Fixing Church

Generally speaking, it seems that church attendance in America overall is flat at best. Why is that?

More importantly, since I would rather be solution-oriented than be a whiner, what should Christians do about it? I’ve got three thoughts for you:

One and Two–I think a lot of churches spend more time trying to figure out their blend of traditions vs. new programs rather than focusing on prayer and listening to the Spirit. Now, don’t get me wrong we need some traditions (Christmas carols = always winners), and new programs are important. But there are two things that are more important. I know, all churches have prayer already, but do we have Houses of Prayer? Do we strive/encourage/expect prayers without ceasing? And how much do we non-Pentecostals even try to follow where the Spirit wants to lead?

If Christians got totally sold out on prayer and following the Spirit (wherever in the world that would take us), amazing things would happen.

My third point is that I think churches in America are not handling the Truth very well. Half our churches want to water it down or ignore it. But all too often the other half has a problem, too. We’ve got plenty of churches that speak God’s Truth, but they are missing the mark with the presentation. In educational circles, we sometimes talk about higher order thinking–analysis, critiquing, comparing and contrasting, and so on. All too often, churches tell their flocks what the Truth is, but they don’t say why, other than that the Bible says so. Now, this is a really good answer inside church. But how are we equipping believers to deeply understand and explain the Truth outside the church to a culture that doesn’t really care what the Bible says? How do Christians hold onto their own beliefs when they don’t really understand the reasons behind them?

If the churches did a better job of explaining that God loves people and it is because of that love that He wants us to do some things and refrain from others, I think it would at least help people start seeing the why of things.

What do you think? How can churches reach people better and help them grow significantly in their faith?