Decline in church attendance has been the focus of dire predictions for decades now, often attributed to a rise in secularism in American culture that corresponds to a decay in the nation’s moral fabric. A new study by Barna raises another interesting possibility, however: “Americans who love Jesus but not the Church.” Foregoing church attendance for more personal and individual expressions of faith, this group poses several interesting questions to researchers.
Is this shift a long-term trend or simply a generational change likely to revert? Does lack of attendance correlate with a lack of knowledge of or belief in the Bible? Does this indicate a fundamental shift in Christianity and what could be the cause? The drop in church attendance is not seen uniformly across all age groups nor in all parts of the country. Barna found that the group of Christians that has “de-churched”, that is to say previously been regular church-goers who continue to profess Christian beliefs but who have not attended church in the last six months, is composed of 60% women, 80% of whom are between the ages of 33 and 70. READ MORE