Why people are leaving church
"Although many Australians identify themselves as religious, the majority consider religion the least important aspect of their lives when compared with family, partners, work and career, leisure time and politics. This is reflected in Australia's church attendance rates, which are among the lowest in the world and in continuing decline."
"Our survey found that about a quarter of people leaving the Church expressed a change in beliefs or simply lost interest in religion. Of that group of people, 62% stated that they had stopped believing in organized religion altogether."
No one knows the reason for the overall attendance drop, but three possible explanations are:
Worshipers attend less frequently. ...
Aging constituencies. Mainline churches have a disproportionate number of members age 65 and older. ....
The other side of this dilemma is the failure of churches to reach younger persons. .....
Lack of interest in religion. Adding to the challenge of reaching younger people is the fact that the age group in which self-identified adherents of "no religion" are found most is 25-34. Additional indicators of decreasing interest in church life are found in the General Social Survey 2008: fewer people report going to church "several times a year" and more people report going "once a year." Fewer report going "less than once a year" while many more report going "never." In fact, the attendance category that has grown the most since 1990 is "never."
.. In the past when life had fewer distractions people measured Church attendance on a weekly basis, but today regular Churchgoing is often measured as those that go at least once a month. ... through the negative experience of Church, nearly all of these de-churched people are closed to invites to Church. ... So far nothing the Church leaders have done seems to have brought about any change in the decline that started in the 50's. ... The decline for attendance forecasts a 55% fall from the 1980 level by 2020. ... even amongst the membership the Church in general struggles to attract people to services. The rate of decline in buildings is significantly less than that for membership, suggesting that congregations are on average getting much smaller with many more nearing the point when they will cease to be financially viable. ... the Church in the UK is one that fails to attract four people groups:
4.the poor ....
from from http://www.whychurch.org.uk/trends.php