Why are so many Catholics attending non-denominational services?

I’ve noticed that our parish attendance has been extremely spotty. I’ve ran into quite a few church members and they’ve all told me that they’ve decided to attend non-denomination services. I’ve never been to one, so what’s the big fuss about it?

The music is good.

Don’t scoff or laugh. In the U.S., music is really important to a lot of people.

One of my best friends is a lapsed Catholic who attends a non-denominational church because it, “Just makes more sense and fills us spiritually. The Catholic church is too rule-oriented and doesn’t focus on a relationship with Christ.” Also, they have a good kids’ program and everyone has a relationship with the “pastor.”

We definitely have a CRISIS retaining our flock. I don’t know what the whole answer is.

My daughter and her husband attend ND services. It seems like the services are more related to no rules, just believe in Jesus. There’s no one on one confession and there’s quite a few Catholic members who have issues with confessing sins to a priest. They are out to get your pocketbook. They want you to give, give, give. They have live bands, so that’s entertaining for a lot of people. They have childcare provided and they have a coffee house indoors! sarcasm

Because its “easy”. Like a previous poster mentioned, there are “no rules” meaning one never has to be held accountable for their actions to a certain extent. Their situation is always acceptable, no one points out that they may be living immorally. Their consciences are always free.

People try these churches out for all of the reasons already listed but they are interested in the first place because they are unhappy for some reason. It is a wide spread problem without an easy solution.

Because they don’t know their faith. And because fallen man is inclined to what makes him feel good rather than what makes him good.

A lot of younger people are attracted to the “everything is permitted, just love Jesus” attitude non-denominational services provide. It disturbs me that most of my generation think that a religion disagreeing with your opinions means you change religions. They’ve stopped looking at a religion as something that holds them to a high standard they must strive for. They instead want a religion that tells them what they’re doing is ok, that they are right.

It’s part, I think, of the fundamental shift in modern US society, where infringing on someone’s opinions and happiness becomes a grave crime. How dare a priest tell you that you shouldn’t have sex before marriage! It feels good, it’s natural! How dare the church tell you that you must confess your sins! You never do anything wrong! It’s all these other people hurting you!

It’s the evolution of a society that encourages selfishness over charity, consumption over compassion, vanity over virtue, and victimization over personal responsibility.

I know I probably sound like a wacko, but it’s what I’ve seen, at least.

I’m Catholic. I have a co-worker/friend who is non-denominational. He wasn’t originally Catholic but started going to these churches a few years ago. He asked me one day about Catholic church and we started talking civilly about both religions. He asked me to join him one Sunday and I agreed but only if he came to Catholic mass first.

He did so I felt the need to repay the favor. It wasn’t as bad as people make it seem. Yes, they do have a coffee shop, bookstore, child care center, etc. I don’t see anything wrong with that. As far as the service, a band plays for about 30 minutes and the pastor talks for close to an hour. I don’t know about any other non-denominational churches, but this one is against pre-marital sex, homosexuality and if you are a member of that church ,you cannot miss a Sunday service. I’ve heard from people that non-denominational members can miss service and it’s ok. According to the pastor, it’s not ok. He said, “If I’m here, you need to be here too.” They don’t have a one on one confessional, but during mass, if you want to be “born again” you raise your hand and they pray for you. I don’t agree with that but to each his own.

As far as them only wanting money, the service I went to did an offering once right at the beginning of service(where every Catholic church I’ve been to has done two offerings per mass) and it didn’t seem like you had to give. My friend said he gives when he can.

I know that the Catholic church is the true church and I’m never leaving, but if I wasn’t raised Catholic and didn’t know better, honestly I’d probably choose non-denominational as well.

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This is kind of funny, because I’ve never seen a non-denominational church that was like that, and my parish only does one collection except in very specific situations.

It’s like I’m living in the bizzaro version of your world.

I’ve only been to that one. Maybe some of the others are like what you said. But every catholic church that I’ve been to has done two offerings ever since I was a kid

The people I know cite reasons such as
Bible Studies galore…even here in a University town in several langauages.
Fellowship; lots of small groups to join from Mothers with young kids, AA, Alanon,
Caregivers support group; you name it they have it.
Fun…it’s more fun (Power point, music etc) whereby Mass is BORING…
Free after school babysitting program here for members that is run by teenagers in the parish.

It even got to the point where they’d have “bring a friend” day and apparently word got out
the After School Program was so 'fun" and “free” people joined the Church for that
reason alone.

However, that is not running this year now.

My adult niece told me she left the Church because her new church is “fun” and they don’t have sin - it’s never, ever mentioned. Plus (according to her) she’s guaranteed salvation by just claiming it!

She also told me they don’t do Sunday collections - because members are required to submit their income info (tax data, W2’s, etc) every year and tithe 10% off the top.

They don’t understand their own faith. They haven’t been properly catechized.

It’s not a fundamental shift. American society has been like this since, oh, the end of the Civil War, if not before. We’ve always had problems with overemphasizing individualism. Catholics were to an extent spared this spirit - until many decided to completely assimilate.

Actually, it’s NOT easy, that’s the interesting part. The fastest growing ND churches are the ones who are preaching the most radical Christianity. Whole-hearted, full throated complete surrender to Jesus. No wimpy stuff for these folks. Browse the Internet for sermons by Matt Chandler and Craig Groschel, or read some of their books. You may be surprised by what you find.

The fasted growing ND church in my area preaches the same social positions as the Catholic Church-no abortion, no birth control, no divorce, no gay partnerships or marriage. If the Bible says it’s wrong…it’s wrong. The sermons are Biblical, and they are challenging. These folks are serious about reaching the community around them and they’re doing a heck of a job. They’re feeding local kids lunch all summer while school is out and they have no access to the free and reduced lunches the school provides. They are rebuilding houses like Extreme Makeover teams. People see those actions and the people who are doing them and want what they have…so they get involved. When I moved here the place had one campus, now they have four, and will soon have five.

And yeah, the music does attract them, but that’s not what keeps them coming. They can get music from iTunes, Pandora and Spotify, they don’t need to get up early on a Sunday morning for that. These folks are doing offering something more than a rock band and a coffee shop. We can ignore that, we can minimalize them and put them down as inferior-and watch as more and more Catholics walk out the door-or we can learn from them.

I just wonder how many of them ever spent so much as one hour pouring their heart out before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament? Or went to confession and felt deep, deep sorrow and remorse for their sins, and reflected on the intense pain and suffering Our Lord willingly experienced on account of our sinfullness? Or felt sincere heartfelt compassion for Our Lady as she stood at the foot of The Cross, and bitter pain and sorrow pierced her heart?..I wonder!

Peace, Mark

This is exactly just like the one I went to. It may be a coincidence and we might live in the same area but like you said, the Pastor said if the bible says it’s wrong, it’s wrong. No picking and choosing. They are also heavily involved in the community.

I, for one, would love for our catholic service to have child care provided. I don’t know how many times I’ve sat through a 30 minute mass and dealt with my child either trying to run away or doing something they aren’t supposed to, and I walk out of church going “What did I learn?”

They don’t think they need to be in front of the Sacrament to spend time with Jesus and pour their hearts out to Him. They can do that anywhere. Ask one of them about their conversion experience and you’ll hear about falling on the floor weeping over the sin in their lives and committment to be worthy of Christ’s sacrifice. Then, they’ll tell you how their lives have changed in response to His love and how they live now to serve Him and Him alone.

I respect these people, because I’ve seen them in action. I’ve seen people go from foul mouthed, hard drinking gamblers to people who would never take the name of The Lord in vain, and spend seven days a week thinking of ways they can give more, serve more and show more of God’s love to others. They’ve been changed and they want to bring that to others.

It might not be our faith, and we might not agree with their theology-but where do we get off even hinting that they aren’t experiencing transformative faith experiences?

Christ is not *physically *everywhere.

He does go spiritually to anyone who calls on Him, but ultimately the work of “non-denominational” communities is a work of scattering. Christ not only wishes to heal, He wishes to unite into one visible Church. The spontaneous birth of many Christian communities is an extraordinary sing of His uncontainable grace, and He definitely changes lives, but all his followers are called to be joined into one Church. Left to themselves, how will they resist the attacks of the united principalities and powers of the world of darkness? A house divided cannot stand :shrug:

The issue is that too many communities don’t just seek Christ, but they also actively speak against the Catholic Church, sometimes in good faith, sometimes out of sheer ignorance. How, then, can they truly see the light? Even the early Church was spoken against and we find trace of separated communities since the year 90 AD, only a few decades after Pentecost. It’s a very sad situation.

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