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Hat Rack Syndrome

Updated on December 27, 2011

Hillsong - More Than

People seldom attending

One of the greatest problems facing the church today is what many Pastors often refer to as the "Hat Rack Syndrome".

This is a condition faced by far too many churches where people claim membership in a particular church, voice their opinions about the church and even rely on many of the services offered by the church but seldom attend or make any kind of physical or financial contribution to the church. It’s just there to “hang your hat”.

People simply pick and chose what services or meetings they will attend; so as not to be inconvenienced. As such, the term "Hat Rack" is applied because so often a hat or coat rack is seldom used and when it is, it is only for a short time. When you're ready to go you remove your hat and move on. The hat rack remains but you and your hat may not return for a very long time.

The hat rack is often abused, seldom dusted and often falls apart from lack of care and maintenance. Of course, it's only a "hat rack", so we just throw it away and get another! Are you getting the picture yet? Many people see the church as “only a church”.

An empty church
An empty church

The church does NOT grow

The church often does NOT grow because the very people who make it up ignore it. Of course, it's not intentional. No one would ever accuse the people who make up the church of taking the church for granted. But let's face it, we do. Like the hat rack we know it's there, we just don't need it right now.

The average church member is involved in their church a maximum of 3 hours per week or less. Some hat racks get more use. Like many pastors I have unfortunately pastored churches whose congregations would boast regularly about their huge sanctuaries and membership roles into the thousands. The problem is 80 to 90% of those people hadn't darkened the door of a church in all the years prior to my arrival and many of my predecessor’s as well. The church today is in real trouble and few are talking about it.

We need to remember that Jesus loved the church and gave Himself for her.

Jesus also said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

If more believers would invest their treasure in the church, we might see more hearts and fewer hats remaining on the hat racks at home.

If the church which so many of us grew up in is to continue to exist, we must return and stop the “hat rack syndrome” from continuing.

By the way, don't you just hate it when you need a hat rack and can't find one?

It’s just a thought.

©Copyright 2011 Dr. Lee W. Outlaw III

Dr. Lee Outlaw
Dr. Lee Outlaw

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    • Drtruthman profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Harlingen, Texas

      Thanks Debbie, I know you are definitely with me in this ball park. We are both truly saddened by the decline in our churches. We must pray for a resurgence of interest in the local church.thank you for your reading it and kind comment. God bless you too and Happy New Year.

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 

      7 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      Excellent HUB.. this is so true.. I admire you for writing this.. very well done and I love the video.

      God bless you

      and happy New year


    • Drtruthman profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Harlingen, Texas

      Thanks so much LVidoni5, I do appreciate the read and the comment.

    • LVidoni5 profile image

      Brian Loewer 

      7 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      This had some personal conviction in it for me. I hear pastors talk about not just going to church, but being a part of it. This is a great explanation and reminder why it's important. So thanks for giving me more than something to hang my hat on.


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