Churches of Christ in Decline

If you follow me on Twitter (@jasonbandura), you may have seen this link already.

For the rest of you (after you go find me at Twitter ; ) ), below is an excerpt from an article posted by Michael Hanegan, preacher at the Central Church of Christ in Chandler, Oklahoma.

Here’s a sampling:

The Christian Chronicle recently released an article detailing the specifics about losses both in membership and congregations among Churches of Christ from 2003-Present. Their conclusion? In the last ten years we have lost one out of every sixteen members are have closed three congregations every two weeks for the last ten years. These numbers should be sobering. In the time that I have been at the Central Church of ChristI am personally aware of four congregations that have closed their doors, and know of a number of congregations that are barely hanging on numerically (not to mention other churches that are teetering on the edge of fracture and collapse).

But why?

The comments section on the Chronicle article are fascinating. Allow me to summarize some of what I heard from those who have responded publicly on the Chronicle website.

  • Good! God is finally cleaning house in his church! This is the purge we have needed to keep the church pure and the false teachers away.
  • If we were more evangelistic then we would experience growth like we used to (hear here the 40’s and 50’s).
  • Well if we weren’t so legalistic and addicted to patternism and John Locke we wouldn’t have this problem.
  • This is just terrible. What can we do?

If you wish to see the entire Christian Chronicle article allude to (and its comments section), it can be seen HERE.  The rest of Michael’s reflections can be found HERE.

A number of my most regular readers share with me a heritage in the Churches of Christ.  What do you say?

Why are Churches of Christ across North America in decline?

Please leave your comments below, and let the conversation begin.

(If you desire a greater challenge, hit me over on Twitter and give you reply in 140 characters or less!)