America has become very transient.
My grandfather’s generation was so brand-loyal, they would continue to go to their church until almost everything had dried up and they continued to support their church no matter what.
My father’s generation was also fairly brand-loyal and remained with the church although toward the end of his pastoral experience, you began to see people checking out other churches, running to what were the “hottest’ revivals, “being led to another church now” kind of excuses.
My generation and those behind me are not brand-loyal and will often drive past many churches in their community to find the one that “meet their needs“–as if that is the reason you attend a church– and as such the pressure on pastors and leaders to perform became greater. This mindset began what I call a consumer mentality in our churches that looks like marketing the difference between Target and Walmart for churches.
“This one has better parking, music, bigger kids programs, etc.”
What makes it tough is trying to pastor and lead in this generation. Pastors who don’t stay “tuned in” will find that people have chosen to leave the church for reasons that are not know and the leadership is at a loss as to why. Believe me, pastors feel this strongly and hardly does one leave a church that the pain is not hard on the pastor and the leaders of the church because it feels like you failed the people who are leaving.
Tim Stevens has written an excellent piece here on how people leave and how they should leave if they come to a decision to change churches. I think you will find it insightful if you are considering leaving your church or if you lead a church where people have left or are considering leaving.
Your feedback is welcomed!