Church membership drop, anxiety spotlight Gospel need
As recent polls put U.S. church membership at an all-time low and anxiety at an all-time high, some Southern Baptist leaders say the numbers are a wake-up call to Christians' deep need to take the Great Commission personally.
A Gallup Poll published in mid-April found that around 50 percent of Americans self-reported as members of a church, synagogue or mosque in 2018. That's a sharp drop from around 70 percent in 1999, a number that had stayed fairly steady in prior decades.
The decline matches up with the nation's "steep increase" of "nones," or people who don't identify with any religion, according to Gallup....
Looking at the poll results, assuming the number of self-reporting Christians sways the results as mostly a "Christian" phenomenon, I'd say a 20 percent drop is most reflective of societal changes pulling non-believers away from church, with some amount, less than half, representing fewer actual Christians.
Once the megachurch model fails, though, expect the numbers to increase as lots find themselves disillusioned with the autocratic entertainment approach but have no other concept of how to implement the Regulative Principle and simply walk away.
DF, that was my question as well, and you explained the difference in an excellent way. When I framed it reading this yesterday, mine question was "Does this reflect a change in American culture in which 'church' is no longer a social club and social obligation but a place of worship for genuine believers?"
It's a tough question, and I don't feel there are solid answers. However, it does feel like the number of fellow believers is fewer. When I consider how my father-in-law spoke of his hometown as a youngster about 100 years ago, he described that everyone was a Christian and many went to a relatively solid church. If we visit that same town today, one cannot make that same assertion.
I think, though, that of the people leaving, some are real believers struggling to find a church home. Interpersonal relatioonships are the biggest drivers. Wayfaerer's comment on the CEO pastor and lazy attenders really fits with this observation. What happens is that these people never settle in but jump every few years sometimes even in a circuit of churches.
We know some who did leave increasingly Progressive congregations and were seeking something less liberal but which still wouldn't fit the mould of an SA broadcaster. Depending on the area, that might be hard if holding to a certai
There is less responsibility of parishioners than ever before. The ceo pastor model prevails in churches into a entertainment company. Thus there are less butts in the seats because people donâ€™t know how to do church. They do not witness to their coworkers because their afraid of offending people. They donâ€™t witness to their neighbors because they donâ€™t know them. And most have not been discipled on the things of God to be an effective witness for Christ. Instead they are bored , lazy and lack the ability to live and proclaim the gospel. So instead, they put that responsibility on the shoulders of the church staff and that is not the gospel.
Question seems to be---are Americans less religious these days? Or just not "signing on the line" to become church members? Would we agree that Muslims who attend a mosque are the same as our fellow Bible-believing church-goers are the same as all Catholics (the largest single 'church' in the USA)? I don't think so. Therefore, any article like this does not focus in on the real problem--how many fellow believers do we have out there? We can say, 'Oh, my church is growing fast, we had to increase our seating, we increased our services from 2 Sunday mornings to 4 all weekend, etc.' But does that mean many of those attending are leaving other Bible-believing churches, or are they leaving Methodist churches with women preachers, openly sodomite members, weddings, etc?
I'm not sure of the background where this article was published, but I read the whole thing a very long article, it seems quite good.
https://tinyurl.com/y2eh87an. (Future of the Christian Right)
The writer didn't come to much of a definitive conclusion, but the death of the religious right maybe further down the line then is predicted by many.
John MacArthur wrote: ...The greatest temporal good we can accomplish through political involvement cannot compare to what the Lord can accomplish through us in the eternal work of His kingdom. Just as God called ancient Israel (Exodus 19:6), He has called the church to be a kingdom of priests, not a kingdom of political activists. The apostle Peter instructs us, "But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light" (1 Peter 2:9)....
excerpt from https://tinyurl.com/jko49r6 (Christians and Politics, Part 3)
Not reflecting what the scripture calls Christians to be can hardly be a help the gaining true believers to the church