Quiet Worship: Gallop Poll Provides Insights
A recent Gallop poll may shed light on why 52% of poll respondents seldom or never attend church even though they regularly attended church as children or youths.
The poll asked:
Please say whether each of the following is a major reason, a minor reason or not a reason why you [seldom / never] attend church or a place of worship.
Forty-four percent (44%) reported that 'preferring to worship alone' represents a major reason why one does not attend church and another 21% reported this as a minor reason—collectively, 65%. Furthermore, 46% cited 'not finding a church... that [they] liked' as a reason for not attending church.
Yet, 87% report believing in God (even if they do not necessarily attend church).
The disparity between Believers and church-attendance startles. At minimum, the data might suggest a disconnect between one-size-fits-all, typical church services and the apparent expectations of adult Believers. Are 'non-attendees' rejecting church because of the hyper-social and entertainment-focused worship that simply does not resonate with perhaps to a MAJORITY of Believers?
As the data suggests, more "outreach," more pressure (oh, come on, attend our church and see our great worship service), and more contemporary/entertainment-focused worship might do little to reach many of our fellow Believers. Perhaps we can take a lesson from Jesus: Jesus regularly retreated to worship alone during his public ministry.
Non-church-goers who prefer to worship alone or who prefer quiet worship may need support and a church family as well. Yet, that support might differ markedly from traditional models of Social Hours and high-pressure conformity. Introverts and solo worshipers are not hermits, misanthropes, or anti-social zealots. Instead, many simply prefer more genuine conversations with their support network, quiet times to think, and worship driven by reverence for God (in the quiet of a sanctuary, in the beauty of a garden, or while sitting beside one of the works of His Creation).