If you go to Google and type in "Why don't people go to church any more", you'll see plenty of reasons, so there's no use in my wasting time and Internet space on the subject. The church, as many people pointed out, is not the building; it's the people. So the correct wording would be, "Why don't I go meet with the church?"
I'm adding a link to another blog because I think it's relavent. Sorry I added it after several people already read this entry, but that's how I often do my entries... hit or miss. Click HERE.
Read the comments on all my entries on this topic and you will see some real people's ideas on the subject. Here are my own ideas:
The decline in church attendance is most apparent in small-town communities. These churches weren't all that big to start with, so it hurts when when people drop out. I think in small congregations, part of the trouble is that the people know one another so well. Let one person offend another, and somebody leaves, taking his family with him. I've seen this happen all too often.
Young people seem to be less interested in church attendance than older folks; Go visit any church, especially the smaller congregations, and look around: there are lots of gray heads in the crowd, aren't there?
In most young families these days, the husband and wife both hold down jobs, and usually spend a lot of driving time on the road. They are carting the babies off to babysitters, so they only get a couple of hours each evening with their kids before they send them off to bed. On the weekend they're doing the grocery shopping and house-cleaning and laundry: it's hard to stop everything, get everybody bathed and dressed, and head to church services. The ones who do go to church will often choose to drive farther in order to find a church that has activities for children and young people, which means they will probably find a larger congregation. The smaller churches just can't compete, although I've seen some of them try. It never works. Hiring a youth minister for the two teenagers attending your church doesn't seem to make other young people come to church.
My daughter mentioned the problem of churches trying to force people to help in their nurseries: There is a very simple solution for this, the one I grew up with. When a church building was erected, they would put a sound-proof room in the back of the sanctuary with a plate-glass window looking out over the congregation. The sound of the service was piped into that room. It was equipped with changing tables, a crib or two, and lots of rocking chairs. When your baby got fussy, you took him to the "cry room", and you'd take care of your own baby. You rocked him, fed him, or changed him, while listening to the sermon or hymns. If he settled down or went to sleep in your arms, you rejoined the congregation.
Isn't that simple?
So now we get down to this question: Why don't I go to church regularly?
Laziness, perhaps? It's easier to stay home. It isn't that I sleep in; I'm usually out of bed by 5 A.M. every day; it's just easier to stay here with my television, my Nook, and my computer. Me, me, me. It's all about me.
And then there's this: I'm not much of a people person. What if I get to know these folks and they figure out how strange I am? I'm always putting my foot in my mouth. If they REALLY knew me, they probably wouldn't like me. This, I believe, is why many people prefer to go to a large church where they can slip in and slip out. If you regularly attend a small church, you are going to have to talk to some people and get to know them and they are going to figure you out, for better or worse.
Looking back over the years, I can honestly tell you that I was always a better person when I attended church regularly. I spent more time "sweeping around my own back door" and less time criticizing the neighbors. I was more giving, less stingy. I smiled more, I sang around the house more.
Like many people, I have a problem with a church that doesn't want me unless I give a certain amount of money. Not all churches are like that, just so you know. It wasn't that way where my family attended church when I was a kid. A few years ago I attended a small, country church where they didn't take up a collection at all: There was a box at the back of the auditorium and you put your money in there on your way out, if you so desired.
Surfing the Internet as I do, I read a lot of blogs. I've run into several atheists on my Internet travels and have come to this conclusion: The really vocal atheists are the angriest, most hateful bunch of people I've encountered. They don't seem happy. They aren't thankful for the good things they have (of course, who would they thank?). They bash Christians for no apparent reason. If I were an atheist, which I am not and never will be, I would just pat the silly little Christians on their empty little heads (if that's how I felt about them) and leave them alone.
But that's just me.
I'm done with this subject, because any further words of mine would be like beating a dead horse. However, I will still take guest entries from anyone who would like to add something to the topic. I cannot emphasize strongly enough to READ THE COMMENTS, because there's some good discussion going on there.