Christian Chronicle

Churches of Christ in decline: U.S. culture to blame?

Changing society poses a challenge for Christians.

First Place, Theme Issue, Section or Series, Associated Church Press

By Bobby Ross Jr. | The Christian Chronicle

TULSA, Okla. — In 21st century America, who might attract Jesus’ attention?

Muslims? Drug addicts? Religious “nones.”

The recent Tulsa Workshop — the free annual gathering started in 1976 and known for many years as the “International Soul Winning Workshop” — explored outreach to all three groups.

“When Jesus saw the crowds, he was moved with compassion for them,” said Shane Coffman, who works with Terry Rush to direct the four-day event, which drew roughly 3,000 attendees in its 40th year. “That’s how we ought to be as we serve our community and engage our culture.”

Like many denominational groups, Churches of Christ in the United States are losing members.

In a nation where an increasing number of Americans never go to church, engaging the culture poses a God-sized challenge.

Last year, 43 percent of U.S. adults said they had not attended church in at least six months, reported the Barna Group, which studies religious trends.

“There is a discernible rise of churchless Americans,” Barna President David Kinnaman told The Christian Chronicle.

Read the full story.

Related story: God at work in U.S.: Christians in all 50 states weigh in

These stories appear in the April 2015 print edition of The Christian Chronicle.

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