‘turn out the light, the party is over?’

 

‘Unchurched’ worshipping more, ‘churched’ less?

Bethesda Lutheran Church sits vacant in Williams County, N.D. In a survey of more than 1,000 adults, 29% of Americans do not attend religious services at all; 10% attend only on religious holidays; 9% attend occasionally; 19% attend between one and three times a month; and 33% attend once a week or more.

Bethesda Lutheran Church sits vacant in Williams County, N.D. In a survey of more than 1,000 adults, 29% of Americans do not attend religious services at all; 10% attend only on religious holidays; 9% attend occasionally; 19% attend between one and three times a month; and 33% attend once a week or more. Source USA Today

I was reading this article ‘Unchurched’ worshipping more, ‘churched’ less? on USAToday and was thinking about the devastation that we see taking place in Christianity today.

For years we have seen a number of trends taking shape in the church in America. It really doesn’t matter the denominational association or the local. This trend is that the greatest attendance in mainline protestant denominations takes place during religious holidays, Christmas, Easter, etc… These congregants are often referred to in religious circles as seasonal Christians’.

Another trend is that historically attendance during the Sunday morning service is the largest with a noticeable drop in Sunday evening services and a very meager showing for a mid-week bible study / prayer meeting.  With the demise in attendance, we began seeing churches that closed their doors for the mid-week service and in most recent years have turned out the lights (no spiritual pun intended) on the Sunday evening services with nothing more than a Sunday morning service.

“There’s often an assumption that people either do attend worship services or they don’t,” said Ellison President Ron Sellers. “But what we find in this study is that one out of every five Americans is attending worship services at least occasionally during the year, even though they are not regularly involved.”

With this most recent survey out of the Ellison Research Group, the churches in America are following in the footsteps of their sister churches in Europe… public worship in Christian churches is becoming a thing of the past.

If we consider the driving force behind the lack of worship in American churches, one might surmise that it is due to the busy life styles that Americans immerse themselves in. Or maybe the church is not catering to the needs of the congregants? Or it might just be that the church is ignorant of the Word of God and does not realize that the Lord of Glory that wrought so great a  salvation is worthy of praise and worship.

Whatever the culprit, I do not think it took God by surprise, therefore the exhortation we find in His word…

“Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” Hebrews 10:22-25

malachi

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