Robert Putnam in his book Bowling Alone says,
“Over the last three to four decades Americans have become about 10 percent less likely to claim church membership, while our actual attendance and involvement in religious activities has fallen by roughly 25 to 50 percent. Virtually all the postwar boom in religious participation – and perhaps more – has been erased.”
Why is involvement in Christian community decreasing? There are several reasons.
Reasons People Don’t Participate in the Church’s Community
(1) Individualism – A lot of church members are individualistic believing they can change by themselves.
(2) Compartmentalism – Most people tend to compartmentalize their lives. There is church life, work life, and family life.
(3) Busyness – Almost all Americans are busy. But we all know we make time for what is important. So when we say, “I am too busy”, what we really mean is that living in community with other Christians is not important to us.
(4) Consumerism – Most Americans are consumerists. They come to church in order to get, but are not willing to give. They are content sitting in the pew week after week because they have been conditioned by society to consume and shop around instead of plugging in and getting involved.
Questions for Reflection
- Do you resonate with any of these points?
- Are there others reason you would offer for why people don’t participate in the Christian community?
Want to learn more? You should check out:
- My sermon series: Living in Community – Part 1, Living in Community – Part 2
- My last post: Scriptural Metaphors for Community