The Christian Church in America has become too focused on entertainment, according to Dr. David Jeremiah.
Jeremiah, an author and senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in San Diego, told The Christian Post the church in the U.S. has “forgotten what the church is supposed to be.”
“We’re not an entertainment service; we’re not here to see how close we can get to what the world does,” he explained. “But there’s so much of the world in the church and vice versa that we can’t tell a difference. We have to hold to the truth. We have to get nourished. If it’s not happening, you’re a social organization and not a church.”
While church attendance in the U.S. is declining sharply, the megachurch minister rebuked congregations for becoming “obsessed” with staying relevant. He also accused churches of designing their weekly services “to see how many people will sit in the pews on Sunday.”
Jeremiah made clear, however, there’s nothing wrong with increasing attendance “as long as you share the Gospel.”
“Don’t worship at the attendance altar,” Jeremiah said. “A lot of good things happen in churches when there aren’t huge numbers, but the pastor has prepared a good message and there’s worship. We get off on this thing that we have to be bigger than the guy down the street and how to get more people in the building.”
“When you’re focused on that,” he continued, “you’ll never preach anything that’s controversial and you’ll always be trying to figure out how to get more people to come.”
Interestingly, the very generation churches are trying to reach — millennials — by turning services into concerts are generally turned off by the trend.
Barna Group published a survey a few years ago revealing 67 percent of millennials prefer a “classic” church setting over a “trendy” service. Furthermore, 77 percent said they prefer a “sanctuary” over an “auditorium.”
Another study released in May of this year found millennials are actually more plugged into their respective church communities than any other generational demographic.
The survey, conducted by Dunham+Company, found 61 percent of millennials attend weekly church services. By contrast, only 44 percent of Gen Xers and 54 percent of Baby Boomers attend weekly church services.