Why People Leave The Church

Watch this interesting 2 minute talk from Matt Chandler on why people leave the church:

  1. Do you think Matt Chandler is right or wrong? Why?
  2. If you think he’s right, is this the main reason people leave the church?  Are there other major factors?

Think and pray about this:  How have you presented the Christian faith in a way that is legalistic and puts God in your debt?  What was the issue you were addressing?  In retrospect, How would you address it now with the Gospel?

Challenge:  Do you know people who have left the church?  Do you know why they left?  Make it a point to talk to them to find out why they’ve left and correct their misunderstandings of the faith with he Gospel.   

Image found here.


About Ted Torreson

I'm a Husband, Father, Pastor & Church planter

Posted on May 30, 2012, in Gospel-Centered, Sharing the Gospel and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Chandler is exactly right, our generation was fed a version of the gospel based on rules to follow in order to make myself worthy of God’s grace. That combined with cause and effect parenting translated into I do this for God, He’ll do that for me. When I don’t get what I want, God broke the deal with me, so I revert to temper tantrums (that worked on my parents as a kid, so why not God?). We’ve been fed a healthy diet of narcissism under the guise of “positive self-esteem”. If we were to take a poll of individuals who have left the church, I do not think this reason for leaving would even rank on their answers, but that is also a result of narcissism. We complain until we get our way, but can’t take responsibility for any decision that carries a hint of negative connotation.

    A secondary reason for Christians jumping ship is awakening to this revelation, seeing their friends speaking the Gospel but living out a form of selfish anti-gospel. Ironically, it is equally as narcissistic to deem a specific group of people (or entire faith) unworthy of your participation because you don’t get your way as it is when another reacts to disappointment poorly. When it comes down to it, narcissism is the root of individuals leaving church. So while Chandler is correct in his deduction, we’re too selfish to admit it.

  2. Ted,
    I agree that is part of the issue.
    Chandler makes a valid point, BUT,… In my opinion, that is only a small part of the picture.
    Does Chandler have a sermon on Ezk. 34?

  3. I agree that Chandler’s point is but part of the picture. I’m not sure if Chandler has a sermon on Ezk 34. How do you think that passage speaks to the issue of why people leave the church?

  4. Because it is very applicable today as it was when God said it to the prophet.
    And I have never heard a pastor /shepherd of the flock, preach Ezk. 34.But I have heard plenty of people blame the flock for not wanting to follow.
    You may find it interesting that the most recent gallop survey found that even though trust in organized religion is at an all time low in America, the amount of people who say religion is important to them has remained stable for decades.
    Perhaps the Church leadership today is as deserving God’s displeasure today as in the time of Ezekiel.
    “Woe to the shepherds who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flock.”vs. 2
    They don’t feed the flock the “Bread of Life”, who is Jesus.
    Moralism is the staple Sunday fare.
    And the Church is starving for Jesus.
    And people get discouraged because no amount of truth can be applied apart from the power of Christ in us, and the confidence and faith gained by being sure Christ loves us and will never forsake us.
    God bless,
    C. C. T.

    • I agree. Excellent thoughts. There’s a great resurgance of Christ-centered, Gospel-focused teaching and discipleship in the church, yet they still get overshadowed by the stories of corruption and personal experiences with leaders who “Lord it over” the flock.

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