I could sense the grief a friend felt as she recalled the days of church services filled with members, lots of children in the Sunday School, and a packed church parking lot. But afterward, I felt a need to answer what has been a question for me as well—What happened? Why aren’t churches as full now as they used to be?
There are plenty of reasonable explanations for the decline in the numbers attending church. It’s a trend in most “mainstream” churches and faith organizations. People maintain that churches simply are not responding to today’s need for more relevancy and practicality. (You can do a Google search on “decline in churches” and get millions of responses.)
And there are the not-so-reasonable explanations, where the drop in popularity turns into a blame game, pointing at the actions of others—church leaders, changes to the status quo, and so on—as the culprit for fewer people occupying the pews.