It no news that church attendance has gone down over the last decade or so. Today there are many more people at home on Sundays than there are in the churches.
The situation was however not the same about a decade ago even though Christianity continues to be the biggest and most popular religion in Ghana today.
Many have blamed this situation on so many factors ranging from economic challenges to a busy work life and schedule in this modern era.
In this article, Asembi.com critically probes some of the key reasons that have resulted in the decline of church attendance in Ghana.
Live broadcast on media
This is one of the key factors that have resulted in the decline in church attendance. Hitherto one would have to journey to the church to hear the word of God, but in 2018, one could simply join the sermon from the comfort of his home. Most of these churches, especially the charismatic ones, make use of these technologies to have Live broadcasts on social media platforms while also broadcasting live on television most of the time.
All these means, one needs not be at the church to listen his pastor preach, hence people deciding to stay at home. These live broadcasting without a doubt have contributed to the decline in church service attendance over the years. Dr. Mensa Otabil’s ICGC has provision for those missing church on Sundays to pay their offerings and tithes electronically.
No Money for Offering
Times are hard and almost everyone can feel the economic challenges. For people to regularly go to churches on Sundays and pay collections, dues, tithes etc is a big and mountainous challenge. For want of peace of mind those who believe their economic status cannot support regular giving at the church, choose to stay at home and not bother themselves with church and its related financial burdens. In fact this tops all the reasons why most people choose to stay at home on Sundays. Get closer to any person on Sunday and ask why they did not attend church service and the most likely response you will get is “I don’t have money”.
One may ask: what does money got to do with church going since it’s not force to make a donation? Churches today have developed a strategy of collecting offerings which leaves you with no choice than to join the queue to drop your money. The process expect the congregation to move forward in rows during offerings and one may feel shy not to join the queue.
Discrimination is not only found in the public sector, sports or other ventures, it is also found in the churches. These days the level of your closeness with your church pastor actually depends on how much you give to the church during harvest periods. Some churches even have special prayers for a certain category of people who have the money to request for those prayers. For example those who can give GHS10,000 offering to the church receive a special prayer, which would not be said for those who pay GHS5000. This discrimination has pushed people out of the church and caused a drastic reduction in church attendants as the average man who cannot afford special prayer price finds his way out of the church.
Rise in Fake Prophets
Ghana is filled with political and celebrity prophets, who only see the doom of celebrated figures and results of yet-to-be held elections. These fake prophets whose prophecies are always about celebrities and elections have made people have doubts about Christianity. Most of their missed prophesies become somewhat a public ridicule, leaving a lot of onlookers deciding it was better to stay home than go to the churches manned by these prophets who have become Prophets of Politics rather than prophets of God.
Men of God are supposed to live a life devoid of scandals but that is exactly the case in modern times. A month hardly goes by without pastors getting into one scandal or the other. A simple search on google could show you hundreds of scandals, especially related to sex involving men of God. This has left a lot of people questioning the Preacherman’s lifestyle. Who would go sit down to listen to the advice and preaching of the man who himself is entangled in a lot of scandals and sexual promiscuity news? The phenomenon of pastors involved in scandals have given most people the notion that these men of God are as a matter of fact not so different from them, hence they do not see the need why they should attend church and be preached to by one of these scandalous preachers.
Bishop Daniel Obinim, Rev. Obofour, prophet Martin Kofi Danso, Prophet Nigel Gaisie, Dr. Mensa Otabil, Archbishop Nicholas Duncan Williams and many others have all been hit by scandals.
No new dress
This is typical with ladies. Ladies of today wear their dresses once and dump them. The economic hardships resulting from acquiring new dresses weekly prevent many from attending church on Sundays. In fact, it has become a secret contest in most churches of today and friends meet to discuss who worn what and who walked well in heels.
Some of the people who were engaged by Asembi.com said they choose to stay home because of the kind of prophecies they receive at Church. According to them, these prophecies bring fears in them and sometimes force them to give in monies that they are not ready to. These group of people choose to stay home and be free from death threats.