According to Will Mancini, founder of church consulting firm Auxano, there is a disturbing trend for many churches:
“Specifically, in the last 2 years, I have see one common thread become a common rope. Its presence is now ubiquitous; every church I talk with mentions this problem…. I have never seen a problem discussed this commonly amid a diversity of church sizes and denominational affiliations.
“What is this one trend? It’s that your most committed people will attend worship services less frequently than ever in 2015. [Emphasis added.]
“What does this mean? Simply that people who use[d] to attend 4 times a month may only attend 3 times a month. Members who used to come twice a month will only come once a month.”
According to this article in Charisma Magazine, which expands on the trend cited above, the #1 reason churches are watching their core, committed people participate less in worship? “Increased involvement in kids activities: parents eschew church to let their kids participate in club sports.”
We certainly see this trend in Ankeny, my home town, and our church. Sports rule.
There are two intersecting issues that need to be addressed:
- club sports are more comfortable to schedule tournaments on Sunday mornings, a time typically set aside for worship.
- parents opt to skip church in favor of tournaments rather than tell their kid’s coach their son or daughter won’t be able to play in a tournament on Sunday morning.
Perhaps the root problem for the American Church is that too many churches have swung too far away from biblical standards in an effort to avoid looking legalistic. The result is that there is little difference between the “Christian” community and the secular community.
Should pastor’s teach their congregation to make Sunday a day of worship? Is there any value in the biblical principle of the Sabbath?
I’ve written extensively on the Bible’s teaching regarding the Sabbath. For a good overview, consider this article: The Seventh Day: A Study of the Sabbath.