Posted by Lorren on July 18, 2010
Today I read an article on Fox News about how churches are having trouble keeping up with maintenance costs on old buildings. Supposedly, membership is dropping, and fewer people are able to come up with the money to repair crumbling buildings.
Is church membership really shrinking? I hear reports that fewer Americans are going to church… I know that it is definitely the case in Europe; they have all those old cathedrals but nobody to go in them. While I know that is the case with many churches, I am seeing the exact opposite.
My church is about six years old. I first went to a revival at the church about three and a half years ago, a couple of weeks before my little boy was born. The pews were about half empty, and about half of the room was unused and partitioned off. I had seen that kind of church before. They had flown in a guest preacher from California, Doug Fisher, who used to be my pastor when I lived in San Diego. It was his church that this new little church reminded me of. They were holding meetings all week. Before I left at the end of the week, I asked them how old the church was. When they told me it was about four years old, I was not surprised.
Today, that church has started a home for men that are getting off of drugs and other bad situations and are trying to rebuild their lives, has spun off two satellite churches in other places in the state, has helped several other preachers start churches in the area, has planted a church in Mexico, and is working on planting a second church in Mexico. You wouldn’t think that we were having a problem with shrinking churches.
Meanwhile, there are other churches that are not growing. I think that my parent’s church is one of them. What’s the difference?
I stopped going to church when I left for college. I wasn’t getting anything out of church. I was used to going to church, singing some songs, hearing a story and one Bible verse, and going home. What’s the point?
The churches that I’ve been attending for the last 12 years are different. They sing songs, but the messages are what attract me to the church. I learn something from the Bible when I go. If it’s something difficult, then so be it. The preacher is not afraid to say the hard things. What’s most important at my church is what God has to say, not some social program or anything else.
People don’t like to be talked down to. Most of us are not idiots. Those of us who aren’t the sharpest crayons in the box can still get something out of difficult sayings. We don’t want to be treated like kindergartners. I want to get something out of church that I can’t get anywhere else. I get that at my church, and all the churches like mine. That is why my church is growing, and some are dealing with crumbling old buildings.