Between 6,000 and 10,000 churches are dying in the United States every single year, and that means that more than 100 will die this week alone. And of course thousands of others are on life support. All over the country small handfuls of people are gathering in huge buildings which once boasted very large congregations. At one time, America was widely considered to be “a Christian nation”, but that really isn’t true anymore. Even though most Americans still consider themselves to be “Christian”, the numbers are telling us a very different story. Many of our nation’s churches can no longer afford to maintain their structures.
In fact, the “nones” have risen from just 6% of the population in 1991 to 25% today. That makes them the single largest “religious group” in the United States. Today, less than 20% of all Americans attend church on a regular basis. As a result, churches are dying in very large numbers, and this is a trend that appears to be accelerating. According to Thom S. Rainer of Lifeway, when you break the numbers down it means that “around 100-200 churches will close this week”. The pace will accelerate unless our congregations make some dramatic changes. Any institution needs resources in order to survive, and churches are not any different.
As attendance has declined, so has giving, and at this point the percentage of charity donations going to religious institutions is at an all-time low. Religious institutions are still the single biggest recipients of overall charity donations, according to the 2015 survey by the Giving USA Foundation. About 32%, $119.3 billion, of a total of $373.25 billion Americans gave to charities went to churches, synagogues, mosques and temples. But that is down from about 50% since 1990, according to Rick Dunham, vice chairman of Giving USA, and the percentage has been “in steady decline for some time.” So when churches die, what happens to their buildings?
Some are torn down, some are renovated for residential or business purposes, and some are being put to other uses. A large number of abandoned churches have become wineries, breweries or bars. Others have been converted into hotels, bed-and-breakfasts, and Airbnbs. A few have been transformed into entertainment venues, such as an indoor playground for children, a laser-tag arena, or a skate park. Not only did early Americans identify themselves as Christians, but nearly all of them regularly attended church. Now our society is moving very rapidly in the exact opposite direction, and many believe that this has tremendous implications for the future of our nation.
Source: Excerpts from Michael Snyder article in InfoWars.comPrint This Post