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Breaking News Home | All | Religion | Society | Tech | Choice | SA Newsroom
FRONT PAGE  |  10/14/2019
Choice News SATURDAY, MAR 9, 2019  |  23 comments
Majority of churches in decline or flatlining; nearly half see dip in giving, study says
A majority of churches have fewer than 100 people attending services each Sunday and have declined or nearly flatlined in membership growth, according to a new study from Exponential by LifeWay Research.

The study, which was conducted to help churches better understand growth in the pews, showed that most Protestant churches are not doing well attracting new Christian converts, reporting an average of less than one each month.

“The primary purpose of this study was to obtain a set of objective measures on churches’ reproduction and multiplication behaviors today as well as to understand their core context of growth,” Todd Wilson, chief executive officer of Exponential, said in a release from LifeWay research. “By combining these measures, we can help churches think about multiplication.” ...


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· Page 1 ·  Found: 23 user comment(s)
News Item3/11/19 12:02 AM
The Quiet Christian  Find all comments by The Quiet Christian
Thank you, Jim.

I think political positions are very much informed by what people believe in terms of theology and doctrine. It is the fruit of what comes out of a man, and the works of the flesh must be replaced divinely by fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5).

It is hard to be part of a church that lifts up works of the flesh as the ideal rather than fruit of the Spirit.

I have heard of Methodist denominations that have splintered off the main line. Don't know much about them but they might bear investigation.

23

News Item3/10/19 6:56 PM
Jim Lincoln | Nebraska  Find all comments by Jim Lincoln
QC, some excellent comments❗

There was a long stretch in there that the Methodist Church, seemed like a political party. One of the reasons I cool to it. I probably left it for some of the same reasons the millennials are leaving Evangelical churches.

I don't know how I missed some of the comments in the article that I am referenced but Russell Moore has quite a few good ones in it. He's keeping his sunny side up.

The great speech recognition program Google has (!) Questar in the last message was really supposed to be "quit their"

I put a lot more emphasis on doctrine than apparently many Millennials do.

22

News Item3/10/19 6:10 PM
Jim Lincoln | Nebraska  Find all comments by Jim Lincoln
I will say this is a fairly good article. I wouldn't agree with two of the three millennials on why they Questar churches, if you're going to be a Christian morality is an important part of Christianity

Nina Burleigh wrote:
Disaffected Youth

To understand what’s happening among evangelicals, researchers study the results of PRRI’s annual, wide-ranging, 80,000-interview American Values Atlas poll. In the most recent survey, from 2017, 40 percent of individuals under 30 claim “no religious affiliation” (sometimes called “the nones”). “White evangelicals are a big part of that decline,” Jones says.

Respondents cited not believing in the doctrines and, surprisingly, politics. “They cite partisanship,” Jones says. “That’s a big turnoff for young Americans....
....
Even people like me, a white male with a lot of societal privilege, can see that evangelical leaders are completely happy to join forces with white nationalist politicians and leaders and to give them the benefit of the doubt while they are attacking marginalized communities,” says Chastain. “And that’s just blatantly hypocritical.”...

from "Evangelical Christians... Their Time as a Major Political Force Is Coming to an End"
https://tinyurl.com/yaprx73p

Thanks for t

21

News Item3/10/19 6:09 PM
Jim Lincoln | Nebraska  Find all comments by Jim Lincoln
I will say this is a fairly good article. I wouldn't agree with two of the three millennials on why they Questar churches, if you're going to be a Christian morality is an important part of Christianity

Nina Burleigh wrote:
Disaffected Youth

To understand what’s happening among evangelicals, researchers study the results of PRRI’s annual, wide-ranging, 80,000-interview American Values Atlas poll. In the most recent survey, from 2017, 40 percent of individuals under 30 claim “no religious affiliation” (sometimes called “the nones”). “White evangelicals are a big part of that decline,” Jones says.

Respondents cited not believing in the doctrines and, surprisingly, politics. “They cite partisanship,” Jones says. “That’s a big turnoff for young Americans....
....
Even people like me, a white male with a lot of societal privilege, can see that evangelical leaders are completely happy to join forces with white nationalist politicians and leaders and to give them the benefit of the doubt while they are attacking marginalized communities,” says Chastain. “And that’s just blatantly hypocritical.”...

from "Evangelical Christians... Their Time as a Major Political Force Is Coming to an End"
https://tinyurl.com/yaprx73p

Thanks for t

20

News Item3/10/19 4:58 PM
The Quiet Christian  Find all comments by The Quiet Christian
Thanks, Chris. My sense is that you are correct that in that what you are seeing is widespread.

True saving faith is not sprinkling a little Jesus or Christian language into your day. There should be a wholesale convertion. But again, we all are just works in progress. I just hope that many of these are a work in progress and not deluded into easy beliefism "I prayed a prayer so I got my get out of jail free card" style of Christian...or worse, Joel Olsteen style nonsense.

19

News Item3/10/19 3:01 PM
Unprofitable Servant | TN.  Find all comments by Unprofitable Servant
Leese, I am still pondering whether or not to fully respond to you. I assume you realize that there are churches in the N.T. that did not meet in houses, and we fully agree the building, although called a church, is not the church but the church is made up of believers.

If I do respond please realize we don't know each other and I can only respond to what you have posted.

18

News Item3/10/19 1:50 PM
Douglas Fir | Zones Four to Six  Find all comments by Douglas Fir
I was surprised years ago when I read that over 85 percent of churches in the USA have less than 100 members. Larger churches may siphon off members when they search for specific programs for their kids. I don't think they end up in a Mega-Church because the 'cultural change' is too great.
I think we all have known people in our churches who seem enthusiastic but soon move on and we have no 'exit interview' to ask them why.
Someone said that every time a church has to do a remodeling, a new denomination is born. People will disagree over the smallest points of doctrine (no surprise here, right?). I've seen people leave our church when the times of the services were swapped--the traditional service now at 9:30am and the contemporary one at 11:00am. That upset many who had plans to eat lunch after 'their' service, and they left to go to a liberal church that did have the 11:00am traditional service.

I think many people filling pews anywhere are like them--the church is just an activity to fill their schedule with, to show that they are Good Decent People, and for some to make business contacts.

Maybe what is going on with the decline of the church is related to Modern Tech--namely, the smartphone and social media. It is like what Paul said of the Athenians-seeking NEW thing

17

News Item3/10/19 7:23 AM
Christopher000 | Rhode Island  Find all comments by Christopher000
Hi Quiet Christian, I liked your comments. I don't think it's a stretch to say that the true church is in a steep decline, and I'm talking about those who make up the church; the body. One thing we see going on today, aside from all of the blatant wickedness that really took root during OBamas reign, is what seems like a separating of the sheep and goats. The other thing I see is, well, not so much a lack of interest, I guess, but more of a laziness, and priorities being skewed when it comes to holiness, Christian living, and what life is truly about. I see a 45min sermon, once a week, a quick prayer each night, and bibles collecting dust. I see the business of life, superceeding the great commission, spiritual growth, and all things God receiving mere minutes, here and there, as time allows, as opposed to life revolving around Him. I see a mere belief in God, and calling oneself a born again Christian, as being all that's necessary anymore, with few, to no fruits being the evidence of salvation. I see a lot of comprimise going on, and God's Word not being taken near seriously enough, as many think the little they do, along with half-hearted, obediance, is plenty, and doing their part. I'm only speaking to the small pocket I see around me, but think it's widespread.
16

News Item3/10/19 4:38 AM
The Quiet Christian  Find all comments by The Quiet Christian
Definitely a factor, Jim. When my wife and I evaluate a church as a potential fit for our family, worldliness is a key piece. Or as Wayfarer unequivocally put it, hypocrisy. We don't venture into liberal churches as they are far compromised and are of the world, so worldiness is part and parcel of who they are. Conservative churches ought to know better, but love Hollywood too much to ditch their porno scenes. They love too much of this world that they compromise their fair's outward characteristics and witness.

At the same time, even at our best, we are just works in progress. The Lord has not yet completed the work He has started, but He promises that He will.

15

News Item3/10/19 4:04 AM
Jim Lincoln | Nebraska  Find all comments by Jim Lincoln
Another good article on why liberal and conservative churches are losing members. It's not the weakness in their theology, but the worldliness of potential church members helps kill interest in any serious Christian organization.

https://tinyurl.com/c9454aj (Plague on both their houses: The real story of growth and decline in liberal and conservative churches)

14

News Item3/10/19 1:03 AM
The Quiet Christian  Find all comments by The Quiet Christian
There are probably a number of factors and some have been named from "no church I agree with" to "the exodus of the unredeemed." All good points. We've all likely seen the good and bad of being associated with a particular church body.

Please allow me to add the multifaceted attack on the Bible from Darwinism and German higher criticism. Many churches have allowed and followed these concepts to their destructive end. There is one of those power video snippets with Dr. Bob Jones preaching posted here on SA that addresses this issue better than I ever will called "The Voice of Bob Jones, Sr." I commend it to you viewing. Also, Ken Ham published a book called "Already Gone" that addresses the phenomenon of the departure of millenials from their faith backgrounds and connects their view to the impact of secular education rife with Darwinism.

Of course, us Reformed-types cling to the hope of effectual calling in which the Lord will make alive whomever He calls (Ephesians 2). Too often, though, I think parents and church leaders assume faith where there is none. Academic answers to the standard questions regarding faith in Christ does not equal true, saving faith. And like Wayfarer said, it's all about our troubles in this life and not enough about people coming to faith in Chr

13

News Item3/9/19 9:27 PM
Leese | Arizona  Find all comments by Leese
Romans 16:5
“Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my wellbeloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ.”
Likewise [greet] the church that is in their house. As the early Christians had no houses of worship, they met in the homes of prominent brethren. In the large cities there would be several such groups. One of these in Rome met in the house of Priscilla and Aquila.

The Holy Spirit is not giving me a new Revelation He is teaching us while WE like minded believers meet in our Home. We live in a city where there are no true KJB Churches so we meet in homes. Really think about what is going on in China right now, all Christian Churches are being destroyed and they are secretly meeting in homes. God wants us to gather to Worship Him in Truth and Spirit.

Hope this better explains we do not attend a Church building. Remember the gathering of believers are the Church a building is not the Church, it is each member that make up the body of Christ.

12

News Item3/9/19 9:26 PM
Leese | Arizona  Find all comments by Leese
Romans 16:5
“Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my wellbeloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ.”
Likewise [greet] the church that is in their house. As the early Christians had no houses of worship, they met in the homes of prominent brethren. In the large cities there would be several such groups. One of these in Rome met in the house of Priscilla and Aquila.

The Holy Spirit is not giving me a new Revelation He is teaching us while WE like minded believers meet in our Home. We live in a city where there are no true KJB Churches so we meet in homes. Really think about what is going on in China right now, all Christian Churches are being destroyed and they are secretly meeting in homes. God wants us to gather to Worship Him in Truth and Spirit.

Hope this better explains we do not attend a Church building. Remember the gathering of believers are the Church a building is not the Church, it is each member that make up the body of Christ.

11

News Item3/9/19 5:23 PM
Just a Guy | Mississippi  Find all comments by Just a Guy
The church of God is not in decline...

The church of God is growing at an unbelievable rate...

And the non-believers in church are leaving just as fast...

10

News Item3/9/19 4:15 PM
Douglas Fir | Zones Four to Six  Find all comments by Douglas Fir
It sounds like they could take their research and call it, "The Decline of the Church in America."
Or, since LifeWay is part of the mainstream Baptist denomination, they are mostly concerned about their own, which is reasonable. Could it be that non-denom churches are thriving with hundreds more attending them? Or are the drop-outs from small churches going to MegaChurches?
But I doubt that, though I can't offer specific reasons.
One trend is to have a large HQ church with lots of branches, where even the preaching is 'farmed out' via videos.
A Baptist church in Dallas is doing this across the country; they can buy out the declining small churches and use their facilities without having to hire much staff to run them.
It would be interesting to study the History of the Church in America to see when were its best days. Some say the 1970s, and after then it went down.
But in those days, were people going to make 'business connections' like insurance agents, stock brokers, lawyers, doctors, etc.?
At the same time, I've seen no Sunday School classes or best-selling books in the Christian world to deal with this history. Maybe they are afraid to deal with the lessons to be learned.
Maybe the truth is that in America, 'going to church' has always been about image and not bel
9

News Item3/9/19 1:48 PM
Wayfarer pilgrim | Lubbock, Tx  Find all comments by Wayfarer pilgrim
There is just a lot of heresy in the body of Christ. I attend a small baptist church. And there is rarely a consensus on what is the gospel. If you enter a prayer meeting, it’s all about aches, pains, my son, your uncle my blind mama, But, never that Lord Jesus has come to save the lost. We as a whole are the most whiny, girlie and mamby pamby lookin schmucks to call them themselves Christians.
I have difficulty, but in church, I don’t talk about the subjects I comment on this post. I am in church and it is a selfish and sinful mind that whines “ things ain’t right in River City “. Church is about worshipping God, expounding his word , proclaiming the gospel and that is it. It ain’t about being a baby, I am a sinful man and my hypocrisy is ever before me.
8

News Item3/9/19 1:11 PM
sc  Find all comments by sc
Wayfarer, ..not just the millennials..very common for the baby boomer crowd to not want to release "control" of their lives as well, even when they understand that it is futile.
Leese has a valid point and I believe that is why so many churches have dwindled in numbers. I understand that we should not forsake the assembling of others. Sometimes that might be connecting with other local believers in a bible study or visiting many who are challenged in getting out who might be in nursing homes, for example, and evangelizing there/connecting there.
I think that there is a vast difference between a perfect church which doesn't exist and compromising churches which, sadly, have become all too common.
I often have greater respect for someone like Luther when I see how the majority of Christians cannot hold to Scripture by holding tight to vain traditions...often looking very RC or pagan in the end.
7

News Item3/9/19 1:03 PM
Wayfarer pilgrim | Lubbock, Tx  Find all comments by Wayfarer pilgrim
Thank you Frank, Your words and the scripture verses will uphold us. It has always been a funeral I was not invited to attend.
6

News Item3/9/19 12:24 PM
Unprofitable Servant | TN  Find all comments by Unprofitable Servant
Leese are you saying Paul was wrong to call the church (gathered local assembly of believers) the pillar and ground of the truth? Are you saying the Holy Spirit Who inspired the Scripture about not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together has a new revelation for you? Are you saying Paul was wrong to spend three missionary journeys planting local churches? Have you read Revelation 1-3 in which the Lord spoke to seven local assemblies? Do you think that God made a mistake by giving certain people as gifts to the church to build up believers? Do the one another commands in the Scripture no longer have meaning today? The church at Corinth had several problems, can you show me the verse where Paul encouraged the believers to quit and stay home because of it?
5

News Item3/9/19 12:17 PM
Jim Lincoln | Nebraska  Find all comments by Jim Lincoln
Peter Beinart wrote:
The culture war over religious morality has faded; in its place is something much worse.

Over the past decade,pollsters charted something remarkable: Americans—long known for their piety—were fleeing organized religion in increasing numbers. The vast majority still believed in God. But the share that rejected any religious affiliation was growing fast, rising from 6 percent in 1992 to 22 percent in 2014. Among Millennials, the figure was 35 percent....

excerpt from, "Breaking Faith"

https://tinyurl.com/k9yxata

The author who probably is no conservative, thinks this is a bad thing.

Probably keeping religion out of conservative and liberal churches would be a good thing, at least for White congregations, as far as I'm concerned

4
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