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Churches in America are NOT Declining
Whenever you hear the news concerning the current status of Christianity in America, you will most likely hear from newscasters and reporters saying that surveys show that the church and Christianity in general are declining in this country. That America is growing more secular every year and that Americans are leaving the church. The mainstream media also loves to point out that according to the polls, a growing number of Americans are not calling themselves Protestant anymore. First off, I don't believe in any polls, especially when it favors my views. Second, the view that Christianity is declining is completely false. Third, just because people don't call themselves Protestants anymore does NOT mean they're not Christians. So how do I know that churches are not declining? My experiences so far with churches tells me otherwise.
Church attendance in America, as according to Rick Warren with his interview on MSNBC, have been steady since the 1950's. I agree with that. The churches I went to, so far, have been filled with people yearning to know the Lord and to keep their faith strong. Particularly in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where I have been living now for 8 years. It is only now that I am going to different churches just to observe how the attendance are and to learn more about the scriptures with a variety of different pastors. There are churches also that hold their congregations in a place where you would least likely expect. Churches are now holding sermons in movie theaters. That's right. In a movie theater. When I first heard about that, I was totally surprised to know that someone was willing to have a church service in his or her business area. Another one was held at my father's work. The only thing that was restricted was the interaction between the employees and church members. That was according to my dad. Again, this church was held in a corporate building.
Lancaster, Pennsylvania is a very Christian conservative town though. And you might be wondering "Then what about other churches around America? Are they losing attendance?" Luckily for me the other state that I went to is known to be the most secular state in the country. And that's California. The churches in California, to other's surprise, is not declining in attendance. It is alive and well. Not strong and influential. Just alive and well. In fact, a lot of famous pastors are based in California, such as Rick Warren as I have mentioned above, Greg Laurie, and David Jeremiah, whom I had the privilege of meeting him and taking a picture during a National Day of Prayer event here in Lancaster where he was a guest speaker. I went to Pastor Jeremiah's church in suburban San Diego. His was called Shadow Mountain Community Church. It was a big campus. They had carts to transport people who had trouble walking. It is because the church has big parking lots on both sides of the boulevard. When church service was about start, I saw many people in droves coming in and getting ready. I saw people in droves coming out of the first service and greeting each other to the ones coming in. It was a very beautiful day and I was very excited and happy to go to a church lead by a pastor whom I followed in recent years. Unfortunately, I found out from one of the staff members that during the month of August, which is when we were there, he takes a month of vacation to spend some time with his family. I was bummed to hear that in which that was my purpose to drive to San Diego for two hours from LA to see him preach. Another church I went to in California was in Yorba Linda. Birthplace of late President Richard Nixon, the church was a very modern building. Many people were out in the campus congregating. But the church was fully packed and there were still many people who came.
So far this is based on my experience going to churches around America. The other way I like to point out how churches are not declining is by looking at the You Tube videos when typing churches, church names, and pastors names. There are tons of videos showing how church attendance are so filled up that it fills more people than the ones attending a rock concert. Another way of looking at church attendance is their website. Research many churches and you will be surprised on where the churches are located. For example, there is a church in New York City, in the middle of Times Square, called Times Square Church. It is located in an old theater building. That's right, a theater building. And when you see the pictures and videos, you will see that the church is packed with people. Times Square Church made a video documenting their beginnings and how it grew in the process, catching the attentions of the media. Like I said from the beginning, you will also notice that many of the influential pastors and many of the known megachurches are based in California, a state that is getting the reputation of being the most secular in the United States. Even in Hollywood, known to be anti-Christian in the entertainment industry, there are many churches in the area that are filled with people. Many faith-based communities are located in downtown Los Angeles. In fact, one such place called the Dream Center, has made a tremendous impact to the local community. During its run, crime and poverty went down dramatically. The rise in gang membership went down and you will see many people lining up to go inside the center. It is located in a huge old building where it used to be a hospital. The center provides shelter, food, recreational areas and ultimately a house of worship.
So basing off on these facts, it is amazing to hear that Christianity is not totally dead in America. It is continuing to make a strong impact on the lives of others. Many people in the world yearn to know the Lord Jesus Christ. Particularly in the United States, many people need to know Christ and to get back at its Christian roots. I hope to see one day in my life where Christianity flourishes in this country again, both rural and urban, and to see Christians take back over many of the important institutions with love and boldness that govern our society for peace, prosperity, justice, and love.