose between their faith and their friends.
Whilst in certain congregations priests, pastors or ministers do everything to please their flock, we also can see that many of them do not really listen to the aspirations and needs of their flock.
The other facet church is facing today is that lots of people are looking for answers and do hope to find them at church. When that church is not giving the (expected) answers in time they leave that church to go to other pastures.
Most people like their church leaders do forget that most answers can and should be found in the Book of books, the infallible Word of God. Instead of spending so much time at human doctrines and human philosophies they better start making more work in getting deeper in the knowledge of the Holy Scriptures.
That people are leaving church is nothing new, but the last half century we have seen so many people leaving the church that many have closed their doors, churches being broken down or converted in cultural centres, shops or apartments. And those which are still standing are often nearly empty. Probably only the United States of America and Korea can be proud of many mega churches. In West Europe we see that most people are not at all interested in God and look for other means to have regular contact with people, like being an attendant at a weekly television show, or at sports-events and clubs.
It is getting time that churches come to see that
“using all means possible to make their congregation appeal to teens and young adults”
does not work and that for much too long the church has neglected the true essence of being church and having worship for God in the love of His Word.
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