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Thread: The Most Unchurched State in the Nation (USA)

  1. #1
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    The Most Unchurched State in the Nation (USA)

    ...at least that is what I have been told. I have heard it mentioned by several pastors and have met 2 pastors that have purposely moved here to plant a couple of churches.

    I guess I am typing all of this in an effort to help me understand what I am lacking, doing wrong, not seeing etc. Maybe just some helpful suggestions, guidance, direction or anything you would like to comment on. I'm just going to put it out there and please tell me what you think. Good, bad or otherwise. I need a little clarity and help in understanding some, part or all if possible. Honestly, I am a breath away from quitting church at this point.

    Well here goes, this might get long winded....

    The thing is.... I can not drive more than 10 blocks it seems, and come across another church building. (I know it's not about buildings)

    We keep being reinforced of this message of being so unchurched that I am wondering why it keeps being reinforced? Seems to me if you keep reinforcing negativity then you are bound to get what you ask for.

    We (wife and I) have visited a few churches and they seem to be fairly full. A couple of them had pastors who were off preaching in Thailand and one in Trinidad. What about preaching right here since we are so unchurched?

    I keep hearing from many, pastors included, that this is a spiritually dark area. Well I can definitely agree with that statement.

    We were involved in a bible study and it was canceled because it fell on Halloween night and some had parties to go to and others wanted to stay home to pass out candy and see the costumes.

    I have offered fishing trips, all expenses paid to our groups, but all anyone wants to do is meet on Sunday and "See you next Sunday". We are your average blue collar working people, friendly and showered (in case you were wondering). I have been told by one pastor that this was a bedroom community. I understand that statement better now after it was explained to me. It fit right in with the one day go to meeting.

    I have also had it explained from a historical viewpoint by a theology master and have a good understanding from that particular reasoning. But my question is, how did it continue into the 20th century? Satan's strong foothold in the area?

    We have been very impressed with the lighting, videos, acting and performances that some churches have. Some are quite extravagant and really put on a show like a concert. Many have coffee shops in them and good coffee for a fair price too. Some have been very entertaining and could have charged a fair ticket price.

    I see everything is on a very tight schedule. I have yet to see one pastor not check the clock. Our question is why? Where is the freedom to worship? Does this happen in all churches or just the ones here?

    My wife is from a different country and the church she was attending would keep going if they felt led to.

    I almost deleted all this and said the heck with it. There is more to be said, but I am going to leave what I typed and see what others say, if anything. I need to learn, even if you just feel like knocking me on the head. Go for it, sometimes we learn best from hard knocks.

  2. #2
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    You don't say which state! Is it Washington?

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    9Marksfan thanks for responding.

    I purposely left that out to see if anyone would reply with the area. I am amazed that someone from Scotland would be the one to peg the area.

    The Pacific Northwest is the area of spiritual darkness to include Washington, Oregon and Idaho. I am in the big "O".

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    risun,
    I had no idea and would never have guessed it would have been that area.

    Jeanne

    "He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it". ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

    "If we ever forget that we are ONE NATION UNDER GOD, then we will be a nation gone under" ~ Ronald Reagan

  5. #5
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    Actually, the Anglican Church of Africa has missionaries to the United States due to what they felt was wrong with the Anglican church in America. That was a REAL eye-popper for me when I discovered that fact.

    Quite a lot of American churches have become nothing more than social gathering places where people go to show off their new clothes and demonstrate the light & sound systems.

    Search the inner city and see what you find. The folks may not be dressed as fashionably, some of them may even be addicts or homeless, but their love for the Lord will be genuine and they know their Savior and they know His name is not "money". You will find in all likelihood that the pastor is concerned about how to help Sister Grace pay her light bill instead of whether or not their lighting system is better than the church down the street.

    I'm not sure if this helps you or not. You can probably see that I too have become vastly disillusioned with the current climate of the church and what really matters to those who run them. They are a huge business and not a body that feels the pain of it's members.

    V

  6. #6
    It is the state of Maine I would think. New Age religions and J.W. are seeing a huge growth in that state.

  7. #7
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    I had no idea and would never have guessed it would have been that area.
    Jeanne, Unfortunately it seems to be this way.

    Search the inner city and see what you find. The folks may not be dressed as fashionably, some of them may even be addicts or homeless, but their love for the Lord will be genuine and they know their Savior and they know His name is not "money". You will find in all likelihood that the pastor is concerned about how to help Sister Grace pay her light bill instead of whether or not their lighting system is better than the church down the street.
    Sounds like my kind of neighborhood.

    I'm not sure if this helps you or not.
    Vhayes, It does help, thank you for your comment.

    New Age religions
    Lo-Lo, A lot of that happening here also.

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    Quality not quanity is what we should have.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lo-Lo View Post
    It is the state of Maine I would think. New Age religions and J.W. are seeing a huge growth in that state.

    maine is the oregon of the east
    Christianity is a leap of faith, not the abandonment of logic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1of7000 View Post
    maine is the oregon of the east
    I think the whole of New England is pretty bad - last time I was visiting my cousins in Boston (no mean city), I could only find ONE Christian bookshop - and it was dreadful!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by risun7 View Post
    9Marksfan thanks for responding.

    I purposely left that out to see if anyone would reply with the area. I am amazed that someone from Scotland would be the one to peg the area.
    The internet is a great thing - I guessed because I'd heard that Seatle is the most unchurched city in the US - so I figured - like city, like state - I've been keeping a close eye on Driscoll's Mars Hill church - he famously said that there were more dogs than Baptists in Seattle when he set up Mars Hill!

    [quote[The Pacific Northwest is the area of spiritual darkness to include Washington, Oregon and Idaho. I am in the big "O".[/quote]

    Yep - and the north east isn't much better either (see my other reply). I'm meaning east of Chicago and north of New York.

    I understand that Nevada isn't great either?

  12. #12
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    I live in Washington, I don't know about it being one of the Unchurched states, but read my post: "An IMPORTANT Question - Progressive Christianity"...even my own church seems to be going "lukewarm" when it comes to spirituality! It concerns me a great deal! I may be looking for a new church!

  13. #13
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    I knew Washington and Oregon were bad, but Idaho? I had no idea they were in the same boat. I mean, Washington allows assisted suicide.

  14. #14
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    Hi, Risun. I am also from Oregon (Eugene, to be precise), and fairly recently at church our pastor mentioned that our area has less churchgoing people than anywhere else in the country (I think it may have even been specifically the Eugene/Springfield area?). It's very sad.
    I urge you, however to not quit church yet. Is there a pastor or other ministry member you could have a serious discussion about this with? Or maybe even anonymously write a letter to your church about your concerns or how secular things seem to have gotten, in your church and in others.
    If not, maybe it's time for a new church? It sounds like you have tried several out, but maybe a more extensive search (along with prayer for the Lord to guide you to the right one) is needed.
    May I ask what denomination (if any) your current church is? Also if you'd like, feel free to PM me with your location in Oregon, and I could ask the pastor of my church to recommend one in your area if you'd be comfortable with that.

  15. #15
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    It's times like these you realize how much you love the South.

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