It seems like every month I come across more people who have left a
church and have no intention to return any time soon. And I am not talking about
just refusing to return to the specific church that they left. I mean any church
at all. People gives lots of reasons for preferring bedside baptist to a
traditional Christian fellowship. I was thinking about this after a conversation
that I had today with fellow seminary students.
In a recent Pew research survey, the largest growth area was people who are not affiliated with
any particular denomination or church. It seems that the largest unchurched
group of people claiming to be Christians is young adults. Many of these college
students or young professionals struggle to find their place in most churches,
which tend to focus on kids or older adults.
I don’t think there is just one reason why people leave the church. It all depends on the person. Here
are some of the most common reasons that I hear people decide to walk.
The church has lost touch with the real needs of people and
is irrelevant in how it goes about fulfilling its mission.
I was wounded by something that happened in the church that will make it difficult
for me to return any time soon.
Church leaders are living in a
diluted state about the real problems and successes of their various
That church has become too conservative and
That church has become too liberal and
Church takes up too much time and provides little
Hypocritical leadership says one thing and
Leaders have abused people in the congregation –
just look at the Catholic church sex scandals.
sucks. The worship sucks. I just don’t get anything out of it.
God told me to leave and go to ….
All of my friends are going to this great new place….
My old church was
too big and impersonal.
My old church was too small and
Church today lacks real discipleship and
effectiveness in helping me experience real life change.
just don’t feel like there is a place for me there any more. My needs have changed.
I brought some concerns to the church leadership, and
they just turned a blind eye.
I’m just too busy for church
I don’t have to go to church to be a good
Christian. My life has gotten better since I stopped going to church.
I need to take a break for church because I have
gotten burnt out.
Feel free to suggest some of the reasons why you may have exited your old
church. Some of the above reasons may be legitimate. Others may be selfish.
Others may be neither justified nor improper.
I think the one thing
that we have to keep in mind is that although churches are made up of people,
they should always be about more than just our personal agendas. All local
churches exist for God not for men. While our personal tastes should play a role
in our decisions, ultimately, we should fellowship where we sense that God
Church may change in form from a megachurch to a home
church, but our need for true fellowship and discipleship remains. God designed
us to grow in community. Living alone as a Christian is never a good decision in
the long run.
*** This article was originally printed by http://organicfaith.wordpress.com/2008/03/03/why-are-so-many-people-leaving-the-church/ in March 2008. The UCEC aspires to become a totally inclusive, transparent and open center for all the faithful to voice their opinions. The church hopes to become the spiritual home for every liberal, progressive, free-thinking and/or unitarian Christian worldwide . ONLY with your input can all this come to pass. Please leave feedback, and allow us to grow together in a fashion that inspires us to return again, and again.