WHY ARE THEY LEAVING the CHURCHES??

-Andrew Strom.

Since we have been discussing the “Out-of-church” Christians, I think it is very important for us all – including church leaders – to look at the reasons why these people are leaving. Very often they are NOT “church-hoppers” or backsliders. A lot of them are leaving because they believe the CHURCH is backsliding!

So many people write to me from all over the world saying that
they have tried and tried – but they cannot find any fellowship in
their town that seems remotely biblical. They tell me they have
looked hard – but they are either cold, formal, or anti-charismatic
on one hand – or “hyper-charismaniac” or ’seeker-sensitive’ on
the other. There hardly seems to be any balanced biblical approach
whichever way they turn.

It is easy to pass glib remarks like “There is no perfect church”
but my heart truly goes out to these ones because the church
scene has been bad for awhile – and seemingly growing worse
and worse. So what are people to do?

Below are some accounts that people have sent me about why
they have left the churches. We would love your comments on
this too at our website (link at the end)-

From: Peggy (-USA):
“My husband and I have been Christians for 30 years, home group
leaders for much of that time; my husband has also been a worship
leader for most of that time. However, now we are among the “out
of church” that your message describes, although we do continue
to meet and pray with other believers who feel the same longing
for something more real than we have experienced for longer than
we care to remember. The cry of our hearts is *not* to live on our
memories of incredible intimacy with God in years past, but to
discover Him anew and in deeper ways than ever before. We are
desperate for Him. In light of that hunger, the emptiness of our
church experience, a church we’d attended for 17 years, was
more than we could bear.”

From: Randy (-USA):
“I read an explanation of why the phenomenon is growing – the out-
of-church Christians. They say that we are lone rangers, backsliders,
not team players, have bitter root judgements…. This can’t be
further from the truth. When we have been attending church, we
find- No God – No Power- No Gospel- Bad Agendas- Poor Leader-
ship- Bad teaching- Bad programs- No Christ- No Healing- No
miracles. Just a struggle for personal power and control. I can’t tell
you how many times I have been treated like I am not going to
Heaven because I am not attending church. So, the sad part is,
where do we take our gifts, our tithes, and our love – but out to the
streets. We know many who have left the church, who are
committed as prayer warriors, intercessors, missionaries, and
worshippers. Wanting to share their gifts from God…”

From: Dorie (Canada)-
“I wanted to write to you because I am so frustrated and don’t know
what to do anymore… I grew up in a church denomination that was
wacky-charismatic with little-to-no-discernment and a lot of control/
spiritual abuse. About 10 years ago, the Lord gave me my first
wake-up call, grabbing my attention and then 5-6 years ago, another
big, final one…

Now I haven’t really been “a part of a Sunday-morning-church” for
a long, long time. I have “fellowship” with some Evangelical
Christians here in Calgary, but just can’t seem to be able to sit
through the dry services that seem filled with flowery messages,
as opaque as milk. (I want meat!!!) The worship feels like it is
being led by robots as do the people in the congregation. Or else,
the charismatic churches (Vineyard, Pentecostal, non-
denominational) where they’re not considered to be “dry” (so-to-
speak), are just plain wacky! My problem is: I miss really good
worship music and intimate worship times with people who love
to worship and aren’t being forced-to, but the only handful of
churches I know that have it, are wacky. People (worship leaders/
intercessors) are acting like Stacey Campbell and I get turned off
so much that I can’t tolerate the rest of the service. I feel so torn.
I can’t seem to find a church to “fit” in.

I’ve tried different denominations with no success. The last
evangelical “small group” I was in, ended breaking up because the
small-group pastor was purposely hiding the fact that a christian
couple who were co-leading with him, were living together and not
married. (Once saved, no need for any more personal repentance,
is what he preaches. Greasy-grace. Argh!)… The pastor also told
other young christians in that group that “sex before marriage was
fine”…

I have tried so many places and I’m not being fussy or picky, it
just seems really, really hard and weird here… I really want the
fellowship. I can’t seem to fit anywhere, and I am so frustrated that
I could just cry. I long to be with like-minded people, sold-out,
crazy-on-fire for Jesus, totally unashamed. Christians here seem
so focused on their careers, and houses, and cars, and vacations
and I feel like a stinkin’ hippie around them because I can’t live for
those things!!

What do you do when you want so desperately to be in a fellowship
of believers that is growing strong in the Word, intimate and deep
in worship, and not wacky? I am so discouraged and have a hard
time believing that it exists…”

Posted in Articles by Andrew on January 12th, 2011 at 2:49 am.

2 comments

2 Replies

  1. Jerilyn Capaccione Jul 19th 2011

    Our experience with not being able to find a “church” over the years has left us with being criticized by church people who tell us we aren’t born again Christians because we are not going to church. That is not fair to those of us out here who don’t want the “church” experience of today. My 2 daughters because of not being accepted in church that we went to, ended up getting caught up in the worldly “find a mate” and both were hurt tremendously! Now, after the hurt has settled down and they know they have to just let God find them a Christian mate, they are both struggling in their own ways to see that God does love them. My oldest daughter, Heather, has really grown close to the Lord even though the enemy has been fully attacking her physically for over 2 years now and even though she’s close to the Lord, she is still frustrated with “am I ever going to get married and settle down with a Christian man”. My other daughter got caught up in the worldly way of finding a mate and as a result has 2 children, no father for them and living with us. I know they made the choice to do what they did but I don’t know what to tell them when they ask if their lives are ever going to be happy again. Heather as I said is close to the Lord but still frustrated about finding a mate (a true Christian mate). Rachel feels God doesn’t care about her at all and is very frustrated over it.
    Please, Andrew, pray for my family as we go through this time of not being able to find a church that is truly preaching what God wants them to preach. Thank you.
    Mrs. Jerilyn Capaccione

  2. Jerilyn Capaccione Jul 25th 2011

    So what is the answer to those of us who long to worship the Lord but do not agree with the “churche services” of today. We’ve been told many times over the years to find a good church because the enemy has run rampant over our family for how many years now but where do we go? I have just given up on finding a “good” Bible believing church–I don’t feel any exist and when it really comes down to it, I wonder how many honest, Christ loving Christians are out there! It is very frustrating!
    Jerilyn Capaccione