Why We Go to Church… or Do Not

According to the Pew Research Center, there are some definite reasons why people do – or do not – go to church. It might be good to eavesdrop since there has been “a decline in attendance at religious services from 2007 to 2014, with about a third of Americans now saying they worship weekly and about a third saying they go rarely or never.”

First, why people do go.

Among regular attenders of religious services, two in three go because of their kids. They also go for “personal comfort” or to become a “better person.” But the biggest reason of all? To feel closer to God. The irony is that one in five people usually don’t feel God’s presence when they do. One in four usually don’t feel a sense of community, and four in ten usually don’t feel connected to their faith’s history.


But let’s dig deeper into why those who don’t go to church don’t go.

Dont go church.jpg

Here’s what I like; really, really like. Among the top cluster of responses people gave for not attending church are things such as not finding a church they like, not liking the sermons, and reporting they don’t feel welcome.

Why do I like that? Because it’s low-hanging fruit. Meaning, fixable. Easily fixable. 

We can help them find us.

We can work harder on sermons.

We can be more friendly.

In other words, all we have to do is open the front door and do a better job at valuing them and their time.

We can all do that... right?

James Emery White


Jeremy Weber, “Pew: Why Americans Go to Church or Stay Home,” Christianity Today, August 1, 2018, read online.

“Why Americans Go (and Don’t Go) to Religious Services,” Pew Research Center, August 1, 2018, read online.