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7 Reasons For Declining Church Membership

Updated on September 17, 2017

Some of us have had unfortunate experiences with a church or churches or experiences that have led us to have negative feelings towards religion, but fortunately spirituality is not defined by your activity in a church.

Religion is a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

Spirituality is based on a more personalized, less structured, and more open to new ideas/influences, and more pluralistic than that of the doctrinal faiths of organized religions. Some say that spirituality is the awareness that there is something more than than just a physical existence.

Traditionally, religions have regarded spirituality as an integral aspect of religious experience. Many do still equate spirituality with religion, but declining membership of organized religions and the growth of secularism in the western world has given rise to a broader view of spirituality.

7 Reason’s For Declining Church Memberships:

  1. Churches wanting to fill their pocket books instead of filling people’s hearts with truth about the bible, in other words, churches becoming businesses rather than temples of worship.
  2. Not receiving “straight” answers when asking questions regarding God and faith.
  3. Churches are inconsistent in practices and there are too many contradictions.
  4. Priest, preachers, and committed members placing themselves on a peddle stool and committing the one greatest sin… judging others.
  5. Hypocrites among church members.
  6. Church's feel dominated by men and undermine women.
  7. Emotional, sexual, or physical abuse from a church member.

Do you think church attendence is necessary to be spiritual?

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    • ericsomething profile image

      Eric Pulsifer 7 years ago from Charleston, SC

      Excellent points. It's not the building or an organization that makes a church or gathering, but the people. And while a good church can do great works, a bad church can undo whatever works are already done.

    • Eric Prado profile image

      Eric Prado 7 years ago from Webster, Texas

      I completely agree with this hub. I spent years moving from church to church, religion to religion, add nausea, and at the end of the day, ended up the exact same way. Confused by the endless unanswered questions, fallen victim to gossip and judgment, and broke. I could not agree more. That is why I remain spiritual.

    • parrster profile image

      Richard Parr 7 years ago from Oz

      Like it.

      I think of Church as the people, and not just an assembly time once a week in a building. Having said that, I believe we are called to assemble as a people to offer joint honour to God and encouragement to one another. Spirituality is seen most in those whose love for God is manifest in their treatment of others. Therefore, only in coming together do we have opportunity to truly express spirituality. Too many understand spirituality as an island-unto-themselves experience, and too many others see 'Church' as an activity rather than an opportunity to shine.

    • deestew profile image

      deestew 7 years ago from Kentucky

      Interesting hub.

    • Michael Shane profile image

      Michael Shane 7 years ago from Gadsden, Alabama

      Very true! I was a kid preacher but preached from the heart & did my best to uplift God in everyway I knew possible. I became a pastor of a church in Foxworth, Mississippi at the age of 21. I got so frustrated with the politics & the congregation not taking heed to what I had been preaching & always wanting me to do all the work without true participation, I just decided to step down & move on with my life. I never lost my faith just lost interest in the organizations and the politics of it all. I definitely agree & relate to your hub. Thanks for a great article!

    • Rascal Russ Miles profile image

      Rascal Russ Miles 7 years ago from Show Low, AZ USA

      Yes, many avoid 'Churches' for these and other reasons. Spiritually a personal relationship with The Master causes some of us to enjoy church in our own way... In our own place without walls or time restraints. Growing in love with our maker as we learn to appreciate and enrich our lives.

      Your writing skills are excellent.


    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 7 years ago from London, UK

      Interesting...but, There are also a lot of positives.

      Wishing your Dad good health.

    • aguasilver profile image

      John Harper 7 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      Good observations, we tend to have more of a problem getting husbands to attend, no shortage of women believers, but a dire shortage of men who believe.

      Our leadership is equally balanced, indeed one must be married to be in leadership anyway, and (for instance) our counselling leader is female and all of our women leaders are active and vocal!

      But apart from that I agree, with the main dissension caused by hirelings in it for the money and weak pastors who just will not preach the word, and refer platitudes to conviction.


    • agvulpes profile image

      Peter 7 years ago from Australia

      I would pick you number one reason the same way.

      Most religions I know of adorn their churches with gold and expensive artifacts and build impressive property port folies. Do they really need to do this ?

    • Richieb799 profile image

      Richieb799 7 years ago from Cardiff, Wales UK

      I like this hub :), The Bible is open to interpretation and certain people use it for their own good and not as a search for truth, thanks for adding me x

    • figment profile image

      Karli Duran 7 years ago from Texas

      I'm not upset. Just did a small survey and wrote a Hub about it.

    • vox vocis profile image

      Jasmine 7 years ago

      I can understand why you're upset with the Church attitudes but I don't think they're good reasons to decline membership. There aren't many spiritual people among priests and nuns but I have come across a few whose spiritual guidance really helps me. God won't ask you how were they treating you but whether you prayed for them and what you did in your life. The only thing that would make me decline the membership is church taxes if they impose some in the state where I live. What really bothers me is that Church is the richest institution on earth taking money from the people when it should be the other way around. I am not against the church because I never idealized it, I just take the best out of it.

    • hypnodude profile image

      Andrea 7 years ago from Italy

      This is interesting. Very nice and correct writing. Rated up.

    • Disappearinghead profile image

      Disappearinghead 7 years ago from Wales, UK

      Hi Figment,

      I think you raise some very valid points here. It's always sad when someone's eperiences of church are not good ones. As long as we remain objective, understanding that people fail, we must cling to the hope that churches do not define the nature of God. You will never find a perfect church. All you can do is find a pretty good one; take the good that you can from it, and throw away the bad.

      I have just come out of my Penticostal church, becuse I just cannot go week after week bored stupid with the same routine, or sit underneath the pastor when I fundamentally disagree with the church's concept of tithing, and the personal goal focused teaching that states we must all have some role or job that satisfies "God's great plan for our lives". To be honest the warm and fuzzy, huggie huggie, nicey nicey, let's not upset anyone mentality grates on me too.