According to this recent article, a Pew Research study (sounds like a pun in this context) has revealed four primary reasons why people change churches:
- Sermon quality
- Welcoming environment/people
- Style of worship
In my opinion, one reason is hopeful, one is expected, one is typical and one is practical.
The author of the post (who, along with his wife, serve as “lead pastors”) comes to some conclusions that I believe are quite honest. He says, “The translation is clear – Americans treat church like a product to consume instead of as a family to belong. When we treat church like a product, we consume until our needs are no longer met. … Too often people leave a church because of disagreement, not getting their way, or because the sermons are no longer deep enough. Often when we dig into the reason the sermons are not deep enough, it ultimately goes back to the person being offended or not having their faulty theologies endorsed from the pulpit.”
The author goes on to offer his thoughts on when it is “OK” to quit church … five of them to be exact (to be fair, I believe the author intends for the word “church” to be equated with “congregation”):
- It’s OK to leave if God calls us to leave
- It’s OK to leave for family and marriage
- It’s OK to leave a church if you have moved too far away to conveniently drive to your church
- It’s OK to leave if you cannot follow the church’s leadership
- It’s OK to leave if heresy is being preached.
In my opinion, one reason is questionable, one is expected, one is practical, one is typical and one is hopeful. Similar to my opinion before, but in a different order.
Articles like these are interesting to me, not because I believe they should validate or negate the church’s direction in regards to mission, purpose or correction, but rather because it helps us to understand the perspectives that are being shared with the “general church public.” Such knowledge gives us the chance and opportunity to be better equipped when it comes to presenting the truth of God in a 2 Timothy 4:2 and a 1 Peter 3:15 sort of way.
Have a topic suggestion for a 2017 issue of House to House? You can share it by clicking here.
House to House, Heart to Heart is taking an opinion poll on multiple issues affecting America that are most important to you.
This poll is being advertised in the latest issue of House to House, Heart to Heart.
Feel free to fill out the poll yourself, as well as share it with whomever you think would be interested.
If you preach, no matter how small the congregation is (expect the whole two or three tally) then you know this to be true: the entire congregation rarely comes together as a whole to worship or study the word of God together. There are numerous reasons for this, but regardless of the reason the result is the same when it comes to matters of attendance. This situation can be frustrating to a preacher who seeks to preach the whole counsel of God to the whole congregation. At times, entire series that deal with a spiritual issue (perhaps for first or last time in a certain time period due to context) are missed. There is the option of recording the lesson, or even doing a personal Bible study with the individuals who missed the lessons, but even these options come short due to the fact that there is something about a congregation that considers a topic together at the same time…which, again, can be a difficult thing to accomplish.
So what can be done in such situations? I believe that I have an idea that I’m going to try, and I’m looking for some suggestions in connection to that idea. One solution, to me, is to write the same letter that every individual member of the congregation will receive, regardless of age or marital status or even attendance habit, in order to do some personal examination. The intent of the letter isn’t for it to be filled out and then turned back in, but rather for it to be read so that the individual can personally consider the question(s) in such a way that their answer cannot be ignored regardless of how they respond to it. Then after a pre-scheduled period of time, a series of lessons from the scriptures that discuss the topics that were personally considered in the letter would follow.
The reason I’m putting this idea in “post” form here in TFR is because I’m looking for ideas. It’s not that I’m failing to come up with questions, after nine years of preaching I have plenty. Like I said before, I’m just looking for ideas. My experience in the church, and in the study of God’s word, has shown me that the perspective of others matter. So with that being said, whether you serve the church as an elder, a deacon, a preacher, a Bible class teacher, a congregational “Barnabas”, a card-sender, a head-counter, or through whatever other function you can think of, what are some questions that you believe would be good for an individual to personally consider and answer in letter form when it comes to the topic of a personal spiritual examination? Any suggestions?
If you, or your congregation, is a supporter of the House to House effort you may find this interesting:
We are working on topics for next year’s
House to House/Heart to Heart. We need your help!
Recently we covered:
- “God, What Do You Want from Me?”
- “I’m Looking for a Church that Is Not so . . .”
- “I Have this Nagging Fear that I Am Not Saved. How can I know for sure?”
The next three topics will be:
- July: God’s Design for the Family
- September: It All Comes Down to This: God’s Supreme Court (Bible Authority)
- November: The God of Second Chances
What topics do you think would be good for next year? What topics are your visitors and community asking about? Give us your suggestions.
Jared Jackson, of the Christian Courier, is considering putting together a new podcast but first he’s “checking out the water” with a survey to see how much interest there is.
I’m sure he would appreciate any and all feedback that might be found here in TFR.
You can take the quick survey, if you like, by clicking here.
P.S. You don’t necessarily have to equipment like an iPhone to get a podcast. Many times your home computer with a media player will work.
We are conducting a survey exclusively for MARRIED, CHRISTIAN COUPLES & we need your help in two ways:
(1) If you meet the criteria above, we invite you & your spouse to take the survey together.
(2) We need your help sharing this survey with others via email, Facebook, at church, etc.
Please visit http://Survey.AudioEvangelism.com/ for more information & to take the survey. Thank you!
In the recent Religious Knowledge Survey 3400 plus adults were asked thirty-two multiple-choice religious questions. Only fifty-five per cent knew that the Golden Rule was not one of the Ten Commandments. Only forty-five percent could name the four Gospels: Mathew, Mark, Luke and John. But if the responder got both right, the likelihood is they were either an atheist or agnostic. Why? This category answered 21% of the questions correctly. This was followed by Jews at 20.5 and Mormons at 20.3. Then followed evangelical Protestants at 17.6, followed by white Catholics 16, and mainline Protestants 15.8. It is enough to make the angels in heaven weep! This is Just-A-Minute with Ed Boggess