Why Churches Are Losing
If you ever want to see a pastor become frustrated, tell him you are a bible believing Christian, but you don’t attend a church. The desire for every believer to be biblically fed is woven into the spiritual DNA of most pastors. I recently watched a Texas pastor, whom I have great respect for, speak on the importance of the local church.
He said a lady had written him an email, stating that since she and her husband had not found a church, they were listening to his sermons online instead. He adamantly disagreed with this approach. He cited being attached to a local church body is important, the greatest reason being accountability and authority.
I agree on both counts, however, there is another side of the “out of church” equation, which is growing like a tsunami. Churches that are doctrinally sound, fearless in upholding the teachings of the gospel and adherents to the nature and character of God are in short supply.
On the surface, this sounds like an easy cop-out. Certainly, with a church on almost every block, anyone who says he can’t find a church is just making excuses.
There are an estimated 616,008 restaurants in the United States. Therefore, it is ridiculous for someone to say she can’t find anywhere to eat. It is likely she can’t go 1,000 feet without seeing one of those eateries. However, most restaurants sell food that is nutritional garbage. The hypothetical “Monster Burger” is real satisfying to the taste buds, but not necessarily good for one’s overall natural health. So, one must search far and wide to find a restaurant with tasty food, that is also nutritionally sound.
There are an estimated 300,000 churches in the United States. Using the analogy, it is quite easy to find a church building. However much of the content within the building feels good but is not spiritually nutritious. Most of the sermons are hyper-positive, telling congregants how great they are. There are bright lights, a loud sound system, and a dead silent congregation. Subsequently, there are other spiritual contentions like lots of cleavage and really short dresses from women, and tight muscle shirts and pants from men. A lack of modesty is expected from the unbeliever or the newly conversated Christian, but some of these people are “seasoned saints”. Some of these people even have leadership roles.
When you can’t find a good restaurant, what do you do? You cook at home. Likewise, many people are finding that worshipping in their homes is a better option than sitting in a compromised religious environment. It seems there is some wisdom in the small gatherings of ancient church members. We should never forsake the assembling of saints, but many people are reconsidering the location of that assembly. Pyrotechnics, soft seats, and iridescent lights can never overcome the noisy silence of dead worship.
Tim Lollis is Executive Director of Destiny Institute, community relations specialist, and freelance writer. See more articles at www.thecalled.net