Some come into the faith, and some leave – that’s just how it is. But quite recently, the number of those who are turning away from the faith are at an all-time high. This attrition is on a global scale, leaving pastors from one Christian church to another wondering.
This, however, shouldn’t come as a surprise. After all, the Bible did say that the love of many will grow cold in the last days. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to the bottom of this mass exodus in order to know how we can change our ways and bring them back into the fold.
To some, church is just a place they go to on a Sunday so they can feel blessed. To others, however, church is something they invest a lot of time and effort in. So when conflicts arise within members, it can become a little bit too personal. And while there could be reconciliation between those involved in disagreements, it isn’t always a smooth one.
This is because sometimes, members are told to just forgive and forget and move on, or are even told off that they shouldn’t feel what they’re feeling. But of course, that’s not how it works, as feelings have to be validated, respected, and understood. The more church leaders understand this, the less hurt people will be leaving be leaving the church, the very institution of God that should be easing people’s pains.
Lack of Community
A lot of people today are lonely and in need of either somebody or a group that would reach out, listen, and share their lives with them. Likewise, there are those who are more than ready to lend a shoulder to cry on and a hand to help. Thankfully, the church is the perfect place for these two to meet; this, in turn, would create a warm sense of companionship and community within the fold. Unfortunately, churches nowadays are starting to lose such a charm, as many of its members are only concerned about attending Sunday service and going home afterwards – the fellowship among believers are starting to wane.
To combat this, churches need to encourage its members to form a community. This can be done by telling of its importance and creating enjoyable and meaningful programs that would help foster fellowship within members.
Power-tripping, nepotism, cliques, social climbing, unnecessary displays of high social status – many offices and government branches have these inherent problems. Unfortunately, they too, have crept in many churches and are slowly becoming a part of the system.
It’s easy to say that it’s human nature, but that doesn’t make it any less unacceptable. Church members and leaders need to watch themselves and be careful to not do any practices that depict any of these things, as they make the church feel like a closed-off corporate entity.
Need to Conform
Don’t get it twisted – there is always the need to adhere to church rules and the Bible’s statutes. However, that doesn’t mean churches should make its members follow an incredibly long and rigid guideline of who they should be and what they should do, as it stifles the members from becoming who they truly are and preventing them from experiencing God’s love and power on a personal level.
Of course, churches should always teach what’s right according to the Scriptures, but they should never interfere with the individual choices and preferences of the members.
A Church Without Christ
It may seem like an irony, except it no longer is – churches without Christ are on the rise. These churches speak about Jesus, but are not doing the one thing Jesus did – reaching out to everyone, especially those who need it the most: the poor, refugees, widows, broken homes, sinners, single parents and their children – people who are suffering the most in life.
While churches shouldn’t neglect their different ministries, it’s about time that they go back to their most important one: the ministry of Jesus Christ.
People come and go. But in the case of churches, it can be different. By becoming what the church is intended to be, which is an extension of Jesus Christ’s love in the present day, many people will be drawn and stay to become loyal brothers and sisters of the faith.