My dear friend of NC posted this story of her church on FB. I xxx’s out the name of churches. Why, because we are seeing this often in many places. It happened to our church. We had our glory days of what we loved as church much like described here. This makes some of us wonder how to define today’s church? Changes all around us. How do we move forward?
“Today is a day that we’ve known for sometime was inevitable, and today was that sad day! We had our last regular Sunday worship service at xxx UMC! The reason: Too few people! One questions why oh why? Did we fail God? Did we not do enough? I’m sure the answer to those questions, at times, has to be a resounding yes! On the other hand, is it a sign of the times in which we’re living? That too, has to be answered yes. Church attendance in our nation is way down and many churches are closing. The members are older, with few or no young people. We have one 17 year old and the next youngest are 60 plus!
We have watched young family members move away, members die, and members just leave!
We see many people in our community not attending church anywhere or anytime? little children playing in the yard on Sunday morning!
If there ever was a time we all need to be in Church, it is now!
The UM Conference gave us two choices: close the doors and go our separate ways, or merge with another Church.
We are blessed in that we have a Sister Church, xxx with whom we share our minister. The official merger will not take place for a while, but we decided that it is in the interest of both congregations to begin worshipping together, and that will begin next Sunday.
We look forward to worshipping and serving with our new Church family! We are excited about the new opportunities we will have to worship and serve while promoting God’s Kingdom here on earth!
TO God be the Glory!”
3 thoughts on “Changing in Church…”
It just seems like everything I read today and every conversation I have that remotely touches on church I hear pretty much the same. I stopped going to church but I have faith and I pray because church dosen’t have time for meeting spiritual needs. I was just on a pretty long plane ride and spent a week with others from various walks of life and mostly young adults only to hear the voices in harmony of no church but faith.
I was just introduced to this little book….
– J. Dana Trent “For Sabbath Sake” Gives some clues for church attendances dropping…”I see an entire American culture yearning for sabbath. People are sending out emergency signals, begging for relief from their stressed-out, overworked, desperate lives. People want rest, devotional practices, and community. They want real life—the kind of meaning we only find amid the Divine.
If the church wants to save sabbath, it must act quickly and decisively, offering refuge from the pressures of daily life and creating a community that looks different from the world outside its doors.”
It seems to be leaders are searching among the many programs and study of growth charts only to find a falling away from a church building. It has caused me to pause and ask a few questions about myself. One scripture that rings true in my mind comes from Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” What does a life and words say about Jesus when one has left the table.
At least many are searching for God and I believe if we search we will find.
The Hebrews scripture keeps ringing….…Hebrews 13:7Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. 8Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. 9Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace and not by ceremonial foods, which are of no value to those devoted to them.…”
“Consider the outcome of their way ot life and imitate their faith….” Lot to think about. I am a seeker in this endeavor. What people say outside the church doesn’t always mean they are right I wouldn’t think? At times they just want to live their lives without the teachings of Jesus but want the blessings of God.
I wonder what it would be like if rather than close a door we enter the doors and call for A House Of Prayer.
Sara, I agree with you that there is a “lot to think about”. When I read your scripture, “Hebrews 13:7, I thought about accountability and framework. In my way of thinking if we are to “remember your leaders”, etc than we have to first have a leader and be accountable to that leader and somehow help support that leader.
Seems leaders have an accountability also. I revisited your blog “Church Shopping” since it seems there is a lot of opening than closing doors and read your comment, “Wonder how many numbers would increase if leadership would measure spiritual growth in individuals as a weekly report and publish for all to see rather than $’s in offering plate.” In that same blog you also brought up the issue of prayer vs money changer tables.