Inside Out: What To Do About Empty Pews

01.30.19 | Martha Manikas-Foster

Fewer Americans attend church than even five years ago. Many are really not making a choice, though. Church, for them, is not even on their radar. 

“Choice requires a conscience decision,” says pastor, author, and blogger Karl Vaters, my guest for this Inside Out podcast. Vaters writes the Pivot blog for Christianity Today, and in this 16-minute conversation we talk about his post "Understanding The New Apathy About Church Attendance." 

“We are now well into the first and even second generation of Americans who don’t have a parent or grandparent who ever took them to church or prayed for them,” Vaters says. “It simply isn’t a part of their background, a part of their understanding of how they might live their lives.” 

If we’re going to share the life of Jesus, then, the way forward is to imitate Him. 

“Jesus built those bridges with people who weren’t believers and then when he said, ‘Come follow Me,’ it felt natural,” Vaters says. “So we need to do the same thing. It needs to be done within the context of strong relationships.” 

Click on the LISTEN or DOWNLOAD icon above to hear a conversation about the importance of church, the role of the people in the pews, and how we might learn about the culture outside our church walls.  

“Let’s get into relationships with people who are not believers yet,” Vaters says. “A big part of the challenge for most believers is we have such a tight circle around us of only believers and we don’t really have that kind of relationship with non-believers.” 

Read Vater’s blog post that inspired the conversation.








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Inside Out airs Wednesdays at 12:20pm EST during the Family Life Noon Report.


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