24% say they don’t attend because of the outdated style which equates to millions who are Done with Church but love God
88% say being part of a church is beneficial yet only 1 in 7 attend church monthly.
Church attendance has gone down 48% since 1976 with only 5-15% viewed as Committed Christians in Australia
Average church age now is 53, yet 4 out of 5 conversions occur under age of 20 meaning we are not keeping our young people.
Christian Camps came 5th in top activities in coming to faith, ahead of evangelistic events, small groups, Christian outreach, introductory series, mission groups etc., YET 2 in 3 church goers have not attended a church camp in last 2 years . When they did 47% made a commitment.
There is much we can do to change this.
Barna a well-respected Author on Christian Trends challenges us with statistical evidence on the decline of the church. Here are a few conclusions from their work:-
80% of those raised in church could be disengaged by the time they are 29 years old.
2 out of 3 churchgoers say they attend church to “learn more about God.” But less than 1 in 10 say that happened last time they attended.
The Dechurched are still the greatest proportion of the churchless.
But 2 in 3 Unchurched Americans say they are spiritual people.
AAM research shows a sharp decline in church attendance across Australia, and this decline is expected to continue into the future. The Church is failing to win enough new people to faith and replace the number of attenders lost each year, meaning a double storm of lost members. One positive is the sustainable numbers of Christians starting to and continuing to attend church, who have come to our country from other nations and brought their faith with them. Unfortunately the picture is similar in other western countries. Without significant missional initiatives by the Church , it is inevitable that attendances will decline even more, as the 65,000 people now aged over 75 no longer attend. (Source: Rob Issachson Mission Report for Australia).
We believe we can do something more to engage Generation Y/Z and Millennials. We desire that Church is more relevant to them and where they do not feel alienated and forgotten. There are many studies and material that point to a better way. We would like all the body to take responsibility for how we may do this and request a copy of the framework.
This material has been well-tested in organizations for many years and has shown to have extremely positive results if used correctly. It seeks to bring The Body greater understanding of the principles necessary for change in one easy to read format, with ideas on how to implement these principles in practice.
What if we don’t change?
Here are a few possibilities of what could happen:-
- Bored people
- Untrained people
- Spectator Christians
- Ad hoc approach which leads to poor quality learning.
- People leaving hurt as they lack the engagement with their church, often without saying why, and we are not finding out or showing we care about that
- Unloved people tell others so the reputation of the church goes down
- Hurt Christians who feel no one cares about their views or their calling
- The younger generation becomes more detached as we don’t adapt and church becomes predominately older Christians which is not sustainable
- People view church as out of date and uneducated
- Leaders become bottlenecks as decision-making centers around a few. We feel we need permission to do things God has led us to and leaders are too busy to facilitate those new ideas.
- We set a model that does not reflect the creativity of Jesus and his people
- We believe we are raising disciples but have never evaluated if this is the case
- We fail to raise leaders with quality leadership skills that work for this generation and the next generation suffers from a disengaged Church.
- We fail to recognize that the greatest support we can give is to empower people in their calling not get them to volunteer below their capacity for a church event. This will not change the world.
- We don’t create wealth and power to influence Gods Kingdom.
- Without modelling priesthood of all believers we may be encouraging our people to become fat with too much content but not enough application. ( we become hearers not doers)
- We don’t facilitate tailored connection so people don’t make genuine friendships which brings disengagement or people get bored doing community without a strong mission.
- We have poor accountability so we increase the chance of poor decisions being made and unethical behavior
- We set a standard of saying we don’t trust others so they model that by not trusting the church.
To review the studies included in the Framework and find out why we have concluded these things you will need to see the notes which are available for download here.
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Jane has worked in many different leadership capacities from being a professionally qualified Christian Leadership Coach for 13 years to many Christian leaders, to leading a ministry with the Navigators, to being a Senior Learning and Development Manager of a multimillion corporation, advising the management team on strategic approaches to get the best out of their people. She has developed considerable experience with Investors in People taking several companies through to successful accreditation and training as a consultant for them. Hence she understands the amazing impact a tool based on this principle can have.
Connect with her on LinkedIn athttps://www.linkedin.com/profile/viewid=287940854&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile