I came across an opinion article by Chris Sonksen. He is a pastor who trains other pastors and church leaders from all over the country, and based on his conversations and research, he is encouraging people to quit church.
This message resonated with me, especially in an environment where churches, including ours, are struggling with attendance. However, he made several valid points which made me think about who we are and what we do at St. Thomas’.
He claims that 80% of the work in most churches is being carried out by 20% or fewer of the church members. Instead of being participants, most members are being spectators, and the pastoral staff and church leaders are getting burned out.
Other things to note is that less than 20% of professing believers follow the biblical principle of giving. Only 5% have shared their faith with a non-believer. And more than half of all church members attend church once a month or less.
Does this sound familiar? When was the last time you increased your pledge? Have you invited someone to join you at church? Have you forgotten what it was like to make your Sunday attendance at church something you can’t imagine not doing? Something has to change. Casual attendance and the belief that others will serve, give and share the Gospel are causing churches to die. As believers, it’s time that we’re either all in or we get out – quit!
If we quit the casual way we approach God’s principles, what would happen in our personal walks of faith and in our church community? What if we all exercised generosity? What if everyone served in their God-given purpose? What would happen if we simply stopped spectating and started belonging? Our relationship to Christ, the blessing, the reward, the joy, the fulfillment, and the purpose would radically transform our lives and our church.
I’m ready to quit and go all in … are you?
Diane Flayhart, Senior Warden