The Churches​—Where Are They Heading?

WHAT is happening to the “Christian” churches? Where you live, are they declining or prospering? You may hear claims of revival, and reports of swelling congregations occasionally come from such places as Africa, Eastern Europe, and the United States. Yet, news reports from other parts of the world, especially Western Europe, tell of church closings, dwindling congregations, and widespread apathy toward religion.

In the face of declining attendance, many churches have changed their style. Some proclaim themselves “nonjudgmental,” giving the idea that God accepts any type of conduct. Increasingly, churches offer entertainment, excitement, and secular attractions rather than instruction from God’s Word. While some churchgoers see the changes as needed adaptations to the realities of the modern world, many sincere people wonder whether the churches are straying from the mission that Jesus gave. Let us take a look at the trends churches have followed in recent decades.