Saturday, March 17, 2012

Quitting Church - Michael S. Horton

Some interesting things have happened over the last 18 months to justify my sense that contemporary evangelicalism is literally unchurching the churched. Admittedly, it's an odd conclusion, but it is supported by a number of developments. Not only has there been a decline in the percentage of professions of faith in American churches during the megachurch era; numerous studies over the last few years have documented a massive decline in the knowledge of even the basics of Christian faith and practice among professing believers.

However, I never thought I would see the day when high-profile pastors and church leaders would justify this unfaithfulness. In 2007, the Willow Creek Association published its findings that the most highly committed Christians at Willow Creek Community Church (in the Chicago suburb of South Barrington) were most dissatisfied with their own personal growth and the ministry of their church. Expressing their concern for deeper instruction and richer worship, these respondents were the most likely to be ready to leave Willow Creek.

The obvious conclusion drawn by the church's leadership was that the church becomes less important for personal growth as believers mature and they should be taught to become "self-feeders." Believers grow out of their dependence on the church's ministry the same way children outgrow their parents' supervision, the leadership concluded. Over this same period, church marketing expert George Barna wrote two books urging that we move beyond the organized church altogether and find our "spiritual resources" elsewhere, particularly through Internet "communities." He offered statistics to back up his triumphalistic claim that this is already happening. People need spiritual coaches, he insisted, but not the church.

Read rest of article HERE


  1. I'm actually reading two of Horton's books right now. Christless Christianity and his Systematic Theology.
    They both are real page-clickers. (I have them on Kindle)
    Thanks for the post!

    1. I finished Christless Christianity a couple months ago (well done!) and I am still navigating my way through Horton's Systematic Theology work; that one is a beast -