Steep decline in practicing Christians will have major repercussions for church leaders
New research from the Barna Group found that the share of practicing Christians in the United States has nearly dropped in half over the last two decades â€” a shift the group warns will have â€śmajor repercussionsâ€ť for church leaders.
The latest research from the evangelical Christian polling firm, which examined the role of Christianity in the American Church, reveals that that just 25 percent of Americans are practicing Christians, compared to 45 percent in 2000.
Barna defines a â€śpracticing Christianâ€ť as someone who identifies as a Christian, agrees strongly that faith is very important in their lives and has attended church within the past month....
Luisa Kroll wrote: .... For a lesson in marketing, religious leaders would do well to study the success of Bill Hybels. Bill Hybels and his Great Barrington, Ill.-based Willow Creek Community Church. In 1975, he and members of his student ministry went door to door asking residents what kept them away from church. Hybels then crafted his services to address their concerns, becoming one of the first pastors to use video, drama and contemporary music in church and encouraging a more casual dress code. "Hybels really showed that churches can use marketing principles and still be authentic," says Michael Emerson, a Rice University sociology professor who has studied megachurches. Willow Creek, which has a staff of 500 full and part-time employees, is renowned for its conferences and seminars that teach other churches how to market themselves...
excerpt from,"Megachurches, Megabusinesses"
This article was written way before the downfall Bill Hybels, and there are few threads on SA about this welcomed occurrence âť—đź‘Ť
Humble One, don't knock pews until you tried theater seats in a church.
What is also interesting about this news item is when you compare it to the health news item that says people who go to church regularly live longer! In that news item, correct doctrine did not matter, nor the color of the carpet or the pads on the pews, which frequently are 2 hot items for church splits. A friend tells me that there is a Baptist church within walking distance of his humble abode, but he cannot attend it because their sound system is set at such a high volume that it gives him a headache, and he is afraid of hearing loss from attending there. I think there is a statistic (maybe also from Barna's group) that says most churches in the US have less than 100 attending their services. Those megachurches you see on TV are not the norm at all, and make up less than 10 percent of people attending. Now they might cause a "Wal-Mart" effect, where smaller churches close because so many of their members find services and programs more to their liking, like singles groups, widows groups, etc. I guess people today look at church as a place to get something first.
"Most charities are subject to some level of transparency, but not churches. That leaves it up to the members to demand transparency. If you meet resistance from the leadership, maybe you might consider that rather than a sheep who is being fed, you are one that is being shorn." [ đź’¸ ]
excerpt from, "Court Rules Churches Can Continue To Conceal Financial Information" https://tinyurl.com/txnryom
Mike in this case hopefully I am sowing doubt
If Methodist Churches that only have a hundred people can give a fairly full account of payment including their pastors, and megachurches refuse to do so, then people should stop going to them
John MacArthur wrote: ....Now, when I mentioned the idea of sanctification, you know what I mean by that: thatâ€™s the progress toward holiness, thatâ€™s spiritual growth, thatâ€™s becoming increasingly separated from sin and separated unto Jesus Christ. Sanctification begins at our salvation, and it ends or culminates at our glorification. We are justified, declared righteous at our salvation; we are glorified, made fully righteous when we see the Lord face to face. In the meantime, we are being progressively sanctified; that is, we are progressively being separated from sin unto Christ.
The process of sanctification that goes on all our lifelong â€“ and we never arrive at the finish; thereâ€™s no such thing in this life as perfect sanctification....
excerpt from,"The Power of Scripture in the Process of Sanctification"
Mike, I hope the above answers your question.
A person who has stopped going to a church will most likely not know if a particular church has lost membership or not.
I will still suggest that greed and nepotism, pointed out in earlier messages of mine, is enough to make many church members review their attendance at a particular church. đź‘Ž
Barna might be spot on with this research; it would be hard to even poll the people who post here to ask if they have noticed a drop in attendance at their weekly church services. And with the many churches posting sermons here, you have a very large database to work with, to ask them if they have noticed a drop in attendance at their weekly services. Possible reasons:
1. education system is secular, constantly driving issues like abortion and sodomy. they have done their best to present their 'options' as pleasant and nice, like the recent Democrat Party presidential candidate from South Bend, Indiana, who many people did not realize was a sodomite. The mere mention of that put an end to his campaign when it got to big, less liberal states than Iowa or New Hampshire.
2. one secular issue that has penetrated the church has been feminism. no preacher is willing to face rejection by saying that the Bible teaches clearly that the role of the woman is in the home, (see 1 Timothy 5 for the later stage of this life direction). instead, preachers will jump up with that verse about 'in Christ there is no East or West, no male or female' (well, if that were the case, women could be preachers, elders, and run the whole church, right?)
I found an interesting commentary on nepotism, a quite rational one, from an Assemblies of God Church pastor âť—
Nepotism is also a serious problem in turning people off on a ministryđź‘Ž
David Kowalski wrote: While nepotism is a questionable practice, it is not strictly forbidden in the New Testament. Still, as church history, articles such as the one by Robert Cubillos, and the ECFAâ€™s sample policy all point out, it is generally unwise and often a poor testimony â€“ especially if the employee/minister is accountable to a relative. In an article titled â€śHe Ainâ€™t Lazy, Heâ€™s My Brother,â€ťÂ The Warburg WatchÂ relates the following anecdote:
"It is human nature to favor your own family. Take a look at our story on Prayâ€™s Mill Baptist Church. Mike Everson was adamantly opposed to pornography and even fired a staff member for viewing pornography on the church computer. However, when his son (a pastor on staff) was caught viewing pornography, he was allowed to remain on staff, and church members who knew were sworn to secrecy. âť‡ď¸Ź
Unbiased evaluation and treatment of relatives goes against human nature.
excerpt from,"Body of Christ or Family Business? Nepotism in the Church"
1. Barna is not a pro-church group, having published a book, "Revolution" about how the old-fashioned way of church is outmoded. 2. I guess insurance agents will have to stick to country clubs to drum up their prospects. 3. A similar decrease in sales of men's business suits, ties, white shirts, might be related to this decline in church attendance. For many men, 'church' means dressing up. A friend tells me of a couple guys in his church who work weekdsys getting their hands and clothes very dirty as mechanics or printers, but on Sundays, they look like the lawyer or insurance agent standing next to them handing out church bulletins, or serving the "Lord's Supper" I guess some people live for that Dress Up Role.
Peter J. Reilly wrote: .... The strongest voice I have noted for church financial transparency is that of Reverend Frank Benson Jones. Â In his book Stop The Prosperity PreachersÂ he argues that lack of transparency is one of the things that draws the wrong type of people into ministry....
"I have heard of some churches that require the members of the staff to sign non-disclosure agreements, and that is a sure sign the church is doing something wrong. Requiring churches and religious organizations to file an IRS form 990 would in no way impede the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of religion, but it would help to expose those greedy preachers who are using the constitution to conceal their improper accumulation of wealth at the expense of American citizens." .... People in the Pews Most charities are subject to some level of transparency, but not churches. Â That leaves it up to the members to demand transparency. Â If you meet resistance from the leadership, maybe you might consider that rather than a sheep who is being fed, you are one that is being shorn. [ ]
excerpt from, "Court Rules Churches Can Continue To Conceal Financial Information"
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