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Reasons People Don’t Go to Church

Addressing the common barriers that keep people from connecting with faith communities

Reason 1: The perception of Christians is one of judgment and negativity One young woman once said to me, “I don’t like working in the café on a Sunday, because that’s the day the Christians come in.” What was the issue? The Christians constantly complained, 18 • March 2014 • Salvationist

Photo: © Yoder


century ago, the majority of people in the West went to church. Sunday mor ning would ar r ive, the “Sunday best” clothes would be donned and off the family would trot to church. Times have changed. While obviously many people in developed countries still attend church, the numbers are in decline in the United States, Australia and Europe. In Canada, two-thirds of the population, or 22.1 million people, represented in the 2011 census identify themselves as Christian, but this is only a slight change from the 22.8 million Christians reported in 2001. Conversely, in some African countries, the discussion might rather be “10 reasons why people flock to church!” Before I go further, let me define the meaning of the word “church.” The term is used three times in the New Testament (Greek: ecclesia), and is not referring to a building that people frequent. The church is a group of individuals who gather together (wherever and whenever) to worship God, grow in their faith in Christ and partner with God in mission. When I refer to reasons people don’t go to church, many might think of why people don’t enter a church building on a Sunday morning, but I don’t think the following points are limited to that. With a correct view of the “church,” this article could be entitled, “10 reasons why people do not belong to a faith community.”


weren’t happy with the food and were generally tough customers. Is this is a valid observation of all Christians? Well, no, but this young woman’s observation of the Christians she saw in her café was valid. They were judgmental and negative. Reason 2: Church is boring For some church communities, this assertion is correct. Though, one could

argue, the church’s purpose is not to entertain. Church style has changed dramatically over the years, and there are many great churches with relevant music, relevant preaching, welcoming community and the like. If people label your church as boring after they’ve visited it, your church has a boredom problem. But if this is the opinion that people have of the church without visiting one, you have a perception

Salvationist - March 2014  
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