I grew up in a time of regular church attendance. In fact, I was in church 3 times a Sunday. Sunday morning from 11 a.m. – 12:30, Sunday afternoon for Sunday School from 3 – 4 p.m. and Sunday night from 7 to whenever.
This report from Stats Canada affirms what we already know, that regular church attendance in Canada has been declining for years.
“The percentage of the Canadian population attending religious services on a regular basis has declined over the past 20 years. According to the General Social Survey (GSS), 21% of Canadians aged 15 and over reported they attended a religious service at least once a week in 2005, down from 30% in 1985.
At the same time, the share of Canadians indicating that they never attended religious services in the previous year increased in the past couple of decades. In 2005, around one in three Canadians aged 15 and over reported that they never attend services, up from 22% in 1985.”
The trend in society is now the trend in the church. Many people who come to church once or twice a month consider themselves regular attenders. I came across this article from Children’s Ministry Magazine, “Ministering To Families with Irregular Attendance” that considers several reasons for this trend and how to minister in this new normal. I hope you find it helpful.
If you find yourself with irregular church attendance let me encourage you to make the changes necessary to be in church more often. I am very worried about the seeds parents are sowing in their kids by having church attendance just one of a myriad of options on a Sunday. I fear in another 15 years parents are going to wonder why their children have very little interest in the things of God without realizing their example set the foundation for the exit.
The term “Church Hopping” is ” going from one church to another without committing to any one church for any significant period of time.”
Church hoppers make it difficult for us Pastors and my experience has been that the bigger the splash people make when they come to your church the bigger the splash they make when they leave.
Jon Acuff, calls church hopping looking for a “temporary church experience” and gives 20 points as how to rate your church hopping experience – Stuff Christians Like
If you have not moved but over the past years have been in 3 churches you are probably a church hopper and you need to stop this destructive behaviour. To be honest I am not sure what to do with you because church hoppers usually say they are being “led by the Spirit” but the Spirit leading you a new church every couple of years doesn’t make sense to me. How are you suppose to use your gifts if you don’t stick around long enough to get involved? To be honest, I think the issue is many church hoppers when confronted by their flightiness or often divisiveness run because they are not teachable.
Pastor in this world of irregular attendance and church hopping just keep giving people Jesus and let Him work out the rest in their lives.