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Worship is in decline across the western world. There are all sorts of reasons we give for this; abuse scandals, leadership fails, judgemental faith – and there is merit to each of these.

PICTURE: Jantanee Rungpranomkorn/iStockphoto 

A new book called The Great Dechurching found that the real reason churches are shrinking is because Westerners are abandoning community. We are no longer seek mutuality, caring and sharing, but autonomy.

In other words, worship is in decline because we want to do our own thing.

Doing our own thing sounds eminently reasonable, until we put it another way: “No-one is going to tell me what to do!” The same words were on the lips of the snake in the Garden of Eden, “Do you really have to listen to God?”

Society won’t survive such rampant individualism. Time to get back to worship.

Paul Clark’s musings can be heard on radio across Australia and at

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