Causes of lapsation and procedures to minimize or eradicate this phenomenon
Whitfield, William Tony
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An individual lapses when he ceases attendance at Church. It is a withdrawal from the social, spiritual and communal aspects of the Church. Lapsation can occur in both young and adult, in the former case it is likely to be precipitated by parental failure, in the latter there are many causes from disagreement with the teaching of the Church. However, one of the most prevailing causes is the feeling of not belonging which is often found in large urban communities. Today, young and middle-aged individuals are leaving the Church which, if it persists, it will be deprived of its membership for tomorrow. The present writer believes that lapsation in the young can be ameliorated by a more intentional attitude of parents towards developing the faith in their children by prayer. In addition, the latter, instead of studying comparative religion, should be taught from a faith perspective and be taught doctrinal material and Biblical knowledge. In addition, the parish could offer support to parents. The present author also maintains that adult lapsation can be obviated to some extent by the individual's participation in a cell offering an intimate setting for both the encouragement of faith and its development and providing an atmosphere in which the individual felt that he belonged. The parish would have a network of cell-groups which would be over-seen by a core team comprising specialist members. He also believes that the provision of welcome teams monitoring the attendance of new parishioners would be an essential aid to limiting defection. Such teams could check on absentee parishioners who are likely to have problems which could be resolved in the early stages of an individual's arrival into the parish.
- Theology