Regular church attendance has dropped from 70% of our population in 1960 to just 20%. And now, 28% of those who were regular church attenders (Pre-COVID), have not attended in person or watched an online worship service even one time since the outbreak.
This IgniteAmerica Certified Statistic is based on the following research:
Percentage of regular church attenders who say that haven’t attended or watched an online worship service:
20% Pew Research Center, July 2020
32% Barna Research, April/May 2020
32% PRRI, April 2020 (attend a few times a year)
Perspective: Of the 20% of our population that attend church regularly, only half have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. This can be traced to less than half of our pulpits still having altar calls. For those who have not prayed the ‘Sinners Prayer,’ church attendance often becomes a social function with a non-convicting message from their pastor that makes them feel good.
Add to that, most people are creatures of habit. Statistics tell us that more than a third of the people in a typical congregation attend their church out of habit. Other than Sunday mornings, they’re not engaged in the life of their church or deeper study, and they will probably never return.
We’re losing social church attenders: Closed churches have transitioned social church attenders into seeking other venues to keep their friends or go back to their old friends. This ends their need and desire for the church. For those who attend church for social, rather than spiritual purposes, new habits are being formed and congregations are being diminished without their pastor’s knowledge. Even the loss of income is not apparent because these are nominal givers.
Watching a morning worship service online is not a church experience! Online viewing is often undisciplined, opening the door to multitasking, distractions, and complete interruptions. Unless you understand that God is holding you accountable, there is no accountability. And lack of accountability leads to lack of guilt and, ultimately, separation from the church becoming the unchurched. This is why God made it clear: “Do not forsake the assembly of the saints.”
Healthy spiritual growth depends on worship and fellowship. There is no substitute for worship and fellowship! Every Christian returning to their church, after quarantining, knows this to be true! Even those who have been diligently watching online worship services know it. Like persecuted Christians from third-world countries, experiencing anew the exhilaration of Christian fellowship and corporate worship is unexplainable/supernatural! Losing it is devastating!
This is what the church experience is all about – and what we allowed Godless politicians to take away from us. When Christ comes into our lives, we are born into the family of God, a community of believers united together, empowered by the Holy Spirit, to carry out God’s mission to the world.
Yes, the Church is the Body of Christ . . . the instrument God uses to carry out His message of Salvation. It’s not possible to be involved in the mission of the Church if one is not in the Church and part of the Body. It’s primarily through the Church that God organizes His people to meet the needs of others.
When “Christians” deliberately miss church, they’re disobeying God. For it’s through the Church that lives are transformed and inspired to spread the Good News. And when Government leaders close the doors of our churches to those seeking God, they’re disobeying God as well. One can only imagine how the Apostle Paul would have reacted! Could God be using this chaos to bring masses of people to the doors of our now-closed churches?
“To gather with God’s People in united adoration of the Father, is as necessary to the Christian’s Life as Prayer.”
”Church attendance is as vital to a disciple, as a transfusion of rich, healthy blood to a sick man.”
God Mandates We Meet Together
Forsake not the assembly of yourselves together.
Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
God Knows We Need Each Other
Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly, as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.
Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s Body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.
The Church is The Body of Christ
And He put all things under His feet and gave Him head over all things to the Church, which is His Body.
The Fellowship of Believers
But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the Blood of Jesus, His Son, cleanses us from all sin.
I John 1:7