Churches around the US have changed over the years, where multi-site churches mean pastors are able to reach thousands of would-be church attendees on the web, says USA Today. In an interview with pastors Tim Keller, Mark Driscoll and Ed Stetzer, the “old fashioned”, traditional churches from grandma and grandpa’s time are going by the wayside and are being replaced by what is often referred to as the “mega church” with thousands upon thousands of church members.
Having visited a few “mega churches” over the years, such as the Potter’s House and a few others, witnessing the burgeoning growth of large churches and the increased numbers of online internet churches has been interesting to say the least. To say this ain’t your grandma’s church anymore is an understatement.
Going to Christian church services and meetings is a tradition for many families, but the traditional way of attending church can now be accomplished by watching church services on television, online and by watching church service podcasts like the Holy Trinity church offers interested ones. Enjoying a sense of fellowship, shaking hands with the pastor or minister and developing a one-on-one personal relationship with the preacher and family appear to be disappearing and creating culture shock for some.
“It’s not the traditional American mom-and-pop church, where the same pastor counsels parishioners, visits when they’re ill or marries or buries them. . .
This form of high-efficiency evangelism allows thousands of worshipers to hear the same message from a lead pastor or a member of his team, in person or by video at three, five, even a dozen or more locations. Meanwhile, others take over the one-to-one side of ministry — counseling, ceremonies and small-group guidance. . .
“I do miss having a pastor at the door shaking hands in the ‘check-out line,’ ” says Lauren Green, drawn to join Redeemer by Keller’s preaching. “But I realize that model of a personal relationship with a particular pastor is probably gone.”
Having witnessed firsthand various kinds of abuses within churches over the years, and the increased evidence of pure greed shown at some large churches we’ve attended, it really comes as no surprise that many previous mega church members have become church dropouts and no longer regularly attend church anymore. Why? Why don’t people go to church anymore? Here are some of the reasons based on a survey poll:
Top 10 Reasons People Don’t Go to Church
- Boring or unfulfilling church services 42%
- Beliefs of the church 35%
- Church’s moral views 35%
- No need to 34%
- Prefer to do other things 31%
- “My beliefs are too weak” 27%
- The way churches are organized 24%
- Other commitments 21%
- Bad experience among church people 16%
- Not enough time because of work 15%
Source: Why People Don’t Go to Church, 1998 Australian Community Survey
LifeWay Research, the research arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, based in Nashville, conducted a survey of 1,402 “unchurched” adults to determine why respondents had not attended a religious service in a church, synagogue or mosque for several months.
“More than one in five (22%) of Americans say they never go to church, the highest ever recorded by the General Social Survey, conducted every two years by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. In 2004, the percentage was 17%.
Just 52% agree on the essential Christian belief that “Jesus died and came back to life”.
61% say the God of the Bible is “no different from the gods or spiritual beings depicted by world religions such as Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc.,” although Buddhist philosophy has no god and Hindus worship many.
Most of the unchurched (86%) say they believe they can have a “good relationship with God without belonging to a church.” And 79% say “Christianity today is more about organized religion than loving God and loving people.”
The importance of faith and prayer in our lives goes without saying, or at least it should. Keeping true to Christian beliefs and understanding the power of prayer can be accomplished whether believers physically attend a local church, watch church services on television or pod casts on the internet.
Listening to almost nothing but “fire and brimstone” Bible sermons from childhood, or Hell and Damnation types of sermons from the pulpit leave much to be desired. Seeing and hearing ministers running around the Church stage screaming and hollering and pounding their fists about whatever Bible topic they chose to speak about, is a complete turnoff to me.
I don’t go to church to listen to a pastor scream and yell about something or another, and if that is the only way for a pastor or minister to preach and get their message across, I’ll just find a church to attend elsewhere without all the dancing and prancing around. I much prefer ministers who preach and teach practical things about life, with scripture readings that drive the point home, and that’s just one reason why I like Joyce Meyer Ministries.
Reading Joyce Meyer books and watching her show on television every chance I get is always enjoyable. It would be great to be able to attend a Joyce Meyer’s “Convention Tour” if it comes to our local area, but for now I just have to be content with listening to her television program as she talks about serving God, reading and re-reading her book “The Love Revolution”, and enjoying everyday life.
Have you read any books by Joyce Meyer? What is your favorite Joyce Meyer book so far?