The Once-a-Month Churchgoers Are Becoming More Common: Why?

"Our information at this point is both early and anecdotal, but we are hearing from numerous pastors that many church members who were frequent in their church attendance are now once-a-monthers. This observation lends itself to many questions. Is this trend temporary, one that will improve as COVID concerns wane?" - Thom Rainer

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Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Also based on 'early and anecdotal' evidence, my theory: more people are exploring church options. They appear to be in church once a month because the other three Sundays, they're elsewhere, researching. More than one regular attender has told me that COVID gave them a chance to see what other churches do, via internet. So now, as they return, they're more interested in the possibility of finding something better.

I'm sure some are just dropping away, also, but maybe not most.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Craig Toliver's picture

What I learned about my church from COVID:

  • There was (we left) widespread anti-government bias
  • Little was done to follow government mandates (masks, distancing, cleaning, et cetera)

 

Wayne Wilson's picture

There is definitely a Covid-related malaise for some people. Sleeping in. They learned a no commitment Sunday morning just feels nice and relaxing. Sermons are online anyway. This is true of several families we know, who were once very regular. Sad.

Mark_Smith's picture

Craig Toliver wrote:

What I learned about my church from COVID:

  • There was (we left) widespread anti-government bias
  • Little was done to follow government mandates (masks, distancing, cleaning, et cetera)

 

I found the same thing Craig. We left as well, though not for that reason in particular. But the attitude that caused anti-government kookism led to other issues.

dgszweda's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

 

Craig Toliver wrote:

 

What I learned about my church from COVID:

  • There was (we left) widespread anti-government bias
  • Little was done to follow government mandates (masks, distancing, cleaning, et cetera)

 

 

 

I found the same thing Craig. We left as well, though not for that reason in particular. But the attitude that caused anti-government kookism led to other issues.

We did the same thing.  I often said that I would only leave a church if the Lord was specifically calling me to serve elsewhere or over doctrinal issues.  And while the kookiness could have doctrinal implications, I didn't spend the energy to map it all out in my mind.  I felt that the pro-Trump, QAnon, conspiracy theory...... elements that were rapidly growing as a result of the pandemic, left me with a situation that I no longer could relate to the individuals in my church and in some cases I felt that they were not being an example by following basic government requirements.  It was a real wake up call for me.  It was a church that was farther away (about 30 minutes) that also were in a different economic class (while that should never be a core reason to not engage).  Add that all up, and it was no longer the same place that I joined.  We moved our membership to a church that was just 2 miles from our house where we can engage our local community, was doctrinally strong and did not have all of the political craziness.  There are still people there that hold to some of this craziness, but it isn't being espoused by a majority of the people or the leadership.  It took a while to find a new church because their are a lot of bad churches.  The biggest dividing line that I saw was between music and preaching.  You either found a church that had good doctrine and preaching, but challenging music standards or one that had lousy preaching and doctrine and good music.  We eventually settled on good doctrine and preaching and music that we could tacitly handle.  So we were in and out of a lot of churches, making us seem probably like a monthly visitor.

josh p's picture

Dgsweda said:

"The biggest dividing line that I saw was between music and preaching.  You either found a church that had good doctrine and preaching, but challenging music standards or one that had lousy preaching and doctrine and good music. "

I see this very often as well. We visited my wife's friends church this past Sunday. Fog machine, multicolored search lights and music that I would consider challenging. The preaching was actually decent though.