Thinking Out Loud

April 28, 2019

Why They Gave Up On Church

Filed under: Christianity — Tags: , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 3:20 pm

For those who are wondering, I’m still without a computer, a full week later. Posts here may continue to be sporadic.

I was sitting in church this morning and my mind wandered for a few seconds. Nothing new about that I suppose.

It occurred to me that although we often speak of people who left a particular church because of something someone did or said (or didn’t do or say) or some other way in which someone catastrophically let them down (which I would call push factors) and the people who just left because the grass was greener or the music/youth-program/potluck schedule was better at another church (which I would call pull factors) there is another group entirely that we often overlook.

These are the people who went to a camp, a concert, or a conference; or participated in a service opportunity and experienced a level of spiritual high that somewhat wrecked them for going back to regular church.

I know because, in my late 20s, I was one of these people. I was coasting on spiritual euphoria from a summer at a Christian camp and just couldn’t get enthused about going back to business as usual at my local assembly. It took a month before Bill, a friend at the time, told me I’d been away long enough and it was time to share who I had become with the people who knew me best.

The best way to get these people back is to invite them to serve. Give them a challenge or a vision which engages them and causes them to want to get excited about church again.

1 Comment »

  1. First let me say how sorry I am about your computer crash. Wednesday was not the same. My 20-something daughter – who even though she makes a living in the computer world – hates the darn things. I agree and I also plan on backing mine up when I finish this comment.

    Secondly – in regards to this post – I am one of the wrecked. Ten years ago I went through an ordination process and spent a few years as an associate pastor, but left the denomination after 5 years. Since then have served as a fill-in pastor, part-time prison Chaplin, and a one Sunday a month pastor at a convalescent center. I am a member of a church, but only attend occasionally to do the liturgy and Eucharist. I just can seem to get excited about the things my pastor wants me to get excited about. I just don’t know how to do church as just a regular congregant anymore. I feel more alive and connected to God when I am either involved in a vital ministry or with people that are just seeing the power of the Gospel for the first time. Sitting in church on a Sunday just bores me.

    I know that there should be some middle ground here but I haven’t found it yet.

    Comment by Jeff Jenkins — April 28, 2019 @ 5:02 pm

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