Decline in churches

Triggermortis

Ten Pointer
This is a good, relatively short read about the general decline in membership in SBC churches. While specifically it is a study/report on Southern Baptist church numbers, the trend is generally true about Protestantism, and should concern believers of all stripes.

Although it is food for thought, it can also serve as an impetus to take steps to help turn things around in our culture.....

 

woodmoose

Administrator
Staff member
Contributor
that's OK,,,,,Islam is growing at a rate twice as fast as the population is growing so they are picking up the slack and will likely surpass Christianity as the worlds largest religion by 2050,,,
 

Eric Revo

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
that's OK,,,,,Islam is growing at a rate twice as fast as the population is growing so they are picking up the slack and will likely surpass Christianity as the worlds largest religion by 2050,,,
Islam is growing at a rate in America that should be very concerning, but even some churches in America won't condemn the religion although it's in direct conflict to their teachings. Tolerance is killing America.
 

41magfan

Twelve Pointer
Contributor
Islam is growing at a rate in America that should be very concerning, but even some churches in America won't condemn the religion although it's in direct conflict to their teachings. Tolerance is killing America.
There's a disproportionate number of denominations/churches that don't condemn much of anything.

America (just like Europe) is going to learn the hard way that the vacuum they are creating by their politically correct intolerance of Christianity is quickly being filled by Islam.
 
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Downeast

Twelve Pointer
In terms of Christianity, what about the millions of hispanics living here now? Traditionally they were strong Catholics. Has anyone looked at that segment of Christianity here in the US. Are they in decline as well? I was talking to an acquaintance recently and he told me that he and his family had attended a new church and a month later they got a "bill" in the mail requesting a tithing. I'm not sure if I believe that or not? His off the cuff remark was that he couldn't afford God in his life right now but perhaps someday when he was on a better financial footing he might be able to pay God's fees. I jokingly asked him if God took Visa? He replied, yes, he does. :rolleyes:

Some of the decline in church membership could be related to all of the bad press associated with modern day Christianity. With many preachers making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, churches that look like mansions, and the constant pursuit of the all mighty dollar I can see why many have walked away. Religious sects, regardless of their labels and beliefs, are now run like corporations (and tax free one's at that!). Sadly, in many instances, if a penniless and homeless Jesus was to return to a Sunday morning service he would most likely be asked to leave or perhaps even arrested. :(
 

nontypical

Ten Pointer
I've heard of a few local churches in my area that want to look at your w-2's to make sure you give your 10%.
 

Eric Revo

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
In terms of Christianity, what about the millions of hispanics living here now? Traditionally they were strong Catholics. Has anyone looked at that segment of Christianity here in the US. Are they in decline as well? I was talking to an acquaintance recently and he told me that he and his family had attended a new church and a month later they got a "bill" in the mail requesting a tithing. I'm not sure if I believe that or not? His off the cuff remark was that he couldn't afford God in his life right now but perhaps someday when he was on a better financial footing he might be able to pay God's fees. I jokingly asked him if God took Visa? He replied, yes, he does. :rolleyes:

Some of the decline in church membership could be related to all of the bad press associated with modern day Christianity. With many preachers making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, churches that look like mansions, and the constant pursuit of the all mighty dollar I can see why many have walked away. Religious sects, regardless of their labels and beliefs, are now run like corporations (and tax free one's at that!). Sadly, in many instances, if a penniless and homeless Jesus was to return to a Sunday morning service he would most likely be asked to leave or perhaps even arrested. :(
There are many of the Mexicans that I have met recently that are Mormon and JW as well as Catholic. I was surprised that the majority of the hispanic workers that planted trees on our lease in Alabama did so on Sunday and religious holidays including Christmas.
 

CBD21

Eight Pointer
I've heard of a few local churches in my area that want to look at your w-2's to make sure you give your 10%.
In my opinion this is what makes a lot of people leave a church, especially the old school crowd. When you make it more about the almighty dollar than the almighty word you’re defeating your purpose of having a church and ministering people.
 

Eric Revo

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
I attend a traditional Baptist Church that averages about 700-800 on a Sunday service so it's a moderately large church and one of the more recent things that I have seen that I don't like is a projection screen on both sides of the pulpit that advertises three different ways to give money/tithe to God....by text, by app or in person. It almost is like at the time of the offering the only thing important is giving money.
I do understand the need for a church to be fiscally responsible and this is really good advertising, but it seems so impersonal and intrusive to me for two huge screens to be blaring for several minutes. I've been to churches that practice tithing into drop boxes at the back of the church as well as passing the offering plate for those that don't choose that option, that seems to be a much better choice and more personal between you and God.
 

UpATree

Eight Pointer
Contributor
You can go on YouTube, or many churches' web sites, and get great messages and worship music. Thousands of new ones every week, many from very solid pastors. It may be that people are "attending" in ways that don't equate to head count in pews. I know of two families that are participating in "home church", where a group of about four couples meet in a home and watch Andy Stanley or Robert Breaker every week, then enjoy a meal together. They say they feel more connected and committed to their group than when they were in a "real" church. It also more closely models the early church, and Christianity in many persecuted countries today.

It kind of reminds me of an article I read about the VFW. Membership is steady, but the younger vets don't want to meet in a lodge and play cards. They use the VFW web site to network, check up on each other, organize, get help on working with the VA, etc. instead.

In some ways this web site is doing the same thing. Instead of gathering together at the barber shop or country store, people use this forum to learn, enjoy each others' company, and help each other out.
 

nontypical

Ten Pointer
We donate to K-Love and have donated to Go Mix in the past. I feel like that money is getting put to good use on the radio everyday. I use to have a job where I was in the vehicle alot and I would listen to Chuck Swindoll most days on Go Mix. He broke it down where even an old hard head like myself could understand it.
 
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41magfan

Twelve Pointer
Contributor
I hate to state the obvious, but the collective "world" has been in a steady and continuous state of "decline" since the Garden of Eden. In other words, it's been winding down since the beginning of the fall of man.

As it relates currently, church attendance is in decline in large part because churches (and their teachings) has become rather irrelevant to people's everyday lives. In this modern day culture, every part of our lives is inundated with some watered down or perverted form of the truth, so why attend a church that's likely spoon feeding you the same empty message.
 
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Woods and water

Eight Pointer
The church where I was raised is to the point of mixing with another church due to the fellowship becoming older . At almost 50 years old I'm the youngest member and the church is over 150 years old. I don't attend every Sunday due to a what I've witnessed as total hypocrisy. The last time I attended I had an elder say to me that he was happy to see me but very surprised as he didn't realize how long it had been since he had seen me . Well damn second Sunday of turkey season he hunted one of my farms all day . I was told that same day that even though I don't attend every Sunday that I could still send a little money to the church po box . I walked out that day after the service. Looked at my aging mother and told her I would be back for one more service if that was where she wanted me to have her final celebration if not I was done there . Sorry for the rant but that day really pissed me .I now worship in a boat . Pick up truck or a tractor
 

jcannon

Twelve Pointer
I hate to state the obvious, but the collective "world" has been in a steady and continuous state of "decline" since the Garden of Eden. In other words, it's been winding down since the beginning of the fall of man.

As it relates currently, church attendance is in decline in large part because churches (and their teachings) has become rather irrelevant to people's everyday lives. In this modern day culture, every part of our lives is inundated with some watered down or perverted form of the truth, so why attend a church that's likely spoon feeding you the same empty message.
Very good post. My wife and I have had this discussion recently
 

Triggermortis

Ten Pointer
I wonder if anyone read the article. Comments make me wonder.

In part it is now no longer considered a resume enhancer to be afiliated with membership in a church. I can remember earlier times that people who seemed to go to church for reasons other than for worship, fellowship with believers, et al. They might go for political visibility, it might help their business, or they might make an appearance at Easter or Christmas. It is no longer cachet to be associated with church now, with the culture change.

It also seems that a winnowing is taking place. I suspect that the numbers reflect more of the invisible church today than they did in the past. A one time aisle walk that is followed by no life change and no real commitment swells the rolls on earth but not in heaven. From my earliest days I have seen this, and always wondered why churches didnt purge the rolls periodically. It usually had something to do with burial plots and hurting someones feelings in the church who were a relative of the one being considered to purge.

Its also, to be very honest, troubling to see some of the comments here that bring up the topic of offering and tithes. The referenced article did not address that, and if the first thought you have about the shrinking numbers of Christians in the U.S. prompts you to think about your or others participation in giving, then you need to examine your own heart.
 

nontypical

Ten Pointer
I won’t argue with that. I understand that I was born a sinner and I will die a sinner. Nothing I can do on my own can change that, not even tithes. Only Jesus can save me. I will pick up my little cross and follow Jesus carrying the real cross, daily.
 

Soilman

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
From my pastor, it's my understanding that churches all over are experiencing attendance problems. I was a member of a small rural church and was VERY involved. We gave regularly and attended regularly. I really loved my church, but our problem was that our church was probably 85% folks over the age of 60. Because of that, we had a lot of folks who were not involved because they felt that either "they had done their part" already, or were "too old". That left only a handful of folks doing EVERYTHING. All at the same time, I was an active deacon, usher chairman, Sunday school teacher, Youth board member, Finance board member, and Men's Group leader. There were weeks where I was at the church 5 and 6 evenings out of that week. Every time I tried to plan something for myself or my family, the church would pre-empt it with something I needed to be present for. Quite frankly, I got burned out.

Now, I've not given up on going to church, but when my job moved to Fayetteville, we had to leave our old church. I'm pretty sure we have found another church here to attend, but I've decided to go slow, not get quite so involved, and to pick a church with enough younger folks that I don't get overloaded with obligations.
 

Shaggy

Old Mossy Horns
In terms of Christianity, what about the millions of hispanics living here now? Traditionally they were strong Catholics. Has anyone looked at that segment of Christianity here in the US. Are they in decline as well? I was talking to an acquaintance recently and he told me that he and his family had attended a new church and a month later they got a "bill" in the mail requesting a tithing. I'm not sure if I believe that or not? His off the cuff remark was that he couldn't afford God in his life right now but perhaps someday when he was on a better financial footing he might be able to pay God's fees. I jokingly asked him if God took Visa? He replied, yes, he does. :rolleyes:
A friend of mine who is Christian married a mormon woman. She talked him into joining and after a couple of months the church sent representatives to his house asking where his 10% tithes were. The church demanded they set up payments his wife agreed......he is no longer a member or married.
 

pattersonj11

Old Mossy Horns
Churches are trying to be cool and friendly. There is nothing cool and friendly about God. I believe the problem lies in this transformation from all powerful to this new concept of loving and friendly.

In my opinion God is all powerful and there is a reason the phrase “God fearing” came into play.

God doesn’t want you to believe and act the part. It is demanded.
 

Downeast

Twelve Pointer
Churches are trying to be cool and friendly. There is nothing cool and friendly about God. I believe the problem lies in this transformation from all powerful to this new concept of loving and friendly.

In my opinion God is all powerful and there is a reason the phrase “God fearing” came into play.

God doesn’t want you to believe and act the part. It is demanded.
How true. Read the Old Testament and God was a real SOB! It's only when Jesus entered the picture with his "turn the other cheek" stuff that the Gospel became all soft and cuddly.

My wife's side of the family has a bunch of Mormons and all of them work their butts off for the church. No matter how much they make they always seem to be on the brink of financial ruin as they give it all to the church. My wife calls them "Morons". :ROFLMAO:
 

pattersonj11

Old Mossy Horns
Jesus was sent and sacrificed for our sins. Jesus turned the other cheek and we should try the same. I don’t recall anywhere in the Bible where it says you can’t put a foot in someone’s rear when it’s needed. It says we can’t be perfect. We are expected to handle immoral actions and folks. I don’t know that God expects us to turn the other cheek at all times. I believe we are expected to use the wisdom and judgement that he has given us and to take the action that is required. Let it go at times and nip it in the bud at others.

The biggest thing I have taken away is that there should be no joy in punishment. To punish is a duty, not something we should enjoy.
 

Soilman

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
Another reason that has been explored as to why men, especially, have been turned off by church is because the church has become "feminized". Jesus was a carpenter and surrounded himself with, dare I say it...commercial fisherman! These were rough, "manly" men. How many preachers do you know that hunt, fish, know how to build stuff, garden, etc? Most are soft , pudgy and would end up with blisters after 5 minutes with a hammer. Men respect and will follow another manly man much quicker. Women have also taken over most of the traditionally male roles in the church and have "soften" them. One of the reasons that Islam is so popular, especially to men, is that it is male dominated.
 

Eric Revo

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
Another reason that has been explored as to why men, especially, have been turned off by church is because the church has become "feminized". Jesus was a carpenter and surrounded himself with, dare I say it...commercial fisherman! These were rough, "manly" men. How many preachers do you know that hunt, fish, know how to build stuff, garden, etc? Most are soft , pudgy and would end up with blisters after 5 minutes with a hammer. Men respect and will follow another manly man much quicker. Women have also taken over most of the traditionally male roles in the church and have "soften" them. One of the reasons that Islam is so popular, especially to men, is that it is male dominated.
That's an insight that I never thought of but it makes a lot of sense. I know I got a lot more out of the male teachers in school when they were coaches or shop teachers than I ever did the guys who 's fingernails were a bit too perfect and a bit too shiny.
 

FireDuck401

Ten Pointer
Contributor
Another reason that has been explored as to why men, especially, have been turned off by church is because the church has become "feminized". Jesus was a carpenter and surrounded himself with, dare I say it...commercial fisherman! These were rough, "manly" men. How many preachers do you know that hunt, fish, know how to build stuff, garden, etc? Most are soft , pudgy and would end up with blisters after 5 minutes with a hammer. Men respect and will follow another manly man much quicker. Women have also taken over most of the traditionally male roles in the church and have "soften" them. One of the reasons that Islam is so popular, especially to men, is that it is male dominated.
Like Eric notes above; that is a concept I had not considered.
Insightful.
I believe there is a lot of truth in that statement.
 

haywoodhunter

Eight Pointer
Soilman makes a great point. My bible study is currently going through a series by joby Martin called be a Godly man. He talks at length about the softening of modern male culture and the many ways it’s harmful.
 
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