Why People Don’t Want To Go To Church?

  • 85% of churches are stuck or in decline.
  • People avoid church where they cannot get connected.
  • People view church as one-way communication and they don’t want to be lectured. They want to participate.
  • Successful churches understand how relationships develop.
  • There is a difference between a friendly church and a welcoming church.


31 Responses to Why People Don’t Want To Go To Church?

  1. Troy Day July 8, 2018 at 2:11 pm #

    Now thats a good one for Sunday Jim Price

  2. Terry Wiles July 8, 2018 at 7:27 pm #

    “Community” is our middle name.

  3. Troy Day July 8, 2018 at 8:05 pm #

    Do you think that it is because of pastoral burnout? Church feel pastoral anger and helplessness

  4. Jim Price July 8, 2018 at 9:05 pm #

    That’s part of it.

  5. Terry Wiles July 8, 2018 at 10:02 pm #

    Or maybe it’s because pastors have, because of personal ego issues and/or laity seeing pastors as hirelings, buy into the idea that they have to do everything.

    And thus, they burn out instead of putting in place trained leaders who can build community wherein people can get connected as the original post points out.

  6. Troy Day July 9, 2018 at 5:03 am #

    so you are saying lack of delegation Terry Wiles

  7. Lyndon Conn July 9, 2018 at 10:24 am #

    If a pastor burns out, I would question his calling. I have struggled through many trials and storms over the years as a pastor and as hard as it was I never burned out.

  8. Troy Day July 9, 2018 at 11:09 am #

    Numbers in a church mean a lot when the pastor dont know how to delegate Its one thing to work with a 100 soul congregation, but when when you pastor 500-600 folk for a decade things start catching up with you

    • Lyndon Conn July 9, 2018 at 1:11 pm #

      Delegation is always critical. Moses learn this lesson after becoming overwhelmed by the needs of the people. It took some wisdom from his father in law to place a leader over each tribe. I’m sure it didn’t stop there. In many ways the church needs to learn wisdom from the business structure and the military.

  9. Terry Wiles July 9, 2018 at 11:23 am #

    Lyndon Conn. there is a great difference between what you are talking about verses the pressures that cause burnout. I pray you never find out what the difference is.

    • Lyndon Conn July 9, 2018 at 1:50 pm #

      Well, after 23 years as a pastor, over half as a senior pastor, and going through a lot of trials and hardships, I have never experienced burn out. That isn’t because I am so strong. That is because when God calls, He equips. But we also need to have confidence in our call. There is a difference between burn out and frustrations and hardships in the ministry. I can assure you that we have been through some very hard times over the years. It is only by the grace of God that I continue, sometimes feeling insane for doing it again now as we are starting a new work in another city. God willing, this will be the last time. I have gotten tired, drained, and discouraged MANY times! I have even had thoughts of giving up and quitting. But in my prayer time God always encouraged me and lifted me out of the rut. Then I was renewed in strength and vision with purpose.

  10. Troy Day July 9, 2018 at 1:43 pm #

    What would those differences be Terry Wiles

    • Lyndon Conn July 9, 2018 at 1:54 pm #

      Yes, definition of burn out is needed here. If we aren’t seeing it the same way, then we won’t understand each other. Going by what I have heard many pastors talk about, it is just people getting overwhelmed with the pressures and responsibilities to the point that they don’t want it and can’t handle it any more. This seems to be the typical understanding of burn out. How would you define t?

  11. Terry Wiles July 9, 2018 at 3:42 pm #

    I agree that most call burnout things that are common and use sabbaticals as a form of spiritual renewal.

    My experiences of 37 years pastoring one church and overseeing several hundred ministers is a bit different.

    My experiences are like yours. Our strength comes from the lord…

    Some come to a place where there are so many plates spinning that the have no answers and the body shuts down and or family is destroyed. That is what I call burnout.

    Many pastors favor the call over their physical health, family health, and spiritual health. And the result is burnout.

    • Lyndon Conn July 9, 2018 at 4:28 pm #

      One dictionary defines burnout as –
      physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress.
      Having the right people in the right places to help carry the load is critical. I know how difficult this is, because when there is lack it is often the senior pastor who has to pick up the load others fail or refuse to carry. There comes a point with anything when you say enough is enough! Many times it is a matter of setting priorities and rearranging things. Life in ministry is a building and creating network that requires a lot of effort, time and energy. One of the main focuses has to be on how to spread out the responsibilities. A called person will never burn out on the call. But they can burn out on the type of load, the weight of the load, or the extended time in carrying the load. The mental and physical collapse is understandable and unavoidable over extended time. But spiritual collapse is what should never happen. Spiritual burn out is not possible when a person is called and anointed. Yet I have seen it happen to people who got discouraged, frustrated, and gave up. Some of them gave up ministry at any level. A few even turned to sin. God can never fail. And He will never leave us nor forsake us. We sometimes have to get in His presence and get direction, gain patience, find peace and joy, and refocus on what’s important. If we don’t walk in joy and victory, how can we help others? We have to stand through the fire and storms in faith. We will never be perfect in that. But we can always turn back to it and be renewed in it. We can grow through hardships and pressure, or we can allow it to burn us out. We fail often, so none can boast in perfect victory. We can only boast in the God who is with us in the fire of the furnace; in the Lions den; in the boat and storm; and with us always.

  12. Troy Day July 9, 2018 at 7:24 pm #

    Just to steer this conversation back to OP which was
    Why People Don’t Want To Go To Church?

  13. Scotty Searan July 9, 2018 at 10:29 pm #

    I am gonna put in bluntly.
    The answer is SIN.
    There is just too much sin tolerated under the disguise of mercy
    As such the church has nothing to offer the people outside the church.
    The church may have charismatic services with all of the feeling about going to a Holy Ghost part, but many leave not fulfilled and satisfied
    Many do not have the peace within.
    The pastor many times gives with very little substance
    Many church members leave as they came.
    There are many church members but very few TRUE CHRISTIANS
    At least that is what I have observed in the USA.

  14. Lyndon Conn July 9, 2018 at 11:13 pm #

    I could easily list a hundred reasons why people don’t want to go to church. I know because I ask people why. Or I hear them complain, make excuses, or give legitimate reasons.
    If you confront sin, you will lose a lot of people right there. I personally would rather have people who want to be holy than those who don’t. Let them go and preach!
    I am rarely ever impressed with numbers. Pastors will Bragg of how their churches have grown and write books, preach for many churches because of their success. But is it really success?

    People will refuse to go to church because it is full of hypocrites; they were hurt by a pastor or church member; churches expect too much of them; they try to get them involved in ways they don’t want to get involved; those churches just want their money; people judge me when I go into a church; I’m just not ready for that level of commitment; church is boring; I can’t sing the songs; and the list keeps going.

    The root cause is the heart. They simply are not hungry! Why is it that when people get scared because of war church attendances rise everywhere? It is because fear actually makes them think about their spiritual condition. Fear removes the distractions of life for that time. It is a good fear that can drive some to repentance. It is a holy fear of God – which can’t be felt in most churches today, because preachers are too afraid to offend people.

    What happened to altar calls in churches for CHRISTIANS? They don’t have them anymore because they don’t preach anything worthy of repentance or recommitment. From the people. Such a shame!

    • Scotty Searan July 9, 2018 at 11:23 pm #

      I am glad you shared these things and I agree with them 100%
      I go to a small church (30 to 40).
      Our pastor, Robin Ryals does some good preaching against sin.
      He is bivocational. God uses him greatly.
      We are a praying church and we still have an altar.

  15. Troy Day July 10, 2018 at 7:04 am #

    Scotty Searan sin in the church or sin in the person? I know many good Christians who quit going to church because sin was tolerated

    • Lyndon Conn July 10, 2018 at 7:45 am #

      If it wasn’t for the call of God in my life, I would be one of those people. It is very disheartening to watch pastors as they refuse to deal with issues by simply preaching truth. They think they do preach truth! And in many ways they do. They just hold back the offensive truths.
      The last church we worked with as pastors on leadership, the senior pastor started teaching a form of the OSAS teaching. We made it clear to him that we didn’t believe that and didn’t want to be part of a ministry that teaches it when we partnered with him 2 years ago. He has several backslidden and sinning adult children who were in the church at one time and left. 2 go to the church while continuing in sin. He has taught that we are saved by faith even though we may return to sinning habitually. They are in fornication, adulterous, and one is doing heroine. But they are all saved still. I truly understand the pain of having backslidden children. But I won’t put them in heaven in my own mind to comfort myself if anyone else. We need to acknowledge we’re they truly are and pray for salvation and deliverance and preach the truth! We took this as God’s sign that it was time to open up church again. This is our 5th church plant, and hopefully our last. But I am finally free again to preach truth. I felt I had to hold back when I preached for him. I want people to be free!!! And only truth can get them there.

    • Troy Day July 10, 2018 at 7:46 am #

      ignoring is the number one way of problem solving that we’ve seen pastor practicing lately – up to some 75%

    • Lyndon Conn July 10, 2018 at 7:56 am #

      I have said for years after visiting dozens of churches in 4 different states; it isn’t always what they teach that bothers me, but what they don’t and won’t teach. You can go to many churches and sit there and think, “That was a good sermon”. Week after the messages can sound good. But after a year or more the Christian who has experienced the preaching of truth will recognize the several things they never hear preached on any more. And they are topics that really need to be preached on! But they ma. It be received well or “bless” the people in the same way. We gotta stay positive you know! I believe in being positive! But sometimes you have to point out the bad news in order to get to the true freedom that gets people to the good news. Therefore, few experience true freedom any more. There are claims of salvations, but where are the glorious transformations we used to see? Pastors have traded this experience for numbers, by being too careful not to offend.

    • Scotty Searan July 11, 2018 at 12:29 am #

      Lyndon Conn in electrical current it flows from the negative posts to the positive
      You have to deal with the negative issues to have a blessed pure Christian

    • Scotty Searan July 11, 2018 at 12:36 am #

      Troy Day both.
      I was one of those that quit attending because of the happy prosperity doctrine.
      In the churches

    • Troy Day July 11, 2018 at 4:34 am #

      both meaning there was sin in you too?

  16. Isara Mo July 11, 2018 at 2:05 pm #

    If I go to a supermarket and dont find the groceries I need will i still be going there?
    I will go there if the supermarket is mine…there is no way out, but for a customer…surely he wont come back.

  17. Troy Day July 11, 2018 at 5:39 pm #

    oh brother let me stop you right there – cant compare church with supermarket – God is not your friendly cashier

  18. Isara Mo June 16, 2019 at 6:57 am #

    When a drunkard stops going to his usual bar and stays at home it only means one thing: fellowship has ceased.

    • Troy Day June 16, 2019 at 7:37 am #

      or the wine has watered down

    • Isara Mo June 16, 2019 at 1:16 pm #

      Troy Day
      Sure.When he has a strong spirit like you he needs a higher percentage of alcohol so when they give him water instead of wine, he doesn’t come back..
      The Bible says ” be drunk with the Holy Spirit…so if the church doesn’t have that source of drunkenness why waste time…
      Stay at home and stir Him within yourself…and be drunk..
      Bad company corrupts…

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