Leaving Church #3: Lack of purpose and mission

Reason #3 – Lack of purpose and mission [ part 3 of series ]

Many of our churches seem to expect our members/parishioners to attend our Sunday services, go home after it’s over and come back the next Sunday.  This cycle of worship is expected to be normative for all parishioners.  But what is missing in this cycle is their active participation in meaningful mission.

During my young adult years, I used to be a pew warmer for the most part.  I did nothing, and was not encouraged to take an active part in fulfilling any responsibilities at church.  In many churches, only the core group of members get to participate in meaningful mission and purpose. When the work of God’s kingdom is delegated to only a few while some or most only get to watch what is going on, and eventually get bored. No wonder why some people think church is boring. There’s nothing for them to do that’s meaningful.

If we do not mobilize our church members to take an active part in God’s mission (missio Dei) in this world, how do we expect them to fulfill their purpose in the world.  Everyone wants to be a contributor by adding value and then being appreciated for their work in the church and in the world, but if the church does not articulate the importance of mission and mobilize people into God’s mission in the world, they will fail to find something meaningful to do.

Will they begin to wonder why the church is no longer a significant part of their lives and why it seems meaningless?  Will they become dissatisfied with a lack of purpose and eventually leave the church to find and fulfill some meaningful purpose elsewhere?

10 thoughts on “Leaving Church #3: Lack of purpose and mission

  1. Nathan, I can see why so many young people quit by college. Too many churches don’t encourage people to actively participate in the life of the church so there doesn’t seem to be purpose. This may be a reason why we have a church hopping phenomenon today. I know I’ve hopped around in my younger days. In my opinion, I think churches need to be very clear on our mission. The larger, and so called, “successful” churches have a clear mission statement and move the church in a definite direction.


  2. This describes pretty closely why my friends and I quit attending church during college. There was no purpose in going, and it was irrelevant to our lives (#1). There are literally dozens of churches in my college town, and they all offered up pretty much the same thing. After a while you realize that other than a few differences, they are mostly the same, and the majority of people that are truly involved are paid staff members.


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