Is there any chance those leaving through the back door will return? The first congregation he attended closed after two years when the pastor was caught stealing money from a church account. When Bob joined a second church he was pressured by leaders to attend two membership classes a week in order to be a part. He avoided his Christian friends for a few months, wondering if he even belonged in a community of faith.
Finally he joined a casual Bible study that meets at a coffee shop once a month. All across the United States today, believers who once attended church regularly are in the dropout category.
Some quit because they were wounded by leaders or disappointed by pastoral failure. Others ardere kapseln bored with irrelevant church programs or petty squabbles. Others simply felt relationally disconnected, even though they sat beside the same people week after week.
In an increasingly secular culture, pastors are facing the reality that the social pressures of respectability or family influence that may have once filled church pews no longer hold sway. From graphic sermons about sex and contests to win a Hummer to cafés and skate parks, marketing techniques and programs are the methods some churches have resorted to as the way to counteract this trend, targeting the unchurched or de-churched in an attempt to regain their participation.
But could this effort actually intensify the problem?
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The seeker-sensitive and church-growth movements of the s through the s made churches aware of nonessential layers of tradition that turn off outsiders, and they helped pastors become savvy in how they communicate the gospel to seekers.
But an unintended consequence was that church became not an essential means of discipleship and accountability for the family of God, but an optional consumer product that could be shaped to appeal to specific audiences.
And for many—particularly the young—this option is just as easily ignored. A study by LifeWay Research revealed that 70 percent of young adults ages 23 to 30 stopped attending church regularly for at least a year between ages 18 and If this were the problem, it could easily be solved with some simple programmatic shifts in the way we do church.
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In fact, the situation is much more serious. And this epidemic has driven some church leaders to abandon the system altogether.
No, this was not another pastoral scandal. The co-author with George Barna of Pagan ChristianityViola has long been a controversialist in evangelical circles and sfaturi de pierdere în greutate indusladies popular speaker in the house-church movement.
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Although he admits that some are leaving the church because of a shallow or nominal commitment to Christ, Viola argues that many more are doing so for all the right reasons. Dan Lacich is pastor of distributed sites for Northland, a Church Distributed, a megachurch with multiple sites in the Orlando, Floridaarea. Northland Senior Pastor Joel Hunter said he felt called in to plant 1 million churches, which led to the congregation of 12, partnering with the house-church movement to accomplish this goal.
And the church will not collect offerings or dues from the house gatherings that use its resources or stream its services.
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Lacich admits the open-handed approach comes with its own problems. Just like the first-century church, we have to trust that the Holy Spirit is in this thing.
When one observes the theological corruption that led to the Protestant Reformation or the current schisms in denominations over the ordination of practicing homosexuals, it could be argued that large, top-heavy church institutions are worse breeding grounds for false doctrine than small groups of believers seeking accountability and spiritual growth together.
The organization has trained nearly 22, church planters from all denominations to start churches as small as two or three people that are called Life Transformation Groups.
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Having correct statements of faith in your creed is not all there is to being orthodox. But at a time when moral absolutes are being reconfigured in our culture, it would be beneficial to consult with early church fathers on this subject.
The problem is, Cyprian had the Bible on his side.
The New Testament does not envision the possibility of authentic spiritual life outside the body of Christ. Although it may not carry much weight today, sfaturi de pierdere în greutate indusladies early Christians, the threat of excommunication was a dire warning that put their very souls in danger. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.
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Paul notes that by doing this the church is turning the unrepentant sinner over to Satan so that, though he may be physically destroyed, his soul might be saved see 1 Cor. Like Cyprian, Jesus, Paul and the writer of Hebrews are not suggesting that salvation comes through participation in church activities. They are saying that fellowship with the body of Christ reveals and strengthens the union believers already have with Christ Himself—the two are inseparable.
In this season of uncertainty about what a genuine church looks like, it is essential that we hold on to the historic, biblical concept of the family of God and our membership in it. Related articles.