Remy; Welcome to our third day of discussing why people don't attend church. Christine Ruth is my guest today, one of the teachers at Cedarbrook Church. Christine, before we started Cedarbrook Church I did a survey of the churches in Dunn County and it looked like only 25% of the people attended church on a regular basis. Isn't that amazing?
Christine: Yes. As we've been discussing the past two days, it seems like the church is losing it's audience. Remy, we've talked about this a little, but why do you think that is?
Remy: Well, you brought up a good point yesterday, that younger people like to be engaged in a conversation and not just be told what to think. I think that's key. But there are a few other reasons.
Christine: Like what?
Christine: Like what?
Remy: One is very practical. People are busier and work more hours than ever before and Sunday morning is the only time for people to kick back and relax or catch up on their to-do list. The biggest competition for any church isn't the church down the street but the Sunday morning paper and a cup of coffee. It's hard to compete with that!
Christine: So, you're saying that if the church is going to compete they have to offer something that's worth adding another thing to their schedule.
Remy: Exactly. The mature believer will go to church to worship and fellowship with other believers. But the seeker won’t go unless they can walk away with a sense that they made a connection with God and learned something practical that they can use in their life – like how to raise their kids better or how to deal with their stress. I think it’s important that we address these practical needs for people as well.
Christine: Remy, I think you do a really good job of that. It’s pretty common for me to sit around the coffee shop after church for an hour or so on Sunday with my friends just discussing the sermon. Even at my Thursday Mom’s group we are still talking about it. Okay, what’s another reason people don’t go to church?
Remy: Another reason is that people have had a bad experience with church. I can't tell you how many horror stories I've heard from people over the years. You wouldn't believe all the things that have been said and done in the name of Jesus. It just turns people off.
Christine: What are some examples?
Remy: The two biggest offenses I hear about are when churches consistently ask for money – even beg for it - or try to control the details of people’s lives. People don’t want any part of that.
Christine: Any more?
Remy: Yes, but we are out of time so let's talk about those tomorrow.