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. VIRTUAL PASTORS

Because there are thousands of churches online and thousands more who put their content online via podcasts, many people have multiple preachers they listen to and think of as their ‘pastors.’

It’s great that you’re listening, or that you follow 10 megachurch pastors or local pastors on Instagram, but that’s not church.

You may have a charcuterie board of favorite speakers and feel full, but true discipleship is not measured by how much you know, it’s measured by how much you love, and how much that love flows out of you and into the lives of others.

4. THAT CHARITABLE THING YOU STARTED

We live in an amazing time where it’s easy to start almost anything you imagine, including a charity. Charities are amazing, but they’re not church. When the church gathers in worship, prayer, community, joins together on a mission to baptize people and grow people into the likeness of Christ…well that’s church.

I have a company outside the church that helps produce this blog, my podcast, books etc. Guess what? I think of it as a ministry, and it has huge ministry implications, but it’s not the church.

It never will be. Sure, we think of it in many ways as a ministry. And yes, we’re on mission to help leaders. But it ain’t church.

5. COFFEE WITH FRIENDS

If you stop attending a local church, it’s easy to come up with substitutes for it, like having coffee (or meals, or whatever) with friends.

The early church didn’t change the world by gathering with friends for coffee.

By all means, be social. Hang out. Cultivate deep friendships. Connect. But don’t fool yourself—that isn’t church either.

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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.