Those who are leaving the church have even been given their very own label: "Dones".
Theories have been produced to explain this phenomenon, and strategies formulated to effect a turnaround of the exodus.
And in the midst of this, there has been a steady cry of protest and lamentation from 'church leaders' decrying the loss, and denouncing the defectors. "Something must be done!"
But what if there's actually nothing wrong with those who are leaving? What if they are, in fact, being called out of the institution by God? What if he is calling his people to leave behind the man-made religious trappings, for a life of freedom which unashamedly reveals the very Kingdom that Jesus himself declared was at hand?
There are those who are fretting and fearful about what is happening in their churches, who feel they must "do something" about it. And I can't help thinking of the story in Acts 5:12-42, where the religious leaders were getting all bent out of shape, worried that the apostles might be a threat to their position and authority. Yet there was one of amongst them - Gamaliel - who showed his wisdom and integrity by saying:
"...I advise you to stay away from these men. Leave them alone. If what they are planning is something of their own doing, it will fail. But if God is behind it, you cannot stop it anyway, unless you want to fight against God."