Empty church — why people are leaving, and what we’re supposed to do about it

Is your church going to look like this? Stats say, eventually.


Why are people gradually disaffiliating themselves with religion in the United States?

There is no doubt that the predominant religion in the U.S. is Christianity.  The day you’re born, there is a high likelihood that you will be exposed to church, Jesus, or the Bible in your lifetime.

Yet many people (according to statistics, 1 in 3) are walking away from — or aren’t even considering — church or any organized religion.

This appears to be a complex situation. Church could call it a problem — and they should, since this trend jeopardizes its very establishment. Humanists and atheists might call it a solution — the premise of church, they say, is fear, and the creed restricts human development and evolution as a species altogether.

But the real problem rests in this: the average Christian — let alone American — does not understand the Bible.

And worse, the very place where the Bible is supposed to be taught — church — is not doing anything to remedy this trend.  The average church right now is dumbing down the Bible.  Rather than teaching the book in its entirety, as it was intended to be, they use scant doctrine and scrape the frosting off of their favorite passages. They amplify the music, turn up the lights, make ambiguous remarks pertaining to life, and sell church so you come back next week.

But once you recognize the fraudulent technique, the empty promise, the selfish behavior from the pulpit or the shallowness of your pew-mate, you’re going to walk out. It might not happen this year, but eventually, you’ll leave.

Let me start by saying that I’m sorry.  I’m sorry that church has sold you a two-dimensional, pragmatic God, and that your entire congregation is comprised of zombies and hypocrites. I’m sorry that your pastor is more concerned with keeping your chair warm rather than helping you keep your walk intact. I’m sorry that the Bible appears archaic, confusing, and without succinct answers apart from a handful of verses.

I could sit here and blame church all day long, but it’s going to come down to you. If you’re a Christian, you bear the responsibility — not society, not church, and *gasp* not even God.  It’s up to you.

A “connection” or a feeling isn’t going to be enough.  That feeling is going to leave. You must be absorbed in it, in who He is and what He has said. If God is not real apart from your favorite worship song or a weekday service, it’s time to re-examine why you’re even following Jesus.  You might even consider your salvation.

If you are already resolved to see the Word for what it is and actually learn it and do it, are you going to continue to be steadfast through it all? The trend of empty church in this country will likely continue, and it is going to alienate you from a society bent on standing “above” your faith. Will you stand firm?

If your foot is already out the door, how much longer are you going to depend on church to sustain you?  Is the Lord Jesus compelling enough to give you a desire for His Word and His will for your life? Or are you just another growing statistic — present or future?

Have your say!

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1 Comment

  1. Sadly this is true and it has to do with many clergy preaching that if you don’t tithe, and give each time that you are not living a Christian life. Telling people that God only cares about your money and nothing else. I have heard this time and again in the churches before I began pa storing, and even after I left the pulpit. The churches I pastor-ed, we didn’t take up an offering as many do, we left baskets in the back and depended on peoples generosity to give unto the Lord.


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