“It is nevertheless my contention that the number of leavers from evangelical, Pentecostal and charismatic churches is much larger than previously anticipated and that the rate of leave-taking is increasing.” -Pastor Alan Jamieson, author of ‘A Churchless Faith’.
I grew up with the “Jesus Is Coming Soon” movies. The way I remember it there was a series of movies …. and, we’d have a film festival at church on occasion just to remind ourselves that something big was on the horizon. Of course after all the Christians were raptured (i.e. caught up) to be with the Lord, the secular press would be trying to respond to what would be the greatest story in history with headlines like “Millions Missing….”
Here’s the strange thing: Millions of people ARE missing! Some estimates are as much as 31 Million people have left the local church and are not currently involved in “church attending” Christianity. I suspect the “Millions Missing” are no more missed than if there had been a rapture of Church. How can I say that? Because many of the missing were once Pastors, deacons, elders, church workers…the “pillars” of the church! How serious is all of this? David Barrett, the author of the World Christian Encyclopedia, estimates that there are around 112 million “churchless Christians” worldwide - about 5 percent of all adherents. He projects that this number will double by 2025.