[ I previously announced my intention to begin a blog series about why people are leaving church. This post is the first in this series. How can we fix these problems when they arise? ]
- Irrelevant church experience:
This question is related to the first. People have questions that need answering. They want their lives to make sense. They might ask: “What does this matter have to do with my life? Does what is being said and taught here in church have anything to do with the life I lead, the family I’m a part of, or the work I do?” Someone brought this up to me in one of my board/council meetings as advice on what my messages/sermons should achieve. How do we find out more of these pertinent and relevant questions that people have?
If our churches are not involved with what really matters to people, should we expect them to take notice or care about attending church? If we do not value the questions of members, we will not see a need to foster an environment of openness to their questions. The question is then: How do we do this? How do we create mechanisms to allow for doubt and dialogue? Generations of disenfranchised members who have had their questions ignored will continue to leave to find their answers elsewhere.
Yes, church worship services can become boring and irrelevant because the teaching and discussions relate only to the initial stages of faith, confirmation of baptism, or initial stage of making a personal commitment to follow Christ. Perhaps bible studies help satisfy questions of many people by giving them propositional truths from the bible. However, the question is: will it satisfy most people with questions? I think many people out there, it’s still fuzzy. They cannot see the spiritual meaning behind our propositional truths and how they are translated into everyday life. Therefore, church becomes irrelevant and boring, and they leave. So how can the church make church more relevant?