"While tens of millions of Americans attend church each weekend, the practice has declined in recent years. According to our 2014 tracking data, overall church attendance has dipped from 43% in 2004 to 36% today. But beyond a dip in attendance numbers, the nature of churchgoing is changing" states the Barna Group.
"Regular attenders used to be people who went to church three or more weekends each month—or even several times a week. Now people who show up once every four to six weeks consider themselves regular churchgoers."
Why is the nature of churchgoing changing? In America we have more religious freedoms than most countries on earth. We can meet without fear for our lives and yet we don't take advantage of this opportunity. There are abundance of churches to to join but sadly many churches are losing members.
Here is a question I've been wrestling through lately. Could our reasons for attending (or not attending) church be drastically different to those of the New Testament church? Way deep down I think we need to ask the question, why do we even go to church?
"When you come to church, when you worship Him, you’re not doing it for God really. You’re doing it for yourself." Victoria Osteen's words seriously bother me. Not because of her shocking disregard for being Biblically sound but because it could still be an underlying reason why we attend to church.
"Millennials who are opting out of church cite three factors with equal weight in their decision: 35% cite the church's irrelevance, hypocrisy, and the moral failures of its leaders as reasons to check out of church altogether", Barna Group reported. "In addition, two out of 10 unchurched Millennials say they feel God is missing in church, and one out of 10 senses that legitimate doubt is prohibited, starting at the front door."
What if our value system for WHY we go to church needs to be evaluated? What if we are searching for "the good life" in all the wrong places? The following video is just a teaser for my next post...
"...how do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul in the process? Is anything worth more than your soul?" (Matthew 16:26)