There’s a new book out called Why Nobody Wants to Go to Church Anymore. I haven’t read it yet, but it’s a topic I think about a lot. It’s no secret that average church attendance in America has been continually dropping for decades.
Here’s some cold stats to toss out: only 20% of Americans go to church week-to-week, some church leaders estimate that 8,000 churches will close within the year, and every year 3 million more people stop going to church.
So what are we to make of this? It’s a big topic, so we’ll be thinking about these things more on this blog: why the decline and what can be done about it. For now, let us just sit with following questions:
Is this decline bad? That’s actually an important place to start since many churches aren’t doing anything about these trends. So you need to ask yourself, “Am I okay with it? Then I’ll just keep on going. Am I not okay with it? Then let’s do something about it.”
Why do we want more people in church? This is a good question too because so often the answer is–even if we don’t admit it–because we just want our organization to increase, get bigger, flourish, make more money, etc., and we focus on quantity not quality.
Why are churches that were overflowing in the ’50s and 60s having to close and sell their buildings now? “Oh the times they are a-changin’.” So we need to think about what has changed for people and the church that causes so many folks to not care about church anymore.
What should the church do for people? Why should they come? We might think the answer is obvious, but if we’ve never spelled it out before to help guide us, we might be more listless than we realize.
We’ll explore all of this more later. But for now, how can we make sure that Hickory Rock is a good place that meets people’s spiritual needs, that helps people connect with God, that is active in doing God’s work, and is a healthy community that people would want to be a part of?