Fewer Christians are attending church each year.
This is true in North and South America, Eastern and Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand, you name it.
There are lots of reasons why. The culture of religion has been usurped by professional and kids sports. Add that to a list that includes secularization, rejection of authority, the abuse scandal, and a culture drowning in options.
But underneath any and every reason is a haunting question people increasingly ask themselves:
No kidding, for more and more people, it just no longer makes sense to go to church. In many churches, the weekend experience is, frankly, boring and bad: mediocre, uninspiring music and irrelevant messages easily awaken the question “why bother?”
But even if your church has a great weekend experience, that question doesn’t go away. Think about it. Here at Nativity we live stream all of our Sunday morning Masses and then we rebroadcast them throughout the day, six more times! Additionally, all of my weekend messages are available on demand on line. You can catch Nativity on any device, anywhere, anytime.
Why bother going to church?
If your church doesn’t have an online experience, no worries, about a million others do. You can access almost any church you want, anywhere, anytime. Free. Increasingly, there’s no point to attending, at least to merely attending church.
The time has come, in an urgent way, when we must move beyond “attending” church, out of obligation, guilt, mere habit, or some consumer impulse to “go to communion.” We have to help our parishes make this transition too:
A transition from attending church to being church. Being church means a change in mindset, attitude, and actions from consumers to contributors. This means
- A full, active, and joyful celebration of the Eucharist, that includes singing and staying till the end.
- Getting up out of the pews to serve other parishioners in a parish ministry, as well as a commitment beyond the weekend experience to discipleship steps of serving, giving, and prayer.
- Developing a heart for Evangelization, through (among other things) a lifestyle that increasingly reflects Christ.
Don’t Attend Church. Be the Church.
For another take on this check out careynieuwhof.com