church for sale

Why People Don’t Want to Go to Church Anymore

Last weekend most people in America avoided church. And, a sizable portion of those who did make it to church wished they were somewhere else. But why?

I decided to go direct to the source. I staked out a city park to ask the public why they weren’t in church. What they told me echoed what I’ve been hearing for several years now.

Their reasons centered around four recurring themes:

  1. “Church people judge me.” A young woman told me that as a child she regularly attended church and Sunday school. But she’s given up on the church as an adult. “They make me feel like an outcast,” she said. “How? Why?” I asked. “Well, I’m a smoker,” she said.
  2. “I don’t want to be lectured.” More people today want to participate in the discussion. A man told me he’s talked with over a thousand other men who’ve given up on church. He said, “Guys don’t want to sit in a room and idly listen to some preacher do all the talking. They want to ask questions. They want to share their thoughts too.”
  3. “They’re a bunch of hypocrites.” I know church leaders are weary of this “excuse.” But people aren’t merely referring to incongruous behavior. What bothers them is the sense that church spokespeople act like they have all the answers. That they’ve arrived. That they’re only interested in telling others what to do—“teaching,” to use the church vernacular.
  4. “I don’t want religion. I want God.” Most people don’t experience God at church. They’re not looking for the “deep” theological trivia that seems to interest some preachers. They crave something very simple. They’re dying to be reassured that God is real, that he is more than a historical figure, that he is present today, and that he is active in the lives of people around them.

Those of us who remain in this imperfect gathering of the faithful need to stop talking and “teaching” long enough to listen to the majority outside our walls. I’m not suggesting their views are flawless. Or that we should design ministry merely according to consumer whims. But we do need to keep our ultimate goal in mind—to help bring others into a closer relationship with Jesus Christ.

That’s what defined the ministry of Jesus himself. He boldly broke away from the habits and routines of the religious elite of the time. And he fashioned a highly relational ministry that connected with the disenfranchised.

We’ve heard the four cries of the common people cited here so often that we decided to address them as we shaped the national network of Lifetree Cafes. In fact, these cries form the basis for the Lifetree values that are posted and stated each week at every Lifetree Café.

You’re welcome just as you are.

Your thoughts are welcome. Your doubts are welcome.

We’re all in this together.

God is here, ready to connect with you in a fresh way.

 

49 Responses to “Why People Don’t Want to Go to Church Anymore”

  1. So thankful that my church leaders understand the hunger for God in our culture and are committed to open, receptive methodologies. Sermon series going on now: “Losing our religion.”

    • Trey, we have 2 friend days (April, November), sirnpg break door knocking campaign (Heritage Christian University), food pantry, and we are going to mail out 5,000 DVDs (Searching For Truth from World Video Bible School). We also have a youth program, VBS, Back to School Bash in September, family retreat (camping in October), and other assorted events where we encourage members to invite their friends. Plus I do chapel at the Christian Home and Bible School hoping for the kids to get to know and introduce me to their parents when they see me at the grocery store.

    • You honestly think god is there. I live in Africa and every day people pray to god to make to help them, and instead they shot my parents.

      • Helios, It was very sad to learn that your parents were killed. May you sense His peace and power as you struggle with this tragic loss. Perhaps your very words from your post were the very words of God as they killed His Son Jesus. I’ve discovered that God handles my anger over issues very well. I’ve never encountered wrath from God…only His mercy and grace. Peace be unto you! -Reep

      • My soul, Reep! What a supercilious and pompous response. Forgive my deriding comments but you raise my ire! Helios is struggling with a real issue here. He is a human being, not Jesus hanging on the cross. Have you lost all sense of compassion? This is a child. He had a father and a mother. They are dead. Can you grasp that in real terms instead of some disconnected religious concept?

        Helios, I would say to you. What a horrible horrible thing that has happened to you. Yes, you cried out to God to help and he did not. Your parents were shot and it is right that you are angry with God for not helping your parents. This is my view for what it is worth. God gives us life in the form of the breath we breathe and yes we can draw close to him and and he can speak to us but it is all internal and so we hear him warn us not to go there or here but that is as far as it goes. Evil is everywhere, within every person and some people give in to it. That is their choice. God does not override our will. Following him and his kindness and gentleness remains a choice we make daily. People suffer because of choices others make. God stands helplessly by. He may be begging them in their heart not to do it, but they choose not to listen. That is reality. God cannot stop us from choosing to harm one another. If he could, we would just be robots and then indeed we could blame him for all the horror in the world. Our free will, is a gift we do not treasure. I want to urge you to please use your free will, to make choices that will bring life even though you are heartbroken and are probably really angry and bitter. You have a right to be. Yet God would that you accept his love, because he is offering it to you, in the midst of your pain. My heart goes out to you. God loves your parents and he did not want them to die. He tried to stop those people from shooting them. They did not want to listen to him. That was their choice. My heart breaks for you.

      • I am so sorry that this happened. We do need to pray for comfort and healing, however, it is not the same as having concrete support in your life. People can pray to their heart’s content, but sometimes, it is not enough. If people want to connect and show TRUE support for others, I think that they should set aside religious differences and take the time to get to know the person; their likes/dislikes, what makes them laugh, what makes them cry, what kind of interests, etc. Our church parish nurse had a tip on giving comfort to a person who has lost someone. She emphasized that a person offering comfort should refrain from saying things like God has him, or it was his time, etc. Those words do not add comfort to someone who is grieving because the person who is grieving is focusing on their loss. What a person in that situation needs is someone who will be there to help with things that they are not able to do right now, or just to have someone listen to how that person feels, or a shoulder to cry on. If people want to help, it should be in a more productive way that does focus on what will help the person heal. If I would lose someone right now, I would not feel that comforted with pious words from someone who would just get up an leave without offering a REAL olive branch for me to reach out to, or to spend time with me.

        I used to go to a Lutheran church, and they would emphasize the importance of accepting Jesus Christ as their Savior in order to get into heaven. This church did not care much if at all about how people felt, or if they offended anyone with harsh words in their teaching. I was raised Christian, but I am also half Jewish (my dad was Jewish and he died when I was three years old). I never got to experience any of the Jewish culture or heritage, because my mother is Catholic Christian. The Lutheran church that I used to go to was very judgmental and constantly put me down if I dare utter that am half Jewish, they would also persecute Catholics. I think that someone in that church even told me that my dad was in hell because he was not a Christian. That church never took a genuine interest in me as a person. They would only hound me about needing to go to church and spend time with their activities. I have never felt more disconnected an alienated by any group as I did with them. Needless to say, I left that church, did not go to except to a Catholic Church on occasion for about ten years, and then I converted to Catholicism. The Catholic does not pressure people in doing things that they are not ready to do. I was not rushed in being confirmed like I was in the Lutheran church. The Catholic Church does not mettle in people’s personal affairs, or judge anyone for having any priorities or interests outside of the church.

  2. Well said.

    Here are some musings about the hypocrisy thing:

    1. Sometimes? “The church is full of hypocrites” = “Those people aren’t catering to MY whims/making me feel better about my own sin.” I think this is rare, but I’ve seen it.

    2. Sometimes a Christian fails in full view of a nonChristian with whom they have a relationship (any sort of relationship). I did this recently. I feel really terrible about the effect that it’s had on my witness to this person. I also feel bad about what I did. I have apologised to them and repented to God. I’m pretty confident about God’s grace (and grateful for it!) because of who He is, and I’m trying to move on in that grace and live more consistently. However, the person I wounded hasn’t availed themselves of God’s grace and therefore is incapable of offering it. Apart from a miracle, forgiveness is not going to come from that quarter, and I know I’m being thought of as a hypocrite. To what extent is the “hypocrisy” critique an inability to understand that Christians, in spite of being indwelt by the Holy Spirit, still screw up sometimes, but that we are forgiven and empowered to move on?

    3. Presumably the opposite of hypocrisy is authenticity. If, in the above situation, I had been dishonest (inauthentic) with the person in question, it is arguable that they would never have found out about my sin, and thus unable to accuse me of hypocrisy. Ironically. How does one handle a situation like that?

    • Maybe if we ourselves quit syaing, I have to go to church today, and rather I get to go worship with my spiritual family today, those outside the body might see us differently from denominations. The only difference may be that we know a few more people in the church than those in denominations do in their church group. Although I do believe outreach programs are useful, especially for those of us who find it hard to do personal outreach, still it has to become personal, one on one with our friends and neighbors, to be effective for bringing lost souls to Christ. Jeanne M.

  3. I like what you post at the Lifetree cafes Thom, but many churches have to go beyond the nice-sounding statements. Many of them adopt a seemingly welcoming vision/mission statement, but the church body hasn’t fully embraced it. I was once part of a church in which the pastoral leadership chose the phrase, “Loving God and people unconditionally”. Well, try selling that to other leaders who don’t understand what unconditional love is. I kid you not, I was sitting in a meeting in which another leader asked, “What does that mean?” Others questioned it as well and I came right out and addressed their concern that we did not necessarily have to become like some churches that allowed anything, because this was their fear. They equated love with being permissive and were more concerned about their rules than anything. Nevertheless, it was a hard sell. People criticized for a long time an outreach ministry to the poor and resisted the pastor’s urging to go into the community to do service projects without mentioning the church name. In other words, just doing acts of kindness for people. Where it starts is with training one’s own church. Until they catch the vision and embrace it, you are setting yourself up to hurt and discourage people who come in expecting one thing based on what we say, and experiencing something totally different by what we do.

    • As a young child, I was forced to take coniummon before I was ready. My grandmother was methodist and was a shut-in. I stayed with her often and when the preacher would come to call we all had to take coniummon. I remember being a very scared little girl being told this was blood and flesh it was eerie. AND I was in church. I just didn’t have the background to understand it all.Even to this day, as a 33 year old woman, I still sorta cringe when it is time to take coniummon. I know that sounds silly, but it’s true. I just think about those days as a kid when it was forced and I was not ready. I have 3 kids, ages 10, 7, and 6. One has been baptized but she has never asked to take coniummon and I’ve never forced it on her. We attend a contemporary church and coniummon is given every few months or so. It is not an every Sunday occurance. Most Sunday’s she opts to be in the kids service so they aren’t exposed to it as much anyhow.Good questions.Lindsey recently posted..

  4. Hi Jenn. I hear what you’re saying about the hypocrisy, but I don’t think it means being inauthentic. While I have open, progressive thinking on some things, I am kind of modest in my living. Yet, I have professed atheists and those disenchanted with the faith telling me that they like me or if they were a Christian, they’d want to be like me. I’m not living inauthentically (at least I try not to). I’m honest about my feelings and treat people like people regardless of whether or not they adhere to my faith. I think that’s what people respect about me. What I have found is that the authenticity that I try to walk in is appreciated by those outside of the faith and not so much by Christians. It’s as if the Church is the one wants inauthenticity. Independent thinking, particularly that which goes against the accepted status quo, is not always appreciated.

    Some of the hypocrisy that I think people are referring to is for example like the elder at the last church I was apart of beating entire sanctification into the ground, yet berating people (family and fellow elders alike) when they don’t live up to his standard, storming out of a meeting in anger when it was organized the way he thought it should be and using “God didn’t call us to save the world” to justify not supporting the outreach ministry that I referenced in my other comment above. But he believed in “living above sin” as he called it. Hmmm…..no contradiction there, right? We all sin. I think what people are looking for is not a gap between what we vigorously preach and what we say or do. Preach all you want on something, but don’t act holier than thou about it. I think maybe what people are looking for is a dose of humility with what we say.

  5. Great post- hit the nail on the head. I’ve heard all of these reasons given for not going to church or for not engaging more in the church.
    I think these reasons are partially responsible for people choosing other religions as well. They want to feel accepted and they want to know God (any god) not just religion. They want to take part in something greater than themselves.
    I find it disheartening that a smoker feels condemned and judged. We all sin, some are just more noticeable than others. As my pastor says, “Don’t judge me because my sin is different than yours”.

  6. Bravo!!! Thank you Thom for taking the time to ask people the question, listening to their answers and sharing what you heard! I can relate and it’s a comfort knowing that I’m not alone.

  7. Excellent topic and great post! Very informative and well said!

  8. If it’s the hypocrites that stand between you and God, they are closer to God than you are.

  9. I like that phrase “Your doubts are welcome” because that is something I have never experienced in a church. I feel very uncomfortable verbalizing doubts at church because then the people at my church will think I am not a Christian,and feel like they have to evangelize me back into the fold. So I usually just don’t say anything…

    • Debbie,

      Totally understand your apprehension about sharing some doubts…I’ve discovered that a bit of vulnerability oens others up for being willing to be vlnerable themselves. In some small grouping give it try…and know His peace and power as you become bold and courages.

  10. great post. the only amendment I would make is to say that Jesus broke away from the religious mainstream… as led by the religious elite. I know it sounds like splitting hairs but I see a lot of churched people giving themselves an unwarranted free-pass because they don’t consider themselves ‘elite’ but they are still part of a system that binds heavy burdens on people and don’t lift a finger to help them.

  11. Intriguing post, Thom! I think it’s vital for the Church to be listening to these park bench discussions, and understand the thinking of its critics. How sad would it be if we never learned what we’re doing wrong or how we can reach the unchurched?
    PS- I wasn’t familiar with your blog or Lifetree Cafe before today, and have to say I’m very glad to have discovered both! Awesome creative work for the Kingdom.

  12. I see your point, but I think the problem extends to the very people who are still showing up on Sunday mornings…most not wanting to be there as well. We, as a culture, are losing a sense of the purpose of church and its role… Just blogged about why I hate church and how I reconcile that…

  13. As with most of the previous corenmtems, we did not allow C to partake until she had made a profession of faith as we believe communion is connected to being a part of the Body of Christ. However, we did make every effort before she was able to partake to explain exactly what was going on and use it as an opportunity to teach her. I generally sat in the back of the church with her so I could whisper my explanations.

  14. Don Young Ph.D. President of Carolina Christian College Reply August 14, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    Excellent article …I agree very much

  15. Reblogged this on Cite Simon and commented:
    Here’s some honest talk we all need to think through. Even without a degree in rocket science, it’s not hard to spot the trends and recognize that the church as we have known it is going to have to change. Bigger churches get pushed towards “mega-entertainment” while many smaller churches struggle to connect with anyone outside their walls. It’s all about connecting with people so check out the Lifetree Cafe idea – it might be a part of the solution.

  16. I love this and have been thinking a lot about this subject. We as Christians have gotten really good at throwing the book at people instead of gifting it to them.

  17. Some of us have been deeply hurt by people in positions of trust, and responsibility, in the church. Having seen the hyprocrosy up close, one loses respect for these so called “Preachers” when they see they are no more than sharks in the baptistry. It is very difficult to go back in these cases. All “ministers”, no matter how sincere, tend to get lumped into the sum, unfortunately.

  18. Christians LOVE to uses the excuse of the devil. It is the devil trying to rob you, it is the devil who has allowed this Pastor to hurt you, it is the devil who comes to destroy… No one ever says the truth. The truth is, when we are going about hurting others, we are not marked with love, and if we cannot operate in love to the underdog or porcupine, than we don’t KNOW him who is love. We are just a sack of relgious garbage. We don’t have revival because we crave being religious because really living for Jesus requires a change and sacrifice. I’m so tired of being h urt by christians in posistions of authority, that I could puke. No wonder we don’t lead the lost to Jesus, because we are LOST. We defend the Pastor at whatever the cost, when HE should be the first one we hold accountable. I’ve seen districts and church counsel protect the Pastor over the weaker one without status. I’m so tired of the “ladder” in churches. People wiht more importance than others, it is so not Christ like, Didn’t I read that Jesus, being perfect, being God, humbled himself to the point of death, even washing the feet of men who would in one way or another betray him… No wonder I don’t see the New Testiment Church. Laying hands and seeing healing of the sick. I’m frustrated and angry right now because honestly, I don’t want to ever go to church again.

    • Many good points DiAnna. If we have no love as Christians, no real love and compassion and tolerance and respect, all the ‘religious’ stuff, singing hymns, listening to sermons, going to church is just a sack of religious garbage, navel gazing and self obsession with no real value for anyone, least of all the people involved in it all.

      Hierarchy is a big problem too. What has that got to do with Gospel anyway?

      If the churches, no if Christians want to be relevant, read the Gospels and learn from them. Instead of waffling on about love, get out there and practise it; feed the hungry, help the homeless, reach out to the lost and hurting, do something useful!

  19. The biggest church hurt for me wasn’t when two Senior Pastors of two different churches where I was a faithful member (and looked up to these Pastors as Christ-like, godly men) had adulterous affairs & were forced to resign by the denominational leadership. That hurt but did not do it for me in terms of never wanting to go into a church bldg again.

    What caused me to not want to go to church was after I did a fact check on bible facts for myself. I read my entire bible from Genesis to Revelation word for word. What a shocker that was to discover Church leadership lied about being cursed with the Malachi 3:8-9,10 curse for not keeping the Old Covenant tithe commandment .

    The tithe law was one Old Covenant law out of many. Jesus said in Matthew 23:23 it was not even the most important (Old Covenant) law & he said this to Israel and to Jews bound by the law before he died on the cross to fulfill the law. Tithes were not paid in their silver or gold but in food & meat from the land & from their animals to serve the purpose of feeding the Levite Priest & the poor who owned no land.
    I also duly noted Romans 6:14 ” We aren’t under the law but grace”
    I also read where “Christ has redeemed us from the curse” (this would include all curses cause Jesus nailed the curse to the cross by being cursed in our place! Galatians 3:13
    Romans 10:4 “Christ is the end of the law for everyone who believes”
    Jesus fulfilled the law, which is why Christians do not keep Jewish laws like no pork, circumcision of 8 day old males and endless rituals and sin offerings like under the Old Covenant.

    After Jesus said Paid in full, it is finished there is no mandate to tithe but we can give as we voluntarily not legalistically as we are led by the Holy Spirit our guide & teacher in all things

    Tithing was old covenant. Those in Christ have his favor paid in full called grace

    They lied to me & still lie to gullible bible illiterates. Just to think for 20 yrs I swallowed the fear of the Old Covenant Malachi curse, now I wonder what esle these control freaks are spinning & twisting for their own gain?

    I would have given to support these ministries as led by the Holy Spirit which Jesus sent after he ascended back to God. These control freaks don’t trust the Holy Spirit to lead & guide us they must keep the tithe lie going for their salaries. I’m done with them!

    • Good Morning, Guest,

      No cheap shot intended…but, how is the Holy Spirit working in your life today? I trust that the Jesus you’ve journeyed with these twenty years is still the foundation of your faith.

    • I completely understand how you must feel if wherever you have attended, you feel you were being pressured to always give money and only that. I agree completely with you about some churches holding on to some Old Covenant laws. The only thing I would like to just share with you, if it’s ok, is I am a missionary and run medical clinics in Haiti. I attend a large non-denominational church in PA. I have experienced, by finding the church that best exemplifies Christ and pours so much money back into the streets, towns, cities and countries around us and abroad, that there really are good churches out there. The tithing does help us to do the work we must do and without it, none of this would be possible. If your church or others you have attended are not properly using God’s money (our tithes He blessed us with) to do His work as He tells us to, then I agree, it may not be the right place for you or anyone else. But, don’t give up on God’s churches as a whole. There will always be churches with problems, none are perfect, but together, as a church family we are stronger. We are united, we can lift each other up when one falls, we can reach out to another when they need us, we can be there to worship and praise God. We should attend church not for our own selves to feel warm and fuzzy. The truths of God’s Word can sometimes be very hard to hear and Jesus told us that. We must be willing to change and leave our old ways behind. It starts with us and God is just waiting. I promise you there are good churches. I too have attended many that were not biblically based or what I believed to be God’s home. But I found it and so can everyone else. It takes wanting to make the effort. If Jesus could die for us, can’t we atleast make more of an effort for Him?

  20. I have been faithfully attending for over a decade tithing regularly, but this political cycle has been particularly difficult. I cant vote for a cult leader and my church family disregards everything i have tried to be a part of for a single vote. Politics and faith are a touchy subject and should be handled with care not the I am right you are wrong approach.

  21. The people at my church are annoying and they cry a lot…._-

  22. There is more whining going on among the unchurched than I even imagined. “Get over it” only begins to express what I want to say!

  23. Ive been in church my whole life and never thought I’d be at a place to say “I don’t want to go to church” but I am. I see people trying to put on a show, not being real, worried about what things look like in the outside and not the inside. I see things run like a business. People using the gospel to feel important and/or get rich. I see kids being hurt, bored or entertained like the world with no spiritual value. I know we should not forsake the assembly but I am so discouraged.

    • Mary, I feel exactly the same way. Today I went to a service and it felt like a the people who spoke were all announcers for a t.v. Show. And some of these people I know well…they’re complete opposites away from church.

      Another thing that bugs me is they said “is anyone here that wants to accept Christ into their heart, come forward” I am the only one not part of the church and I see everyone looking at me like a weirdo. I felt like an outcast.

      I just want to learn about Christ and keep that relationship with God private. Is this possible today? I would love people to know im Christian simply by my actions not me running up on stage telling people that i’m christian.

  24. Terrible divorce,forclosed home,homeless,hungry,thirsty, awful time for me,,joined a church because God was my strength and did miracles in my life, as time went on I found the ladies in ladies fellowship group were heavy smokers,cuss and gossip about everyone in the church this was done near Christmas as we were planning Love Feast at the church..actually smoking in fellowship hall..!!..I am really disappointed and sad but my love for God is the same..i know He knows best for me as I am not going to continue going there as the services are regulated by script ..no emotion,also people bring tea to drink in glasses during services and kids eating older kids..cheese crackers and drinks..Pastor is leaving today retiring don’t blame him..So sad for this church..burt God warns of them..thanks!

  25. When the sincere believers in Christ are publicly shamed from the pulpit while others are there that are known abusers of wives, one man withholding money from his wife as a sort of punishment, couples in church that marry and divorce, then remarry a couple months later (more than one couple I know of) and yet they are never publicly rebuked; never a sermon on the subject of husbands abusing wives, divorce being so prevalent, etc…. That could be some of the reasons christians are staying away. None of us is perfect, yet if the preachers are really hearing from God then why are they majoring on the minors and not preaching whats really going on in the congregation. I have been publicly deliberately shamed from the pulpit for being “too demonstrative” in worship (dancing in the spirit, for example) while families were falling apart behind the scenes and nothing was being said about it in the sermons. My marriage is far from perfect, but we chose to stay together and work on it with God’s help, and after all these years, our marriage is stronger than it was. But yet I was treated like an outcast by the pastor and others while the abusers are still in the church, and have never been disciplined. Pastors seem to think that it’s okay to confront someone from the pulpit even with false information without even talking with them first. No one is safe. If someone dislikes you they can go to the pastor with lies and accusations and the pastor can use it in his sermon even if it is not true. I am in a place right now where I am doing all I can to forgive this man; but to hear pastors defend themselves and think they can do no wrong is the greatest disservice to the church at large. I trust God to get me back on track. I know He will NEVER leave me or forsake me. He did however tell me to “wipe the dust off my feet” and leave, then he confirmed it through a woman who called me the next day with the same scripture. I pray for this pastor to be blessed. I want no part of vengeance of any kind. But pastors and leaders need to know how much weight their words carry and the harm they can do through thoughtless words.

  26. I am so intensely grateful that God has moved me away from all of “this”. I read this blog for no other reason than curiosity and after reading all the responses, I find my spirit burdened and heavy and sad. I see so many like the blind pharisees, who believe sincerely but self-righteous judgment oozes out of their viewpoints. It is sickening because they really are blind to the effect it has on hurting, genuine people.

    I see those who conform to the idea of church and in their innocent ignorance find no “wrong”. There is no wrong in loving Christ and following him.

    For those who are hurt by the double standards, political organisation that church has become and are bitter, seeking justice of some sort, even just an acknowledgment of the wrong done to you, I would urge you to forgive and to move on with God. He will lead you to communities (I use the word loosely, in its intended meaning, not in its corrupt sense of structured organisation but as a “group of genuine relational people”) where you will know true unconditional love and people being able to share their genuine struggles with one another in an atmosphere of complete acceptance and deep genuine love. We are out there. I would say to you, there is none so blind as those who do not want to see. Forgive them for they know not what they do. Move on with God and one day, healed, you will want to weep for those who are still trapped in ways of thinking that limit themselves in terms of being really free. Free to love and free to fail and then to laughingly jump up into the loving arms of father as he kisses our scraped knees better, knowing the pain is lesson enough. A hurting child needs love and comfort, not a stick laid on an open wound. Go in peace because even your bitter demand for justice is but a self-righteous act.

    Turn your face to the warmth of Father’s love and you will find a life that brings joy and happiness to your heart in a way that will defy your imagination because it will move beyond your understanding. Be prepared for an adventure that is going to challenge your paradigms and set you free in ways you cannot right now, conceive of. Trust God.

  27. hi guys i loved the article although there’s nothing like your home church, for those who dont yet attend we need these fresh expressions to show them god is not just in church, after all in which class we’re you not allowed to raise a hand,

  28. Michelle couldn’t resist the urge to out-Christian Reep. The contest continues…sorry, I’m just not interested.

    • 2pz, Michelle actually sounds like she has discovered a relationship with God that has freed her from traditonal religious trappings. I confess to not understanding the velocity of her lightening bolt hurled my way. However, this public arena graciously allows each of us the candor of our thoughts.

      I can understand your disinterest in followers of Christ non-intentionally out posting each other…enjoy your journey! -Reep

  29. We have experienced most of the reasons mentioned above and unfortunately they are true in many churches and congregations. Church meetings should be “family” gatherings where all share their testimonies and love for our Lord and one another. I am also interested to know who this Reep is who is commenting on this post as this is an old family name that to our knowledge only occurs in my family I am the oldest one at nearly 70, my son here in SA, a cousin in the Netherlands, with another one or two in the younger generations there – a maximum of 5 that I know about. If you read this please contact me at reep@verloren.co.za

  30. I am sad to hear all these responses from people who have left the church who are so quick to blame others for the decisions they have made. I am not perfect and no one will ever be but why do we talk about church as if its a building. The bible says that we are the church. And the actual building is a place we can go and glorify his name thats it. We say that the people that go to church are hypocrites, and judge people but the funny thing is that is exactly what your doing when you’re judging some one else. I am 21 years old son of a preacher been in church my whole life. Was baptized at the age of 12. And to be honest i really didn’t grasp the true meaning of living a Christian life till i was 19 years old. I liked to imagine just because i went to church i was saved. While in reality i was a two faced. When i was in church i was one way(good) but as soon as churched finished i lived the opposite way.(bad) I drinked i partied i practiced sexual immorality i was living a horrible and wicked life i was no different than a person that wasn’t saved i saw so many different things that would of given me a right to say it was Gods fault and say i quit going to church,
    But i know its by Gods grace and un failing love that i am not dead because if God was Just and wasnt merciful what i deserved is for him to poor out his whole wrath in me and to trough me to the deepest pit in hell because thats what i deserve since i am a sinner, But i thank God every day that i am alive that he gives me a chance to repent and i do repent constantly because every day i sin. but i know that his grace and love is more than enough thats why he sent his only son to die in the cross for me and for that reason i know that no matter how bad my past has been i have that hope that i will be in glory with him. There is nothing any one can do to me, say to separate me from Gods love. for me to turn my back on him because my eyes on not on human beings knowing that we are not perfect and we will fall down but my eyes are on God since he loved me and forgave me of my sins i know that i have to forgive others and not judge them no matter what because at the end even if it was some one else fault that made me turn my back on God i will be face to face to him and there will be no excuse for me to give him to explain why i turned my back on him. for what does Romans 8:38-39
    For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

    Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

  31. I have heard this speech about a hundred times. You have it almost down pat. Just keep practicing. All this keeps people running for the door and rightfully so. Think with your own mind. The one GOD gave you and not just with the instruction of other people.
    You may actually begin a journey of trusting God. Or should I say learning to.

  32. I do go to church regularly. However, I do not get caught up in the “social hoopla” in the church. I used to go to a protestant church with a school friend. As soon as I started going to church with her, she pretty much abandoned me as a friend, but still wanted me to go to church with her, including my mom driving my friends family to church every other week; this also included social activities. Because the hassle of being obligated to go to various activities, and arguing about who is driving, I stopped going to that church as soon as I turned about 19 or 20. I didn’t feel that it was worth staying at a church that was mainly concerned about activities and getting people to fill roles in the church. I did not feel that this was a God serving church. It was a church that used people who thought that they belonged in a vibrant community. But, I can say that I did not have any close or relevant friends in that church. None of them were people I would turn to if I had a need or concern.

    I converted to the Catholic Church about 14 years ago. I feel that with this church that I am connected to God. The people are friendly. But, the downside is is that people don’t always take the time to reach out or extend the olive branch to other people. So, for me it is difficult to connect with people when a majority of the parishioners are caught up in their own lives and at times rush out as soon as mass is over. I will say that in the Catholic Churches, they do not push people like they do in the Protestant churches. Announcements are usually printed in the bulletins, and it is up to each person to contact the person if interested in serving in an event or community.

    What this boils down to is I believe that one the biggest reasons why people leave any church is because of the false connections or relationships that exist in church. Anytime I went to an activity (when I was at the protestant church), I was treated like an outsider because most of the other people would often bring their own friends to events. To me that defeats the purpose of going to a church event in the first place. That is why if I had to choose between a church activity and going out with my friends, it is pretty obvious that I would choose going out with my friends.

  33. We don’t go to church anymore because of the nasty people in the church. I’m talking about church people gossiping about each other. Making unkind remarks about each other. Stupid church fights that split the church. Things like that, that make you feel like they’re waiting for you to pick a side to fight on so they can see if you’re friend or foe. Then there’s the churches that are very controlling and manipulative, making everyone conform to a certain look, like a bunch of robots, and you’re basically required to attend so many meetings or events every week. If you don’t do it, you’ll hear about it. We quit going to one church and a couple of months later we get a copy of the church newsletter, written by the pastor’s wife, who included a paragraph about me which said. “Our piano player quit. Here’s her phone number. Call and ask her why”. When I wrote the pastor’s wife a letter concerning this, she sent a letter back,
    claiming that she was sorry if she offended me and claimed I misunderstood. A non apology.
    She then typed up a couple dozen Scripture verses about love. A couple younger than us were so outraged by what she did that they quit going to that church altogether. Then there was the church, whereby the exalted elderly church lady walked up and said to me “You need to support your husband on Wednesday nights”. I was so stunned at her rudeness, that I just stared at her. We continued going to that church a few months, but every time I saw that old woman there, it just filled me with anger. We prefer nondenominational churches because we’re not into tongues, rolling around on the ground. That knocks out a lot of churches.
    Not into Roman Catholicism and I’m leery of Baptists because of their legalistic mentality.
    In short, I expect people who go to church to be able to behave themselves for an hour or two.
    Apparently that’s too much to ask for. So if you want to condemn me for not going to church, go ahead. I’m sick of the garbage.

  34. The church I did go too. The preacher didn’t even come check on my sick mom or does he call at all. Nobody from that church has came to see my sick mom and bring food like they use too. Then a GA’s teacher yells at my niece and tells her if she can’t be here for the sing then she is in trouble. That’s not how you treat a child of God’s,if she can’t be there then you don’t have to yell at the child then go and yell at her aunt I don’t think so.So that’s why I don’t go to church.Cuz people acted like they are your friend and turn around on you like you ain’t nothing to them.

  35. False teaching Bible manipulation and no love is what driving this plus misusing the Saints money for buildings instead of the Saints and so on. People are not stupid they know there is something wrong but cannot pinpoint it. The leaders are forming havoc not understanding God or the needs of the Saints just like always

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,417 other followers