Lifeway and Churchrelevance share these results on why people leave the church in the first place:
59% of those who left the church did so because of “changes in life situation.”
— 19% “simply got too busy to attend church.”
— 17% said “family/home responsibilities prevented church attendance.”
— Other reasons explained were moving too far from the church, work situation and divorce or separation.
37% leave because of “disenchantment with pastor/church.”
— 17% said church members “seemed hypocritical” and “were judgmental of others.”
— 12% said “the church was run by a clique that discouraged involvement.”
80% of the formerly churched do not have a strong belief in God, which the study indicated may account for their higher priorities of work and family over church.
42% said they are “Christian, but not particularly devout.”
24% consider themselves “spiritual, but not religious.”
19% said they are “a devout Christian with a strong belief in God.”
16% of those who left the church said nobody contacted them after they left.
16% said nobody seemed to care that they left.
14% said the church was not helping them develop spiritually.
14% said they stopped believing in organized religion.
10% confessed to wavering on Christianity.
6% said they were wavering on belief in God.