Home Pastors Articles for Pastors 10 Things That Ain’t Church (Thoughts on Decreased Church Attendance)

10 Things That Ain’t Church (Thoughts on Decreased Church Attendance)

3 THINGS THAT ARE TRUE ABOUT OUR CULTURE RIGHT NOW

There are at least three things that are true about our culture right now.

SPIRITUALITY HAS BECOME AN INDIVIDUAL PURSUIT

First, spirituality is increasingly seen an individual pursuit, not a community activity.

Honestly, I get it. In a world that has gotten noiser, louder and angrier, there’s a part of me that wants to retreat into myself more every day.

Add to that the brokenness of true human community and unhealthy (or toxic) cultures, and it’s so much easier to say “I’m just going to figure this out on my own.” Which many people are trying to do.

I feel the pull too.

But I have to remind myself that for the most part, my desire to skip, pull away and do my own thing on my schedule isn’t solitude, it’s isolation. And while solitude is a gift from God, isolation is a tool of the enemy.

And there’s no faster way to render a community ineffective than to isolate its members.

ATTENDANCE MAY BE A NEW SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINE

Second, because of how withdrawn and individualistic we’re all becoming, I wonder if—in an age in which people are devoted mostly to themselves—the mere act of attending church is becoming a spiritual discipline.

Devoting yourselves publicly to God and to a wider community is a countercultural act.

DECREASED ATTENDANCE OFTEN EQUALS DECREASED DEVOTION

Finally, there’s a paradox developing that I don’t hear many people talking about publicly, and that’s spiritual growth.

In my observation, rarely does decreased church attendance produce increased devotion.

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Speaker and podcaster Carey Nieuwhof is a former lawyer and founding pastor of Connexus Church, one of the largest and most influential churches in Canada. With over 6 million downloads, The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast features today's top leaders and cultural influencers. His most recent book is “Didn’t See It Coming: Overcoming the 7 Greatest Challenges That No One Expects and Everyone Experiences.” Carey and his wife, Toni, reside near Barrie, Ontario and have two children.