5 Reasons Why People Leave Their Church

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…]

The Insurgency Began & You Missed It

The 106th podcast episode just released. It’s called “The Insurgency Began and You Missed It” in which I talk about the present Revolution.

Listen in the following venues:

iTunes Subscribe (for Apple devices)

 

Beyond Pod Signet

Beyond Pod (for non-Apple devices)

 

If you don’t use a smart phone, then click here to see the complete list of episodes on one page, including this episode

Click here for detailed instructions on how to subscribe to the podcast using your smart phone or tablet, how to rate the podcast in iTunes, and how to find time to listen to podcasts.

[Continue Reading…]

Don’t Miss This!

Every so often, some of you will tell me, “I can’t believe I missed this!”

So I’m entitling this post “Don’t Miss This!” with the hopes that you’ll take action and not miss out on the following items of interest that are coming soon.

1) I’m holding two special events in 2015. Soon, I’ll be polling those who signed up to get more information on possible dates. So if you have any interest in spending a day with me next year, be sure to fill out the form for the event of your choice.

2) The majority of you who heard the 100th episode of my podcast never voted on which character caller you liked best. Go here to listen to the episode and vote on one of the character callers. Remember, I’ll be interviewing one of the character callers in a future episode. So your input is appreciated.

3) My premium discipleship course LIVING BY THE INDWELLING LIFE OF CHRIST will be available again in both the online and home edition versions in late November. Be sure to get on the waiting list so you don’t miss out. The course will only be open for 7 days.

4) I’m busy writing six new books to release in January 2015. Five are part of The Rethinking Series and another is a book on Christian Community. Your prayers are appreciated as I write these volumes. Combined, the page count will be around 700 pages. Here are some photos.[Continue Reading…]

Beyond Awkward

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Beau Crosetto has just released a new book on evangelism called Beyond Awkward: When Talking About Jesus is Outside Your Comfort Zone.

Recently, I caught up with Beau to talk about his new book. Enjoy!

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Instead of asking, “what is your book about,” I’m going to ask the question that’s behind that question. And that unspoken question is, “how are readers going to benefit from reading your book?”

Beau Crosetto: Readers are going to benefit from reading my book in three main ways.

1) I am going to help them understand that awkwardness is part of evangelism no matter how gifted you are. I like to say, “awkwardness precedes breakthrough in evangelism.” Most breakthroughs come after some tension that most of us run from. So in this book I help us name the tensions and then move through and beyond them.

All of us have people around us that are open to Jesus but we aren’t talking to them because we are nervous about the tensions (what if I am pushy? What if I don’t have the right words? What if they actually want Jesus and I don’t know how to lead them?). Instead of just telling you it will be ok, I help you name them, move through them and then beyond into breakthrough.[Continue Reading…]

Don’t Confuse Me With the Facts

Christians are funny creatures.

About six months ago, someone sent me a Tweet saying, “I am reading one of your books. I’m half-way through, and I don’t agree with it.”

I responded (in a series of tweets) the following:

Twitter isn’t the place for substantial dialogue. In fact, it’s impossible. Make a comment on my blog and let me know where *specifically* you disagree and why.”

“If I’ve written one word that’s inaccurate or unbiblical, I want to know where & how.”

The person declined and essentially said something that was the equivalent of, “I’ve made up my mind. I don’t want to be proven wrong. Don’t confuse me with the facts.”

[Cough.]

In 2012, I wrote a blog post that went viral. It’s called So You Think You Disagree? 4 Reasons Why You May Not.

The article puts a finger on a profound problem today.

If Christians don’t take the time to dialogue with each other on issues where they think they disagree, they will never find out if the disagreement is real or just perceived.[Continue Reading…]

Is Suicide Unforgivable & Media Spin? I Need Your Help

Following Robin Williams’ tragic death, I wrote a lengthy article called A Jesus Response to Suicide.

The enormous media periodical Opposing Views picked up my article and wrote a full piece quoting me in it.

Now I’d like your help on something.

Read my original article A Jesus Response to Suicide which was published on a newsfeed blog that recasts some of my work.

Then compare it to how Opposing Views portrayed my view of suicide.

Question: Did “Opposing Views” accurately represent my thoughts and feelings about suicide or did they leave out some key points and thus “spin” my take on it to suit their own purposes?

Your feedback would be enormously helpful  here.

Thank you.[Continue Reading…]

Hope Reborn

Adrian Warnock and Tope Koleoso have written a well-attested book called Hope Reborn: How to Become a Christian and Live for Jesus.

I caught up with Adrian recently to discuss the book. Check it out!

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Instead of asking, “what is your book about,” I’m going to ask the question that’s behind that question. And that unspoken question is, “how are readers going to benefit from reading your book?”

Adrian Warnock: For some people we hope our book will be their introduction to the gospel which accomplishes our salvation. We have already heard of some people who were given the book as non-Christians and made a decision to follow Jesus before they got to the end[1]. But for others, perhaps they will decide to read the book to check whether they want to use it with their friends, but the gospel has a way of surprising us with its freshness and power for ourselves. We pray that every Christian who reads will experience a renewed passion for the gospel, an enriched understanding, and greater confidence to share the good news more clearly with others.[Continue Reading…]

The Ultimate Issue

The 105th podcast episode just released. It contains a conference message I delivered entitled “The Ultimate Issue.”

Listen in the following venues:

iTunes Subscribe (for Apple devices)

 

Beyond Pod Signet

Beyond Pod (for non-Apple devices)

 

If you don’t use a smart phone, then click here to see the complete list of episodes on one page, including this episode

Click here for detailed instructions on how to subscribe to the podcast using your smart phone or tablet, how to rate the podcast in iTunes, and how to find time to listen to podcasts.[Continue Reading…]

Does the Bible Really Contradict Itself?

“Without the Way, there is no going. Without the Truth, there is no knowing. Without the Life, there is no living.”

~ Thomas à Kempis

In some recent progressive Christian blogs, the authors often argue that the Bible contradicts itself a great deal.

Some of these authors even go as far as to say that the Bible isn’t terribly reliable, and that certain things that God told Israel, for example, were . . . well . . . little fibs. “God really didn’t tell those people that. They had their fingers crossed behind their backs as they penned those claims.” Or so the thinking goes.

I find these sorts of explanations to be unconvincing at best. And they reflect modernistic Enlightenment rationalism (which governs the frontal lobes of those who flat-footedly reject Scripture) at worst.

While I don’t believe the Bible has a journalistic type of accuracy that most fundamentalists ascribe to it, nor do I believe that the Bible is some sort of magic book that will yield an answer to every conceivable question posed to it, I am convinced of the following:[Continue Reading…]