Saturday, October 9, 2010

Why Do Church Members Stop Coming To Church?

Because their social needs are not being met (lack of closeness and friendship; a “cold congregation”, isolation, rejection)

Because they are not willing, finally, to accept the responsibility of church membership. (not interested in shouldering responsibility, treating church as a spectator sport)

Because they no longer agree with the church’s position in some matters.

Because of outright unbelief.

Because they are “cold” toward the Word of God. (lack of desire for the Means of Grace)

Because of sins that particularly bother their conscience.

Because of laziness: physical and spiritual. (lack of motivation)

Because of self-righteousness and work-righteousness. (they feel they don’t need to go to church)

Because they lack love and concern for their fellow Christians.

Because of work conflicts.

Because they allow their sinful flesh to rule them. (they don’t get anything out of the service; they are bored; would rather be doing something else)

Because of peer pressure. (they are around un-churched people much of the time who often ridicule church-goers)

Because of hurt feelings, anger and frustration over something that was said or done by the pastor or a member of the church. (or didn’t get their way, or can’t come to grips with the situation)

Because of personality clashes.

Because of disagreement with the way the church is run.

Because they may not have been ready for Confirmation. (or they feel that Confirmation is “graduation” and they don’t have to go anymore)

Because of negativism and rebellion. (they don’t feel they have a need to go to church)

Because of mixed-marriage difficulties. (spouses being members of different Christian denominations)

Because of greed or miserliness. (they don’t want to give; they resent being confronted with offering plates or envelopes, or hearing about stewardship)

Because they may not perceive the Body and Blood of the Lord in the Lord’s Supper. (and are not alarmed about this)

Because the devil has robbed them of their faith.

Because they have become captivated by worries, cares and wordly desires, which destroy the good effect of God’s Word on them. (materialism and pleasure)

Because of family problems. (raising children, money, family friction, disagreements, hurt feelings)

Because of health problems. (physical, mental or emotional)

Because when they do come to church, they let the devil perch on their shoulder. (they dwell on their sins, guilty even after their sins are forgiven)

Because they feel sorry for themselves. (“Sunday is the only day we have to …”)

Because they don’t get anything out of the sermon. (they don’t understand the purpose of a Lutheran Law & Gospel sermon)

Because they don’t like such things as hymns and the liturgy and they refuse to adjust.

Because it’s too much bother to bring their young children to church. (too busy trying to keep the kids quiet; or, the church lacks a nursery, when often the simple fact is that they don’t have their children under control)

(This list came from the WELS Elder handbook)

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