Church membership has dropped to 47%

81usaf92

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while not surprising I do agree with this part.

Shadi Hamid, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, argued in a recent essay for the Atlantic that what was once religious belief has been replaced by political belief in many communities.


On the political right, he said in an interview, conservative Christians focused on Trump as a political savior rather than focusing on their traditional questions of morality. Christians in the Republican Party, he said, are being less defined by their faith than by a set of more narrow concerns.
And on the political left, Hamid said, strains of “wokeism” have taken up religious notions like sin and excommunication and repurposed them for secular ends. Hamid said that because there aren’t clear leaders, such as priests or imams, or a transcendent source that defines belief, the standards for what is considered “woke” continues to change.


Honestly this is what I’ve thought for years when someone asks “I don’t get why younger generations aren’t going to church”. I’ve always felt when the first thing you say is “you are going to hell for X”, and “you need to back Republicans because it’s unchristian to not to” you are really turning people off. Trump may have single handily killed the younger GOP and younger Christian groups because of it.
 

Ratal

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I’ve always felt when the first thing you say is “you are going to hell for X”, and “you need to back Republicans because it’s unchristian to not to” you are really turning people off.
I am in my 40's and that ideology is what turned me away from church. I grew up Baptist and was taught that we have a fair and loving god but also a wrathful god. How can it be both? How can god create the "imperfect" yet tell people that if you are imperfect in certain ways you will go to hell? I found a church a few years ago that I enjoy. My family will provide meals for the less fortunate in the community through the church but we only go to church service about 5-10 times a year because I still do not feel comfortable going all in on church.
 

crimsonaudio

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I think one of the big reasons people are pulling away from the church is the failure of the church itself to promote the values of Jesus. I don't mean that Christians have to support socially liberal policies, but rather that the government policies that exist to help those in need do so to fill a void which exists because the churches have failed to handle these issues.

Gigantic buildings and generous payrolls do not feed the poor (materially or in spirit), and just chasing numbers is a terrible way to operate, yet so many churches seem to follow this path. When people see genuine 'Jesus followers' they are impacted, just as they are impacted by 'Christians' who, with great anger and seeming hatred, lash out at political enemies.

Young people today seem to be more aware of the world than ever before. They're not just following along because mom and dad did.
 

Padreruf

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I've chimed in on this before...the church's failure to be the church is the reason it is dropping. "Herd mentality' has taken over in churches -- which is certainly not what Baptist have been at our best. That same "herd mentality" is also coming from the left as well..."wokeism" and "fundamentalism" are twins who are polar opposites.
 

Ratal

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Gigantic buildings and generous payrolls do not feed the poor (materially or in spirit), and just chasing numbers is a terrible way to operate, yet so many churches seem to follow this path.
I like the church that I go to because it is smaller and progressive. When I go to my in-laws in Alabama I sometimes get forced to go to their church. I just do not understand the appeal of a church that you watch the sermon on a projector. It doesn't help that every service begins with telling everyone how many campuses and jails broadcast their service. There is usually advertisements before the sermon as well.
 

92tide

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I've chimed in on this before...the church's failure to be the church is the reason it is dropping. "Herd mentality' has taken over in churches -- which is certainly not what Baptist have been at our best. That same "herd mentality" is also coming from the left as well..."wokeism" and "fundamentalism" are twins who are polar opposites.
all due respect, those two things aren't in the same universe. fundamentalism is the underpinning of a lot of ills in our society, from slavery to the horrible treatment of "non-normal" folks. additionally, the entire rot of the current gop can be traced to falwell and other fundies. and they are currently trying to use the power of the government to enshrine white/christian supremacy as the law of the land
 

Bamaro

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Honestly this is what I’ve thought for years when someone asks “I don’t get why younger generations aren’t going to church”. I’ve always felt when the first thing you say is “you are going to hell for X”, and “you need to back Republicans because it’s unchristian to not to” you are really turning people off. Trump may have single handily killed the younger GOP and younger Christian groups because of it.
The traditional church service needs to be modernized to appeal to the young. They dont want to spend over an hour in church because of droning on slowly singing all six verses of multiple hymns. I know that is part of the traditional 'worship' service but people's attention spans are too short today.
 

RollTide_HTTR

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I'm not sure there is a real way back for the church. I think it will be very hard to convince millennials and their kids, who are going to grow up without religion, that they need religion.

More and more people don't conflate the ideas of morality and religion. I think it will be very hard to get people to come back on a large scale if its even possible.
 

Ratal

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I had a friend that was hired as a pastor in a church about 10 years ago. The church board asked him what would be his first act as pastor. He said that he would buy a pool table. The board was confused. He told them that the most important thing is bringing children into the church. To do that, it has to be fun. He went on to tell them that without appealing to children the church would eventually die.
 
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TIDE-HSV

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The traditional church service needs to be modernized to appeal to the young. They dont want to spend over an hour in church because of droning on slowly singing all six verses of multiple hymns. I know that is part of the traditional 'worship' service but people's attention spans are too short today.
Do you really believe that? People stay glued to their screens for hours... :)
 

MobtownK

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"woke-ism" is nothing more than a different version of "pc" and "cancel culture"
I have an acquaintance from HS that is "woke". Her mammogram hurt her feelings because it is cis-female centered, and her radiologist told her to be brave, or be a big girl or something - that it's not that bad. So she was soooo insulted. Insulted that she was told to be brave, and insulted that mammograms are more geared torwards biological women who have natural breasts...... I nearly made a smart ass remark that I'm sure she can scedule a prostate exam & see how that goes.

I kept scrolling, and kept my mouth shut - but come on... as someone who has had family with it, and has a higher chance of developing it myself - getting them squished hurts less than cancer... Some folks will find anything to be offended over.


I like the church that I go to because it is smaller and progressive. When I go to my in-laws in Alabama I sometimes get forced to go to their church. I just do not understand the appeal of a church that you watch the sermon on a projector. It doesn't help that every service begins with telling everyone how many campuses and jails broadcast their service. There is usually advertisements before the sermon as well.
If it's the one I'm thinking - I have family that goes to that church. I attended in college. They had some really good sermons - my favorite was a series on Galations, but that church is just too much. And if the attitude of some of their more active members is any indication - it is not a church that I'd even consider going to now.

I went to church over Easter weekend to Mass to see a family member baptized bc it was important to him. But the attitude of many religious people... especially in the South - I will likely never go to one again unless specifically asked to or a family member's special occasion. My beliefs don't align with those in churchs - & I'm far from young. If my kids are interested - I'll help them church shop just so they don't end up at the wrong one - but that's probably the extent of it.
 

Tug Tide

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I had a friend that was hired as a pastor in a church about 10 years ago. The church board asked him what would be his first act as pastor. He said that he would buy a pool table. The board was confused. He told them that the most important thing is bringing children into the church. To do that, it has to be fun. He went on to tell them that without appealing to children the church would eventually die.
Our church’s youth building was destroyed by hurricane Michael. Our leaders, youth pastors and parents have worked very hard to recreate and reimagine what our youth services would be going forward. They’ve done an incredible job and the youth numbers have continued to rise since the storm.
It really helps that our weather in the panhandle allows a lot of outdoor activities throughout the fall and winter.
 

Tug Tide

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Do you really believe that? People stay glued to their screens for hours... :)
I get what he’s saying. Ours is a regional church with 4 campuses in addition to the home church. About every 6 weeks the service is streamed from the lead pastor at the home church. I much prefer our campus pastor and his style, and have a hard time staying attentive and engaged during the streaming service.
When my wife and I were looking for a new church about 5 years ago, we visited one that streamed every service. When walked out we were in agreement, that wouldn’t be the place for us.
 
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Jon

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I have an acquaintance from HS that is "woke". Her mammogram hurt her feelings because it is cis-female centered, and her radiologist told her to be brave, or be a big girl or something - that it's not that bad. So she was soooo insulted. Insulted that she was told to be brave, and insulted that mammograms are more geared torwards biological women who have natural breasts...... I nearly made a smart ass remark that I'm sure she can scedule a prostate exam & see how that goes.

I kept scrolling, and kept my mouth shut - but come on... as someone who has had family with it, and has a higher chance of developing it myself - getting them squished hurts less than cancer... Some folks will find anything to be offended over.




If it's the one I'm thinking - I have family that goes to that church. I attended in college. They had some really good sermons - my favorite was a series on Galations, but that church is just too much. And if the attitude of some of their more active members is any indication - it is not a church that I'd even consider going to now.

I went to church over Easter weekend to Mass to see a family member baptized bc it was important to him. But the attitude of many religious people... especially in the South - I will likely never go to one again unless specifically asked to or a family member's special occasion. My beliefs don't align with those in churchs - & I'm far from young. If my kids are interested - I'll help them church shop just so they don't end up at the wrong one - but that's probably the extent of it.
weddings, baptisms and funerals are the only reasons I will ever go in a church and 100% will not during covid. One of my nieces came to stay with us last summer she and her parents are extremely devout. I drove her to the Catholic church on the two Sundays she was here and waited in the car listening to podcasts :)
 

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