A row of empty pews in an old church

The Great Decline in Church Attendance: Studying the Trends

  • By: Scott Stein, Shawn Walker
  • Jan 30, 2024
    • Listen on:

Is the church in Canada disappearing? Data collected by StatsCan data over the past thirty years shows a steady decline in church attendance among Canadians. And the years over COVID accelerated that trend even further. But what is driving this trend? Who are the people foregoing church? And what does this indicate for the future of Christianity in Canada?

In this episode, Scott and Shawn begin looking at this de-churching phenomenon that is transforming the religious landscape of the west. They look at who are de-churching, and what reasons are being given by those who used to regularly attend and participate in church life, but no longer do.

This is the first episode in our series on “De-Churching”. Our goal is to help you understand what is happening in the church, how Christians should respond, and what we should expect to see happen for this trend to be reversed.


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  • Richard
    Apr 25th, 2024
    Just watched this on YouTube from your remodeled studio. Wonderful discussion. This affects us as Jews as well, with the same complexity. Prior to college, parents can compel you to go to Jewish youth group. Attrition occurs at college when Jewish organizational participation, usually Hillel, becomes voluntary. Then the experience of high school matters a lot. The podcast hinted at cliques, which are notorious in synagogue culture. I'm now retired, still attend shabbos services a few times a month. My kids don't. For second day Passover, we did not get our needed ten men, and run at the upper edge of that ten commonly. However, while worship attendance is insecure, we have a subset that never attends shul but serves on our board, supports our congregation financially, engages in communal Jewish institutions, marches for justice, supports Israel vigorously, attends the Rabbi's classes, and is generous to the less fortunate. Attendance at worship may not be the best metric of religious commitment. All synagogues, and I assume all Churches, are really tripartite. We are simultaneously a House of Prayer, a House of Study, and a House of Assembly. Indeed, the Hebrew phrase for a synagogue is Beit Knesset, or House of Assembly, not prayer.
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