In this series, we’ve already looked at a couple reasons why churches decline:
There is a positive side to the decline of churches as the article notes, “The drop in membership is pushing the churches to do more direct outreach. It starts in the surrounding streets, …..“. As membership declines, they need to go out and seek more people to join the church. They begin to have a greater outward focus. Sadly, the focus become getting “giving units” to meet expenses and not people committed to living for Jesus.
I find it interesting tha the article says, “We do know the neighborhoods are very interested in preserving all of the churches in their neighborhoods,” ….. “It makes a very definite difference in the neighborhood when they disappear. It makes for an empty shell.” It seems that people see the need for churches, maybe God, in their communities, but they are not a part of the faith community. Again, could this be the result of nostalgia in people, wanting to hold on to memories of what once was in their lives?
The first part of this final quote from the article I’m going to share is true, but has a twist at then end.
“The problems of these downtown churches are in such a state that they are not going to be able to solve them by themselves,” she said. “I think the city needs to be engaged too.”
Yes, the churches will not be able to solve the problems by themselves, they’ll need God and to focus on Him. But that’s if you look at the spiritual aspect of the church and their need.
The article and so many others look at the material side of the church. How to save the building, how to pay the bills. The main reason for the decline in the churches the article talked about is the decline of the city itself as people move out. It is happening in cities across the United States. The government can help rehab the facilities, but they can’t help the heart of the church.
Are city churches declining in attendance because we’ve abandoned the cities themselves?
May we focus on God, not facilities and may we reach into the cities, not to save buildings, but to save people.