Why Are Churches Dying?


Churches are dying. Some are thriving, but the overwhelming majority are not. Attendance is dwindling. Most are hanging on by a thread. Many will have to shut their doors in as little as one generation.

A lot of this is because we live in a Post-Christian society that embraces the emerging postmodern worldview.

  • Millennials (born ’82-’04) aren’t being reached.
  • Generation X (born ’61-’81) & Y (born ’77-’95) are dropping out.
  • Baby Boomers (born ’46-’64) are ready to pass the torch.
  • The Builders (born ’25-’45) are going home.

Look, people: we are at a tipping point. It is the 4th quarter and we are trailing.

We must re-think, re-tool, and re-frame. We must shift, evolve, and adapt.

If not, we will be mourning church closing after church closing.

“Churches across this country are going out of business, closing their doors, because they’ve lost their relevancy. They chose not to change with the times. They chose to keep people over 60 happy and forget about reaching people under 30. They, like my granddaddy, measured faithfulness by doing things the same way year after year, regardless of the response or the results.” – Edward H. Hammett

Please read that quote again only slower this time.

(I can feel you nodding your head in agreement.)

Traditions are great. But if traditions are only servicing personal preferences, then we need to take a hard look at them.

  • Are we inwardly-focused or outward?
  • If we closed, would the community even notice?
  • Are we a museum for saints or a hospital for sinners?

I know these are tough questions, but they need to be asked and honestly answered.

I’m convinced that people love Jesus, but have lost their love for church. I’m not saying that is correct, I’m just saying that seems to be the trend. The next generation does not see the relevancy church.

How do we reach a new generation for Jesus Christ? How do we help them fall in love with church again?

Ref: Hammett, Edward H. Reaching People under 30 While Keeping People Over 60: Creating Community Across Generations (TCP the Columbia Partnership Leadership Series): TCP Books, 2015.


Together Again

“Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.

All the king’s horses and all the king’s men

Couldn’t put Humpty together again.”

We look at Humpty Dumpty with a healthy dose of judgment, don’t we? What was he thinking? An egg sitting up on a wall like that? Ridiculous fellow. This is bound to end in tears. Got what he deserved, if you ask me.

However, we are exactly like Humpty Dumpty.

We are all just as fragile as that overconfident egg. We are all carelessly living right on the edge. We irresponsibly dangle our legs over the wall. We wave and whistle to those passing by, “Hey, look at me!” It is only a matter of time before we lose our balance and have our own great big fall. The fall will break us. We will be broken. Then what?

The king’s horses and the king’s men won’t be able to help, that’s for sure. Even “all” of them! I’m not sure what kind of help a horse was supposed to offer anyways. It just goes to show you that when you’re lying there all cracked to pieces on the pavement, you’ll call on anything and everything for help… even a horse! Well, Mr. Ed can’t help you and men can’t either.

Men can’t put you back together again.

It is only Jesus that can put Humpty together again. Jesus is the only One able put you back together again too.

“Heal me, LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.” – Jer. 17:14

I know this was a tad bit silly, but the truth remains: If you’ve fallen, Jesus can help you pick up all the pieces. If you’re broken, Jesus can get you back on your feet. If you’ll let Him.

“Behold, I will bring to it health and healing, and I will heal them; and I will reveal to them an abundance of peace and truth.” – Jer. 33:6

Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humpty_Dumpty