Guest Post by Eric Dye
Of course, visions of geeks living in their parents basement may come to mind, but it’s not just internet users. Everyone has the need to belong. It’s human nature.
In fact, Crosswalk.com recently conducted an online survey on the reason behind the increase of pew abandonment.
What was the leading reason?
Lack of personal connections.
One participant who voiced his discouragement with his church body said, “There is no depth in
relationships. People did not have time to be friends to other members.
This makes me sad. Very sad.
As a missionary in a small town in Italy, my family is extremely isolated from other believers. If it wasn’t for the beauty of technology, we would essentially be cut-off from other Christians. We ache for the busy weeks we had spending time with our church family.
Here are the results from Crosswalk‘s survey:
Crosswalk.com Survey: Lack of Connection Biggest Reason Christians Leave Church
- 34% of people who attend church leave because of a lack of personal connections there.
- 18% have abandoned a church because they felt unwelcome.
- 16% stated their reason as an inability to connect with others.
- 53% agree that the primary reason they currently attend a place of worship is because of the friendships they’ve established.
In addition to friendships and relationships with others in their congregation, the survey results reveal that other aspects of church abandonment include relocation, poor church leadership and theological differences.
We’ve heard from a number of families back in the United States and the story is always the same, “There just isn’t anyone as friendly as your family. We don’t have as much in common with other families.”
There is no greater commonality than having your life filled with the power of Jesus Christ.
Maybe that’s the problem.
The solution to reduce the number of those leaving the church is the church itself, and I believe technology can help.
I have begun new relationships with new church members from our home church in the States that I have never met in person. I attend a weekly coffee session with some friends of mine via Skype. They just set their laptop at one of the seats at the table and it’s business as usual. If I can engage in relationships from clear across the ocean, certainly, church members can engage in relationships with those that are standing right in front of them.
Social networking is a technology tool that can help leverage church towards building organic connections. Digital connections are more sterile and feel safer to most. If you can get your footing with a digital connection, moving to an organic relationship will be less of a stretch for everyone involved.
Technology is also a great conversation starter:
- Who’s your cell phone carrier?
- Hey, I’ve been looking for an app for my smartphone that does X, do you know of any?
- Dude, saw that link you posted the other day …
- I saw on your Facebook profile that you were loving that new TV show …
Think about reaching out and building some new relationships. Think about reaching out and including someone new into your group of friends. Think about how you can leverage all this cool tech to become more connected to other people.
Think about it, and then do something.