I am a Christian, I go to church and I do enjoy the fellowship and worship, what I am about to say is just an observation and should be accepted as such a new perspective on church people.
Christians, who are they? My parents, friends, family, acquaintances, in fact most of my experiences are formed around the church.
Lately there are questions in my mind that I will share with those who read my blogs, we are becoming friends and so I feel I can express myself freely. I hear the chatter, people are leaving the church and when you ask the question why? persons stutter with their various answers, yet very uncertain as to the factors that is contributing to the exodus.
I see leaders of our various denominations desperately scrambling to do damage control for the fence-sitters, and manufacture passion from the shrinking faithful, i truly want to help as i recognise the importance of two and three gathering in name of their higher source, when I attend church on Sunday evening or on a Wednesday evening the numbers are pathetic, I see the desperation in Pastor’s eyes, the shouting at members to come out to meetings, however they look at him with scant response, as if to say, “you are wasting your time”.
You may think you know why people are leaving the church, but I’m not sure the organization is sure about it, christians or church people still talk about evangelism, alter calls, siting that the church is for gathering souls, but they are still not sure what to do with these souls when they enter the sanctuary.
You think it’s because “the culture” is so lost, so perverse, so beyond help that they are all walking away.
You believe that they’ve turned a deaf ear to the voice of God; chasing money, and sex, and material things.
You think that the gays and the Muslims and the Atheists and the pop stars have so messed up the morality of the world that everyone is abandoning faith in droves.
Your Sabbath/Sunday productions have worn thin.
The stage, and the lights, and the bands, and the video screens, have all just become white noise to those really seeking to encounter God. They’re ear and eye candy for an hour, but they have so little relevance in people’s daily lives that more and more of them are taking a pass from church people. Sabbath School lessons are interesting when taught by an exciting person, otherwise it could pass, people are not studying.
Yeah, the songs are cool and the show is great, but ultimately Sabbath morning isn’t really making a difference on Tuesday afternoon or Thursday evening, when people are wrestling with the awkward, messy, painful stuff in the trenches of life; the places where rock shows don’t help.
We can be entertained anywhere. Until you can give us something more than a Christian-themed performance piece—something that allows us space and breath and conversation and relationship—many of us are going to sleep in and stay away. So a brother came promoting a concert, they are going to sing until the power of the Lord come down, but we have heard him so many times, he hurries through his promotion, doesn’t utter a song and the congregation was happy he didn’t they are tired of hearing him.
You speak in a foreign tongue.
Christians, you talk and talk and talk, but you do so using a dead language. You’re holding onto dusty words that have no resonance in people’s ears, not realizing that just saying those words louder isn’t the answer. All the religious buzzwords that used to work 20 years ago no longer does and it will never will, but if you have nothing else to say then you are in trouble.
This spiritualized insider-language may give you some comfort in an outside world that is changing, but that stuff’s just lazy religious shorthand, and it keeps regular people at a distance. They need you to speak in a language that they can understand. There’s a message worth sharing, but it’s hard to hear above your verbal pyrotechnics.
People don’t need to be dazzled with big, churchy words and about eschatological frameworks and theological systems. Talk to them plainly about love, and joy, and forgiveness, and death, and peace, and God, and they’ll be all ears. Keep up the church-speak, and you’ll be talking to an empty room soon.
Your vision can’t see past your building.
The salad bar, the cushy couches, the high-tech lights, the funky Children’s wing and the AC-cool church, sure it was great to have during the summer are all top-notch … and costly. In fact, most of your time, money and energy seems to be about luring people to where you are instead of reaching people where they already are.
Rather than simply stepping out into the neighbourhoods around you and partnering with the amazing things already happening, and the beautiful stuff God is already doing, you seem content to franchise out your particular brand of Jesus-stuff, and wait for the sinful world to beat down your door.
Your greatest mission field is just a few miles, (or a few feet) off your campus and you don’t even realize it. You want to reach the people you’re missing?
Leave the building.
You choose lousy battles.
We know you like to fight, you gave me a hard time even though I am a part of you, the talks behind my back, you gave me a leadership position not because you cared about me, not because you wanted me to grow, but no one else wanted it, I took it anyway. That’s obvious.
When you want to, you can go to war with the best of them. The problem is, your battles are too small. Fast food protests, hobby store outrage and duck-calling Reality TV show campaigns may manufacture some urgency and Twitter activity on the inside for the already-convinced, but they’re paper tigers to people out there with bloody boots on the ground.
Every day we see a world suffocated by poverty, and racism, and violence, and bigotry, and hunger; and in the face of that stuff, you get awfully, frighteningly quiet. I saw a woman beat a child with a cutlass, the law locked her up, she was frustrated with the direction of her child and did not know what to do, she wanted change… she was tired. The community loved her, she fed them with what little she had and they missed her and wanted her back, my disappointment was no church organization came forward, they were too busy organizing for the next service. We wish you were as courageous in those fights, because then we’d feel like coming alongside you; then we’d feel like going to war with you.
Church, we need you to stop being warmonger with the trivial and pacifists in the face of the terrible. I am a part of you and I will never leave you, however I must speak my truth and I do so quietly. Relationship Guide Review is saying, we need to get back to the love, we need to be our brother’s keeper. Praying is good, however it is not enough.