The heartbeat of the Christian church in America today is not looking good. The last 20 years all Protestant denominations in the United States has declined by almost 20%. Five million people have stopped going to church while the population has grown by over thirty million. During the early 1900’s there were 27 churches for every 10 thousand people and now there are only ten churches for every ten thousand people. Half of all churches did not add any new members in the last two years. Two – thirds of all Protestant pastors did not lead anyone to Christ in the last two years.
It is my personal opinion that many seminary trained leaders have separated themselves from the flock and are aloof. Seminaries have become to liberal and they have made pastors into business managers. They have turned the leaders of our church into professional career seeking individuals who spend their days anywhere they can besides in the Word of God. There is no school on earth that can make a man a pastor. They may get basic training into how to run and organize a church, but the ability to become a pastor is a gift from God, and only God can ordain a true pastor.
For the last hundred years the church has said to the people, “come.” The Bible says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:19-20 NASB The church has used every kind of gimmick there is to get people to come to church. Entertainment, sports, vacations, and dining experiences have turned the church into a social club where eighty percent of its members go to be entertained. They come, they sit and they leave receiving no spiritual growth whatsoever. Church leadership proclaims, “ Now is the time for a supper club” while the Gospel of Jesus Christ says, “ Now is the time for salvation!”
Seminaries have taken over the training of pastors that was once the responsibility of the church. Many have turned non profit organizations into profits that line the pockets of it’s leaders. The bottom line is the foundation of their corporate aspirations while the public remains spiritually bankrupt. People see these so called evangelistic preachers living lavish lifestyles that are morally corrupt. We feel as though the church has betrayed us just much as our government and find it difficult to trust either one.
Spiritually dead churches spend more time and money on itself and its members than it does its outreach to the community. They contain the form of a church, but lack the substance. They have turned their interest to themselves and exist only to please its members. I believe that attending a spiritually dead church can do a person more harm than good. I also believe that a person going to a spiritually filled church and refusing to commit his/her life to Christ will harden his/her heart beyond repair. Being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; and they, having become callous. Ephesians 4:18,19
If you have not accepted Christ as your Savior you are spiritually dead. You are dead in your trespasses and sins. You may have a physical life, but your mind and your heart are dead to God. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 NASB Don’t risk your life on someone else’s view and study habits of the Bible. The only reason why we were put on this earth is to make a decision as to, “are we for God or are we against Him.” There is only one way to find out. Daily Bible study and prayer. When you read your Bible on a daily basis the Holy Spirit of God convicts you of your sins. When you come to the same conclusion that God has you change because inside of every single one of us is the desire to be like our Father. He has instilled this in all of us.
1.) Many young people who would otherwise be in church have stopped attending because of the intolerance of their lifestyles. We are living in a society that has relaxed our values and morals. So when we enter a church we feel like we are being held to a higher standard because we see the same people living the same way we live during the week. There is sin and there is sins. Sin is disbelief and is the only thing God will not forgive you for. He put this complicated, intricate, and yet so simple of a plan together to grow you into a relationship with Him. He sacrificed everything for your eternal life and if you refuse to believe in Him there is nothing further He can do for you. Sins on the other hand are things we do everyday that God does not approve of. I don’t care what you have done or where you have been God loves you and He will forgive you. So please don’t let anything in you life stop you from having a right relationship with your Heavenly Father through Jesus Christ.
2.) People feel that Church is boring. It is repetitious and the rituals seem meaningless to them. You know what, they are right. The Bible says, “For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.” 1 Corinthians 1:21 ESV God takes the foolish things of this world and uses them as a stumbling block for the wise because “God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:27-29 ESV I go to church anyway because I love God and I love the people I am sitting with in church. They are my family, and God is My Father, and I enjoy all the ways there are to worship Him. Whether you go to church or not you should come together in fellowship with your Heavenly Father and your family.
3.) Some people feel like there are so many doctrines, it becomes very difficult and complicated to find the right church. People are looking for a place to fit in and a place where they can relate with other believers. It is a tough thing to do if you have never been to church or if you have moved to a new city. Don’t get discouraged in your church life. Get a group of buddies together every Sunday and go check out a different church. I don’t want you to plan your trip to go to the morning service. I want you to go to Sunday school. That’s where you meet people. They are generally in small groups of people your age and you will be better able to understand what the church is all about through them.
4.) Apostasy or the falling away or desertion of faith by those who claim to be believers. That’s what is happening to a lot of Christians today. It is prophesized that a great number of people will fall away from the church at the end of this era. I believe we are coming to the end of the dispensation of grace, and the removal of the church is eminent. The Bible says people will be going about their business and family life just as if nothing is about to happen. Then in a blink of an eye, like a thief in the night, Jesus Christ will call His church home.
5.) Unconfessed sin is one of the major problems all Christians have to deal with on a daily basis. When we stop praying sin starts piling up until the burden is so great it takes the desire away from us to attend church. We all sin, but not all pray. It is very important that you spend personal time on a daily basis with your Heavenly Father through Bible study and prayer. Jesus Christ came down from paradise and left all the glory of God. He spent 33 years here on this earth sleeping on the ground, going hungry and being threatened daily by His enemies. He was finally beaten and hung on a cross to death so that you could have a personal relationship with our Heavenly Father. At the very least we can do is spend 15 minutes a day in Bible study and 15 minutes a day in prayer. When you become comfortable in some of the stories we can spend 15 minutes a day sharing one of the stories with someone else.
6.) The Slow Fade has happened to a lot of us. We get busy in life, we stop researching our Bibles and one day we realize we are not a Christian anymore. We find ourselves hanging out with non believers. That’s where I found myself 15 years ago. I simple stopped putting effort in my relationship with God. I was at the most miserable point of my life. I had separated myself from God. On November 8,1997 I got down on my hands and knees and cried out to God in prayer. My life has never been the same since. He has brought me closer to Him every day since then. He has blessed me beyond belief. He has rewarded me with a ministry that has brought more joy to me and others than I ever could have imagined.
Every human being on this earth does things that are contrary to the laws of God. He publicized these laws to make us aware of the differences between us and to help us realize we need a Savior. Through daily Bible study and prayer He takes us from a self – conscious level of existence to a level where we are conscious of Him.
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1 Kinnaman, David (2011-04-01). You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church…and Rethinking Faith (Kindle Locations 1434-1435). Baker Book Group. Kindle Edition.