What the De-Churched Are Looking For

As many of you know, I have spent the last nine months searching for a place to plant my roots since I resigned the last church I served. When people find out I was once a worship leader and senior pastor, they look at me like I have sinned against God and something must be wrong with me. Because of my pursuit to find something more than a place to plant my rear end for an hour, my desires for a church have been very high. Because of the criticism that is prevalent within the denomination that ordained me, I have found some great pastors whose congregations possess the same religious spirit I (and God) abhor. Had I not prayed and seen that some churches exist that are healthy, I would have just settled into one of the churches that contacted me about employment or one pastored by a friend. The bottom line is that I must obey the Lord.

I have discovered that some of my friends who are de-churched are looking for the same things this ordained minister desires. Forget the stereotypes about these people going to hell in a hand basket. Here are some characteristics:

1. They tried the megachurch and long for authentic church. I had someone say to me this week that she’s not looking for lights and smoke machines. She tried that and wants the days when church was a genuine community of believers trying to please God. 

2. They want something real. Forget the religious jargon that preachers use to impress people who aren’t impressed by it. 

3. While they want programs for the family, they want simple church. Forget the frills. When it comes down to it, they want an Acts 2 experience with people they can share life with – brothers and sisters in Christ who are there for them at their worst. 

It’s time to quit condemning these people. Jesus doesn’t hate them, and neither should we. That love just might help them find the church community for which they long.

11 thoughts on “What the De-Churched Are Looking For

  1. Well said. We have a huge population here of the unchurched church. People tell me they want simplicity, the basics, the meat and potatoes of faith. I have a lovely little church, but this is tough area so we’re far from ideal, but at least we have that going on and it brings about authenticity, this desire to place Christ first.

  2. Standing O!! Doing life together is key, holding onto each other while holding to Christ makes us all more stable in our faith and journey. Dear Lord Jesus, help us to BE this church.

  3. I’ve been de-churched for roughly 9 months now. I so long for real Christian community. But so many of the church cultures around me are actually toxic to the cultivation of authentic faith. In order to have REAL community, the people within that community have to commit to being REAL themselves. When it’s all about appearances and upholding the status quo, people like me turn and walk right back out that door, lol!

  4. i sooooo get what you’re saying (as many others do)…why can’t we all go back to worshiping the awesome God we love…
    i’m tired of settling in and having to (again) move on b/c of the same old stuff…it gets frustrating…i just keep seeing the same pattern over and over…when will they get it?
    great post, your words rang loud and clear…i pray we can see the church come back to their first Love…oh what a happy day that will be!

  5. Mike, I find you to be a man of great faith. Any congregation would be blessed to have you lead them in Christ’s ways. For that I offer you my prayers.

    I have been a Roman Catholic Christian since birth; I have been Baptized, received First Holy Communion and Confirmed in the Catholic Faith. I taught in a Catholic school my entire teaching career. But, as many Catholics never quite fully grasped the significance of my faith. Not until these last ten years of retirement. Through reading the Bible, Catechism of the Catholic Church, writings of committed clergy and religious, Saints and converts, I have come to understand how much I have missed. All are now reflected in my writing.

    On one occasion my Vice Principal wrote in my annual review that I was very Catholic in my teaching. I was confused since I was teaching Algebra. I now know what he meant. Catholic means: comprehensive or all inclusive. As my class was comprehensive, my understanding and practice of my faith was not.

    As Christians we must understand that we all eventually meet at the foot of the cross. He calls us all to embrace our suffering, whatever its nature, because He has already borne it before we have. There we find the fullness of our Faith. There we will find justice complete; in His judgment, love and mercy. There we find the perfection of The Father which He commanded us to strive to achieve.
    Christ’s blessings, Mike.


  6. The thing I discovered when I left church was that church isn’t a building – it’s relationships with people who follow Jesus and attend to His words. After a year-and-a-half hiatus, I am back at my former church now, although I don’t feel any obligation to attend every Sunday, and when I don’t, I listen to their sermons online. I have monthly coffee meetings with my Pastor. And I meet every morning with my Lord on my deck with a cup of coffee and many thanks for the new day. I also meet in fellowship with others during week – face to face and online – with those who are my true church family.

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