Based on my experience and observation over the last 30 years, here are the five top reasons why people leave their local assembly (church).
(1) It’s boring – this is especially true for those who leave the traditional/institutional church. The service is basically the same show every week. There’s no room for spontaneity or creativity from the congregation. Elsewhere, George Barna and I demonstrated that the Sunday Morning Protestant Order of Worship (Service) was created 500 years ago and it’s changed little since. That’s true for virtually all denominations and “non-denominational” assemblies. The changes between them are minimal. I’ve often said the Body of Christ is dying for a lack of imagination. But very few church leaders would dare change this tradition in any significant way. So those who are bored with it end up leaving. And that’s no small number of Christians.
(2) There’s no community – many complain that they don’t know the other members of the congregation, despite trying to forge relationships. A Christian can spend years in a local church and never develop any deep relationships with the other members. While sometimes this is due to the individual’s inability to reach out, oftentimes, the environment of many churches doesn’t foster face-to-face community. For them, getting to know others in their congregation is just as difficult as making friends at the local gym. Not easy to do.
(3) There’s no place to function and minister – again, this is true in most traditional/institutional churches. The church is divided up into the professionals who function and the non-professionals who are spectators. You may reply saying, “but they can volunteer to serve in the church.” Yes, but many Christians have no interest in the typical “church” duties like being an usher, a Sunday school teacher, etc. They wish to function and share what God has given them in the corporate gatherings as envisioned in 1 Corinthians 14:26ff. To their minds, if they want to listen to sermons, they just find a good podcast and listen at home. If they want to worship with a worship team, they buy worship music, etc. [Continue Reading…]