Getting People Back to Church / Christian Event Targeting ‘Apathetic’ Youth *BARF*

Getting People Back to Church / Christian Event Targeting ‘Apathetic’ Youth *BARF*

I have a few theories as to why people have stopped attending church regularly, which I won’t get into here.

I have brought up one reason before, which I shall summarize here: singles past the age of 30 are either ignored or treated horribly by churches, and churches tend to be very marriage obsessed which makes the never married, divorced, and widowed feel overlooked or like outcasts, so they stop showing up, and a big chunk of the US demographic is single these days.

If you don’t minister to the singles, they stop showing up, so yes, your pews are going to be half empty.

But there are, I believe, other reasons churches are not drawing in folks, and while I don’t care to discuss those reasons here and now, I can tell you that putting on laser shows and live rock bands on stage will not get them to come back and stay.

I cannot figure out why Christians are focusing on 20 somethings, when a steady stream of 30- somethings, the middle aged and older of BOTH GENDERS, have been filing out the back door of churches in big numbers over the last ten or more years?

The middle aged typically have more money than the 20 year old kids, and since many churches these days are greedy, money hungry pigs, you would think they would make this connection and work their asses off at seeking after the older adults.

This article mentions that Luce (Luce is a youth pastor type guy who I think I’ve blogged of before – he often gives stupid dating advice to Christian teens, advice that backfires and keeps them single many years (LINK:) Luce and his weird crummy sex and dating advice is mentioned in this post) is using rock bands, laser shows, and big video monitors to attract 20-somethings back to church (and/or to Christianity).

Oh good grief. Jesus Christ did not run a popularity contest, nor did Jesus put on rock band shows and wear flip flops with skinny jeans to attract people.

Jesus’ miracles were to prove His claims of deity and to fulfill OT prophecy, not to be a magic show to attract audiences.

One reason age 30 and older groups are turned off to church (and evangelical, Fundy, and Baptist expressions of Christianity) is for the some of the very same reasons the under- 30s are turned off: trying to get us to attend via slick marketing gimmicks, large video monitors, rock bands, preachers in skinny jeans and goatees – it comes off as insincere, shallow, fake, as trying too hard.

The striving to look cool has the opposite effect: it makes such churches and preachers LOOK LAME.

It will take more than a big video monitor and hip rock band to retain teens, 20 somethings, or anyone over age 30.

NATIONAL BACK TO CHURCH DAY SEPT 15

A few days ago there was some kind of national “Back to Church” day, with an official web site that was selling marketing materials to churches, such as t-shirts, placards, post cards with the “Back to Church” logo on it.

I’m not sure if these people are trying to reach atheists, or Christians who stopped going to church (who are referred to as “the un-churched”), or both.

(Note: I saw one post by a Christian who uses the term “de churched” to refer to Christians who no longer attend, but “un churched” to refer to atheists etc)

The consensus I saw on most blogs that discussed this is that this movement was trying to attract “the unchurched,” because it’s considered easier to get non church going Christians to return than it is convincing an atheist or Hindu to show up.

It is further discussed on such blogs that the main reason for the push to get the unchurched to return is for MONEY.

Many churches are losing money now, but so too in particular are many mega churches (and they need hundreds of thousands of dollars to operate), and they need pew sitters to toss cash into the collection plate.

The regular church attenders (according to one person who studies church trends and who used to work for a large church) do not tithe much and not regularly; most income a church gets is from ‘spur of the moment’ where one guy will drop a 20 dollar bill into a collection plate on a Sunday.

I know that sounds cynical, but if you could see some of the disgusting shit I have seen on spiritual abuse blogs, it is actually the NORM in our culture these days for most preachers and churches to care only about money – not the people in the pew.

You can read about this insipid National Back to Church day here:
(Link): 20,000 Churches Pledge to Participate in National Back to Church Sunday on September 15

    Event organizers announced today more than 20,000 churches will participate in National Back to Church Sunday®, achieving the ambitious target set for this year, doubling the goal of last year’s event.

Yes, this thing actually has the Registered Trademark symbol (®) behind it, too, that is in the original thing I am quoting, I did not add it. The article continues:

    “We believe there are millions of Americans who would welcome an invitation to come back to church, or who might be a bit curious about attending church for the first time,” Evans continued.

    Citing research that about 80 percent of people would visit a church if someone they knew invited them, National Back to Church Sunday organizers started the event five years ago. It has grown exponentially since then as many churches who participate make it an annual event because of its impact on their congregations and communities.

    Continue reading “Getting People Back to Church / Christian Event Targeting ‘Apathetic’ Youth *BARF*”

How Christians Keep Christians Single (part 4) – and Emotional Virginity Teaching

How Christians Keep Christians Single (part 4) – and “Emotional Virginity” Teaching

They say marriage is a great thing and throw fits that Christians aren’t getting married by and large any more, but they are creating the very thing they are protesting: Christians who keep Christian singles single via their stupid or naive dating advice and narrow minded views of women. Here are some more examples.

Source for the following: “My Teen Mania Experience”

Fear of Dating (posted to “My Teen Mania Experience”)

Here are excerpts from the page:

    [Regarding teachings on dating to teens by “Teen Mania” and “Honor Academy” Christian teachers] ….What kind of effed up teachings produce this level of ridiculous fear? This total inability to engage the opposite sex in a normal, friendly manner?

    For once, I knew I couldn’t blame this on Christianity at large, because she was not raised a Christian. The Honor Academy was her only exposure to Christianity and these problems and mindsets did not exist before she went there.
    [From Christian Pundit: I disagree. This “fear of dating/ fear of the opposite gender” perspective is in a lot of Christian material on dating, not just the Honor Academy. It’s also taught among a lot of Christian home schooling families.]

    Now, this may be an extreme example (or maybe not?) but I’ve heard from dozens of alumni – especially women – that after the Honor Academy, they feel incredibly uneasy around the opposite sex. Why is that? I’m going to give a few potential reasons, but I hope you’ll chime in as well.

    1) Strict gender roles: Each gender has their assigned duties and no deviation is acceptable. Men lead. Women follow. Men initiate. Women respond.

    First off, there are many places in Scripture where Godly women pursued romantic relationships, did not submit to their husbands and held leadership roles over men.

    – Ruth proposed marriage to Boaz (Gasp!)
    – Abigail did not submit to her husband’s leadership and took matters into her own hands, which eventually led to her marrying King David. (I Sam 25)
    – Esther entered the King’s court uninvited – which had the potential to be an offense punishable by death.

    This is just a short list. If you research the topic further, you will find many more encouraging examples.

    From what I’ve seen, this teaching leads women to feel that they cannot even show interest in a guy (so how is he supposed to know that you like him?). It leads them to being passive and unable to seize opportunities. They are waiting for a guy to do everything in the relationship, and that is just not normal or healthy.

    2) Friendship with the opposite sex is actively discouraged.

    Many unsuspecting interns have been confronted for “curbside chatting” during their first week of the internship. “Curbside chatting” is exactly what it sounds like – standing on the curb outside the dorms, innocently chatting with a member of the opposite sex. Although this is clearly in public, in full view of all the dorms, its still considered dangerous behavior and will get you promptly confronted by your leadership and/or peers.

    I’ve heard alumni say that they were afraid to even be seen walking on a sidewalk in the same direction as a member of the opposite sex, for fear that they would be confronted.

    Continue reading “How Christians Keep Christians Single (part 4) – and Emotional Virginity Teaching”