I honestly think the number one reason most Americans attend church these days is for purely social reasons. As a pastor I have a bird’s eye view of the movements of church goers. I hear the moans of loss and sighs of relief from pastors as their members move to various churches. Some times they hate to see them leave and at other times they won’t be missed. But the real question is why do people change churches so often?
Lets try to answer that with a series of questions. Is it because they have relocated to a new area? Are they seeking a place closer to their home? Has their current church defected from the faith forcing them to leave to seek out true gospel preaching? Have their personal views of Scripture changed causing them to seek a new church inline with their new views? These would all be good reasons to find a new church. But I seldom hear these reasons listed. Most people are looking for a new church for social reasons.
How do I know that, you may ask? Well let me list some of the questions I get from people looking to change churches. How many attend LCBC? I have kids, what do you have for my kids? Who all goes to your church, anyone I know? Is there anyone my age their? Do you have many veterans, retired people, young families, professional people, blue collar, sports fans, outdoorsmen, singles, widows, or any any other subgroup I can relate to?
I could go on but you get the point. Now when someone finds a new church here’s what they often say: “The kids love it here.” “The new preacher relates to me.” “My friends or the kids friends, were already going there.” “They have so many activities to get involved in.” “They have a coffee shop in the foyer and free day care on Fridays.” Are you seeing a pattern here? We like our opportunities to socialized in the new church.
Now the Bible instructs us to be in close fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ. BUT, the standard of our fellowship is the gospel. I’m seeing people leave gospel preaching churches for social reasons. The opposite is equally true as well. We see countless Christians who are gospel starved hanging onto a church because of their kids, friends or activities. Pick your church by the gospel and stay put. You will never regret it.