The pollster George Barna published a book, Revolution, based on his research that led him to make this prediction: between the years 2000 and 2025, the percentage of Americans for whom a local church is their primary means of spiritual experience and expression will decrease by at least 50%!

This does not bode well for the future. The “me-and-Jesus” or “the family church” (not to be confused with the “home church” movement) are not supported by God’s inspired Word. Yes, there are church experiences in many peoples’ lives that are negative.  And while there have been legitimate reasons to leave an organized, local church, there are NO legitimate reasons to fail to seek out and become a part of a vibrant, Biblically sound congregation.

  • Where in one place can I consistently experience the worship of God, the Word of God, and the gifts of the Spirit?
  • Where did God “set” spiritual leadership and spiritual gifts?
  • Where can I find consistently sound & Bible-based teaching, edifying fellowship, gatherings to pray?
  • If I am sick, where can I find spiritual people to come and pray for my healing?
  • Where can I be filled with awe as I see God move mightily?
The answers to all of these questions are all the same and are found in God's Word!    Additionally, the New Testament contains specific examples of local churches and guidelines  for their organization and practices.  It is an interesting and challenging study to search them out!

Hebrews 10:25 says: Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another — and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Don’t be part of the disastrous trend happening today! The “Day is approaching.” Don’t be among those who “give up meeting together”.  Let’s be people who are committed to and supportive of the local church. When (not if)  there are problems, seek God first.  Then work together with the leadership to fix them, rather than to turn your back on the provision Jesus Christ has established and blessed for the purpose of His children's highest good and His eternal glory!

OK.  Here's the disclaimer.  My husband is a pastor.   But here's some additional truth.  I have had my share of disappointments with the church-not this latest one of course (a tad bit of sarcasm here)!  However, I've also found my greatest and most consistent spiritual growth as a result of my involvement with local churches and their various ministries. 

How about YOU?


  1. Oh, this has hit a sore spot with me.
    I have had a very discouraging feeling about my own Church/religious affiliation for years now. I've come to terms with a lot of the hurt and anger recently, and I love my Faith, but it's the Church and her leaders that I had lost faith in.
    My husband was not raised in my Faith, he converted after we were married for nine years, so I think it's different for him, I think that may be why he finds it easier to walk away.
    Our grandson has brought us back to Church though, in the fact that we are trying to lay down a foundation of Faith for him.

    I do agree with you, I think many people have the attitude that they don't need church. I see it with my own children, especially so since the whole scandal was exposed. It's hard to argue with them when I have many of the same conflicted and confusing feelings.

    Great post, Rebecca.
    Love and Prayers,

  2. Happy New Year Rebecca, I appreciated reading this post. It is sad that many people today do not see the relevance of church to their lives, but for me, my church family is very close to my heart.

    May your New Year be full of fresh experiences that will draw you closer to God's heart.


  3. Sad and scary....we need each other and we need a pastor to lead us and prepare us to serve the Lord....most church problems are only people issues and will usually work it self out and one can watch and learn as it happens. We are responsible to be in the word and make discernment's if a church is not biblical in it's actions but we still need a church family.

  4. Amen...I was just reading the Barma statics yesterday. I couldn't believe it but knew it was true. Thanks for the exhortation!!
    Thanks for your wish for this new year, I receive it, as I did the word you put on my blog comment that was then confirmed over and over again.

  5. This post really spoke to me...Disappointment in leaders has moved me more away from the church building...thanks for sharing

  6. Teresa, It makes me so sad to hear that. I'm not sure what the nature of your disappointment is, but leaders are human. While we should expect much of leaders (God does, too), we should not place them on "pedestals". Only God belongs there.

  7. Yes, Thank you for that. You speak with authority. I was sad--very sad--that the husband of my niece declared, "We don't do church anymore," at a recent gathering. I am sad and pray for them regularly. We need each other even though we fail too often at being good brothers and sisters in Christ.

  8. I think that weather or not one attends church should be their own choice. It would be wonderful if everyone wanted to be at church but it's just not the way it is unfortunately! For me, my church is my home. Since the first day that I walked through it's doors I have felt that way. Katie, while still a member of our church, chooses to go to another church. I don't mind as long as she has the desire to go I am happy. But I would never force her. As much as I love going to church I still believe that it is a personal and somewhat intimate choice. Love Di ♥

  9. Rebecca... I hug you for posting this.

  10. Rebecca, your comment above about leaders being human (we all are) and not putting them on pedestals is VERY TRUE. No one belongs on one except THE LORD for we will all disappoint and hurt one another in our sinful, flawed and imperfect ways -- SADLY but One we can always look to and find comfort in is the LORD while praying for each other and for ourselves to be more loving and obedient to the LORD so that we'll be a better living witness.

    Blessings to you and your family this New Year!

  11. We celebrated the Lords Supper at church yesterday and it was impressed on me once again what a blessing it is to gather with God's people to proclaim Christ's death until He comes again, to be with like-minded saints to join together in worship of God... And to remember that where two or three are gathered together in His name, that the Creator of the universe is present with them...why would we neglect to come together as often as possible? I enter this new year with a renewed commitment to be an active participant in the very body of Christ. Thanks for this Rebecca!

  12. Sad but true Rebecca, I am beginning to see this all around me. People don't even want visits for invitations to attend church.
    Thank you for the motivation and encouragement!!
    Much love,

  13. How interesting that you posted this at this time! My husband is a pastor and together we resigned yesterday. It was a very hard, emotional decision. No scandals or secret sins, just a feeling that the Lord is saying our time at our church has drawn to a close. We've been there almost 30 years as part of the congregation and 18 years as pastor. I spent quite an emotional day, though I thought I was prepared for this. Today I'm trying to re-adjust to the feelings of a new role coming into my life. We aren't sure where the Lord will place us. We have had to step completely out in faith on this one. No other jobs lined up. This is a really new experience for me as I prepare to become part of another church at least for a time. I would not want to be without a church in my life. I realized this morning that this decision was so huge it must be compared to something like a major life event--almost like a death or something of that magnitude. I'm trying to be easy on myself now that I've realized that! God has been keeping me!

  14. A touchy subject, yet one shown clearly in God's Word. You mentioned the verse in Hebrews. Paul also admonishes Timothy to keep reading the Scriptures publically, to exhort and to teach.

    Then Acts 2:42 shows us what the early church did when they met together: "They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer."

    I feel like I need the church as I hear God's word and hear the implications to my own life. I need to share with my brothers and sisters the blessing of the Lord's Supper, the worship of God, and the joy of combining my heart prayers with the prayers of other.

    I, too, have been hurt at times but that's where forgiveness is so beautiful. I've offered forgiveness and received it and it's a beautiful blessing.

  15. Dear Rebecca...this has been a disappointing year at our Church. Some, have left to go elsewhere and that's okay. What scares me is when I am told..."we aren't going anywhere."
    It breaks my heart, we, need one another!
    Thank you for this post...I agree wholeheartedly!

  16. Rebecca: Thought of another comment to go along with this post. I've gone through such a range of emotions over the last while as we contemplated leaving our pastorate and our church family of 30 years. Like you stated, many are leaving the church and attending nowhere or going from one church to another just to make a decision like this, I can't see how people can uproot like that all the time. The emotions of leaving are too much. I think our church lives in the "west" mirror our society in a number of ways. It's like "divorce" in that people pick up and leave relationships so frequently. We all need stability and committing to a local church, through thick or thin, until God tells you to move, helps create other healthy stability in peoples' lives.

  17. Preach on, sister...

    I have found the "church" to be the best place to work out our salvation! Honestly, if we want the rough edges to be smoothed out, church is the place to do it. In addition, where two or three are gathered... the Lord promises his presence. I'm counting on the fact that when I go to church, the Spirit of God in me is going to resonate with the Spirit of God in one or two others. And when that happens, the heavens render their applause.



Writing a Song a Week #3

Writing a Song a Week #3
♪ I wait for the Lord; my soul waits and in his word I hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning ♪ (Psalm 130:5-6)