Sunday, April 19, 2015

12 Reasons Why Church Is Shrinking in the Western World

I have had the serendipitous opportunity to have long term house guests over the past 9 months who have all been from Eastern/Northern Europe. Three from Austria and two from Estonia. While there have been striking similarities in look, style, and even English accents, the one thing that really tied them all together was a very clear belief in science, and little-to-no understanding of Christianity.

Those who study the demographics of Christianity are quick to point to declines in the Western or developed world with increases in many emerging countries. This got me to thinking about the "why" of this shift. Below is compiled an outline of that thinking. I invite one and all to add to the list in the comments or to email me at

#1. I Don't Need God
  1. Have plenty
  2. Medicine is excellent
  3. Science explains
  4. Heaven doesn't sound better
  5. Not suffering or needy
 #2. Don't Believe God Exists
  1. Atheist
  2. Maybe, but not convinced
  3. Agnostic
#3. Never lived under despotic rule

#4. Have no concept of worship

#5. Don't want to give up ________
  1. Sex outside of marriage
  2. Ability to divorce
  3. Other vices
  4. Party life style
  5. Money, Fame, Power
#6. Believe that Christians don't have fun, are judgmental, are easily swayed

#7. Haven't felt significant effects of sin
  1. STD's controlled with drugs
  2. Child out of wedlock seems ok
  3. Living together more exciting
  4. Drinking not hurting life chances (drugs, gambling)
  5. Divorce created issues, but not that bad
  6. Lying, cheating, etc., working out fine
#8. Don't want to help others
  1. No sense of giving back
  2. Government can handle poor, etc
  3. Others will do
  4. Too busy, poor
  5. No passion
  6. Don't want to
#9. Have co-dependency issues
  1. Parent
  2. Child
  3. Spouse
  4. Significant other
  5. Government
  6. Job

#10. Haven't given God a second thought - wrapped up in media/play/drugs/etc.

#11. Culture is not influencing or encouraging Christian world view - Is discouraging

#12. Many have not ever heard about Jesus from anyone

1 comment:

  1. Looks about right knowing the conversations I had with our exchange student. She believes God exists and really enjoyed going to our church. But she definitely had no idea why that should affect her daily life. This ability to live with those contradictions is going to be the biggest challenge to us in communicating Christianity in a postmodern world. There is no 'why' to a giving God a thought. I'm not at all sure what the answers are, but I think it starts with scrutinizing our own vision of why we devote ourselves to God, or if we really do.