In 2014, I read at least one dozen articles on why people are leaving the church. The authors give their opinions/theories as to why people are not going to church as consistently as in years past. Some are called “the nones” – this describes those who have non religious affiliation (a growing segment of our population especially among those between the ages of 18-30). Another classification I read recently are those considered “the dones” – this describes those who used to go to church but have (for a variety of reasons) left church altogether.
They list reasons that include: being tired of the celebrity worship of modern Christianity (idolizing mega-church pastors and Christian Rock artists etc.); too much of a watered-down message that amounts to little more than a self-help seminar coming from pulpits; churches are too preachy and/or judgmental; churches have become like the world; churches are too focused on building their empire; churches are not meeting the needs of less fortunate and the outcasts of our society etc. It is NOT right to stick our heads in the sand and pretend everything is beautiful and perfect about the church. We need to constantly evaluate and pray and strive to become more of what He wants us to be. BUT, it would help if when we critique the church we would do so in a loving spirit. And it seems to me the critiques from some of these church-bashers would be better received if there was more “we/us” instead of “you” in their rhetoric.
Consider this…I understand that churches are trying to get too cute and are so predictable with trying to mimic the entertainment industry (the night-club atmosphere of many churches annoys me to no end). I cringe with the approaches some churches use in their commercials as they bash other churches as if to say, “Come to OUR church! We don’t like those same churches you don’t like.” Shameless marketing!
In 2015, it is my hope we will encourage people to love the bride of Christ – with its beauty and with its flaws. I also hope as a church, we will strive to become a better representation of the church envisioned by Christ. Pray for us and with us. Let’s continue to LOVE the bride of Jesus and keep His bride a priority and not be part of the “nones” or the “dones”. Hebrews 10:24, 25 “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”